Going on vacation is fun! For us the best way to relax is to gather as much information as we can on the place we want to go to and then roughly plan what we want to do. We used to just use a notebook and write down restaurants we wanted to try out, or shops we wanted to visit and of course the main sights of the city we were going to see. This year we took a Happy Planner with printable vacation planner pages we designed ourselves. They’re pretty focussed on what we expect to do on a vacation, but there is no reason it can’t work for other people! So I am sharing them with you!
The PDF file has 11 pages to be used for planning your most awesome trip. Print however many pages you need or skip the ones that aren’t of interest to you.
- Main page: room for your personal details and the information about where you’re staying
- Planning overview: note down what you have to arrange before going away: such as taking days off, pet care during your vacation and a rough draft of things you don’t want to miss
- A lined note page: because you always need some lined note pages
- A travel list: write down and check off things to pack in your suitcase or your hand luggage
- Detailed to-see list: write down all the information about sights you want to visit, including when it’s open and closed
- Restaurant list: fun though it is to pick a random place to eat, it’s always handy to have a list with restaurant addresses as a back up
- List of shops: shopping for gifts or for your hobby? Write down specialist shops at your destination!
- Gift list: maybe your family has specific wishes for gifts, or maybe you just like to keep track of what you already bought so far; avoid having 3 gifts for Grandma and none for your dad
- Sending postcards: a simple address list with a checkbox for ‘sent’. Because sometimes you don’t buy and send all your cards at once
- Two versions of a day planner: write down in as much detail as you need what you want to do on a certain day. Page is divided into 2 columns, one for morning, afternoon and evening plans; one for what to take along, where you might want to eat and to write down the highlights of the day
How to print the pages for your Happy Planner
This has been a bit of trial and error for me. But I found a great way to print the pages in such a way that I could easily stick them in the classic Happy Planner with 7 rings. You need a proper PDF reader for this: I used Adobe Acrobat Reader. And you need a printer. The printable vacation planner pages are created with colour accents, so a colour printer would make the printable pages look best.
Open the full PDF file in Acrobat Reader. Choose your printer. Choose to print all pages in one go or to print one particular page several times. Then choose the SIZE: and set this at 84% instead of 100%. This will scale the page down to a size that will happily fit the 7-ring format of the Happy Planner. You may decide you want to print double sided. In that case, experiment a little with how your printer handles double printed pages.
Cutting the 84% sized printable vacation planner pages
Now all pages are printed on an A4 sheet, but you have excess paper all around! You can use a paper cutting machine or some scissors to cut the pages to the correct size. Take off 150mm (1,5cm) on the long sides; cut off 300mm (3cm) on both the top and the bottom (the short sides). Then punch your holes and stick them in the planner rings. Voilà! Your very own vacation planner is ready.
Our initial version:
Voor alle plannen in #florenceitaly heb ik print outs gemaakt. Wie moeten we nog een kaartje sturen; wat willen we gaan doen; waar kunnen we gaan eten – en dat allemaal in de #happyplanner gooien! Zo georganiseerd dat we lekker kunnen freewheelen met alle informatie die we hebben genoteerd! #planner #citytrip #stedentrip #italië #toscane #italy #travel #reizen #vakantie #vacation
Using the Vacation planner pages
One tip that I have is one that is not that uncommon: use sticky notes to plan your day in advance. Write down the things you want to do and see, and stick those on the day planner pages. You can easily remove them, if you change your plans at the last minute. Do write down things that you really need to do at a certain day, for instance if you have pre-booked tickets. Write down if you need to bring things such as ID or tickets. We once had to rush back to our rooms to retrieve our passports or risk not being able to pick up our pre-booked tickets! If you’ve written down everything you can think of, you can enjoy the day to the fullest without worrying about the details.
Have a great vacation, and share some of the pics on Instagram: I love seeing vacation snaps. Wanna see mine?