In my office are three fat binders. They contain a few hundred sheet protectors each of which has back and front color printed sheets. They catalog family trips starting in October 1998 and ending in August 2010. Lots of good memories – photos, addresses, scrapbook items, trip write ups are documented there and also in a digital archive. The kids periodically go through them as they plan their trips now.
Last few years we have not done many family trips. I tend to fly in and out of cities. The kids make their own plans. Our dog, Peanuts was aging and one of us stayed with him. All that changed after he passed in December and Margaret has joined me on several trips this year. We add 2-3 days to a business trip and given her curiosity and energy manage to find all kinds of interesting detours. So, this weekend I decided to do my old style trip report on 3 of our trips and I was impressed how technology has made that easier.
Content – My iPhone is allowing me to take many more pictures and videos. The Facebook private synching of photos makes for an easy archive of every day of a trip. Cloud storage is making data easier to access on the road. There are way more sites with photos and factoids to harvest as I write a report. Example – we ran into a Gypsy Jazz quartet at a bistro in California. A quick query and a few keystrokes took us to the Haute Flash page and into my trip report below.
Mobile apps – Google Maps, FlightAware, DBahn, Delta, Marriott, Weather.com, Expensify and more are making travel easier and also documenting trips better
Digital pays – More taxis accept credit cards, Starbucks barista tips via their mobile app, online credit card statements help double check on names of restaurants and other places we visit.
The weekend project resulted in 120 new printed pages. If that sounds quaint in this digital age, so is the history of the stained glass of the 800 year old Dreikoenigskirche church or the migration trends of birds in New York’s Central Park that I have learned on these trips.
Time for another binder and for more space on the Google Drive.