Friday, September 18, 2009

The Travel Agent: a notelet

Travel Document Note Taker - Close Up
Project #29 in '50 in 2009 Challenge'

As I'm still weeding through some 800+ images off two cameras taken during our European jaunt, I'll have to placate you with some more pre-vacation crafting instead of bragging, I mean, sharing insightful information regarding our trip. (If you would like a sneak peek at our adventure, feel free to take a look - I'm weeding thru/editing/uploading as fast as I can.)

If you don't really know me and Mike, I'll start off by saying we are both very money-conscious. We budget, we save, we have financial goals and we are both very much in sync on this matter. That being said we also enjoy a good getaway, seeing new things and having adventures together, so we make sure this is all part of our goals & budgeting.

We set out on this European adventure with a set amount we'd prefer to spend, but both decided that if we went over, as long as it wasn't outrageous, we were both fine with that. We wanted to enjoy our experience and not skimp - but we still wanted to know what we'd spent (roughly). We did the same thing last year on our cruise. Also we plan our trips from flights to accommodations to sites, etc completely by ourselves - no travel agents, etc - so we need a place to keep track of everything - boarding passes, Expedia reservation print outs, itinerary, budgets and so on. Last year we had a old ISU folder and some blank sheets ripped out of a notebook, which worked all right mainly because we were in one place, accommodation-wise, the whole trip. We could always head back to the room, dig the folder out of the bag and find what we needed. It wasn't the most attractive method, but it worked well enough especially since we didn't have too many additional expenditures or travel once we were on the boat. But this trip was much different. We were going to be almost constantly on the move, so I wanted something that was more compact and easier to tote around with me…plus I've always wanted to make one of Pink Chalk's Note Takers, what better excuse to buy the pattern than I needed it for vacation, right?

Travel Document Note Taker - Inside

I actually ended up making the Notelet, holding a 5x7 notepad instead of the legal pad. It gave me a large, tight pocket to hold all our print-outs and train tickets (which were shipped to us in advance), a small pocket which ended up being a great place to stash my extra memory card since I nixed the idea of bring the whole camera bag & instead made my Travel Taxi bag, and of course, a pocket that fit a small notepad filled with notes on itinerary, budgets, etc.

It ended up being the perfect size, fitting nicely in my Travel Taxi bag with my Passport Wallet, DSLR, and glasses (and during flight, a book, kleenex and a crochet project). And as an added bonus I was able to use some of my favorite fabrics on a project for myself!

It held up well over the course of 9 days, so it should last a few more vacations - which is great because those mermaids make me happy, and very much say 'vacation' to me. There is a strong possibility that I may put it into regular rotation of use (after my current daily notebook & it's twin are used up) kinda like that passport wallet was after the cruise last fall. It's been my everyday wallet ever since…though I did notice while in Paris that it was getting a bit shabby - nothing compared to the Travel Taxi bag, who's seam at the bias trim ripped at two spots on our very first day!

I know, I know. That says more about my craftsmanship than the bag design itself, but like I said in its post, I do need more practice with the whole sewing thing. I definitely hit the sewing machine too infrequently to have the skills…and perhaps I should learn to not do rush jobs. I'm pretty sure these are lessons I've sworn to learn from before, hee hee.

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