Lord help me, I’ve become the digital age version of my mother. When we went on trips as kids mom had The Envelope. This was the life line of the trip. Above all else the envelope was to be protected. And no one besides mom was to touch it. What looked to the untrained eye like random papers stuffed into a large manila envelope was actually an extensively researched and organized dossier for the mission.
The AAA Trip Ticks – remember those artifacts from the pre Google, Garmin & smart phone days? The days when maps were paper trick puzzles that could never be folded back to their original form. The AAA Trip Tick was clean and simple and customized. Before our trips mom would make an expedition to the AAA office. She’d have a nice long chat with the person behind the counter about where we were going and what we wanted to do.
They would assemble a customized map for the trip. A series of thin rectangular map segments selected for our journey, spiral bound together with the route marked in bright highlighter. We would mark our progress by pages flipped in the Trip Tick.
The Trip Ticks’ companions were the AAA guide books. The nice person behind the counter provided the guidebooks to correspond with the Trip Tick journey. They were master pieces of essential travel information – a little blurb about a town or attraction, listings for food, for accommodations, other points of interest. Mom’s were thick with paperclips marking the pages of preferred hotels and restaurants. But she was ready to pivot. If something was closed or full, the AAA guidebook always provided a viable alternative.
The manila folder was rounded out by her own research, newspaper and magazine clippings on each stop along the way. And once the interwebs came online, print outs of articles and information from websites.
My Digital Road Trip Manila Envelope
I realized I am creating my digital version of mom’s manila folder for my upcoming road trip.
I’ve recreated the AAA guide book with Google maps. For each target destination I’ve tagged everything I need – places to stay, places to eat, coworking spaces (a very digital age need), things to do. Each category has it’s own icon and color. And they have a nifty box for notes, links to websites – the digital equivalent of the guide book marginal notes & clipping in newspaper clippings.
Pinterest is my collection of clippings. A board for each location. Articles on food, places, history, cool stuff to do. Oh the joy of information at my fingertips!
The Garmin & Waze are the highlighters marking the roads.
I don’t have the nice person behind the counter giving me guidance. I do have many nice people on the Facebook giving me information and recommendations. Everyone has something they love about a place. One of the things I love about the digital age is the ability to connect with such a broad range of people. I love the hive mind.
I am the digital version of my mom’s road trip nerdism and ounce of preparation makes for a pound of fun.