Learn how I plan a train journey from London to Tbilisi

Look Over My Shoulder

Stage 5: Gather Logistics Information

This is Part 5 of a series of articles walking you through my travel planning process—from barely an idea to reservations and actual travel. I recommend reading the articles in order:
Stage 1: Introduction & the Dreaming/Brainstorming Stage
Stage 2: Solidifying My Goals
Stage 3: Building a Skeleton Itinerary
Stage 4: Testing My Budget

Now that I have decided where, when, and why to travel, built a skeleton itinerary, and made sure I could afford it all, I am ready to begin collecting detailed information to help my journey run smoothly.

Travel Logistics Title Image==montage of passport, currrency, evisa banner

Since I am visiting so many different countries, it would be useful to know (and keep track of) basic information about each one:

  • What visas, if any, are required and how to arrange them.
    • In my case, several of the countries are in the Schengen Immigration zone
    • Websites where I can apply for e-visas or download required forms
  • Any other travel documents that may be required
    •  Now we will need proof of our COVID vaccinations

Some countries require proof of “onward travel,” so they know you don’t have plans to overstay your visa. You can learn different ways to prove onward travel in this excellent article.

  • Currency used and the exchange rate
    • Becoming familiar with the exchange rate in advance gives me the opportunity to come up with a way to convert prices to US dollars quickly in my head.
    • I usually get currency as I arrive in a new country—at the airport or train station.
  • Language spoken and alphabet used
    • Eventually, I will collect a few key phrases in the local language. People appreciate it when you make even a meager attempt to speak their language.
    • Becoming familiar with the alphabet makes it a little bit easier to read signs.

I created another spreadsheet to keep track of this kind of information. Eventually, I plan to cut and paste this data into my main planning document (which I started in the skeleton itinerary). The spreadsheet looks something like this:

Sample of my logistics spreadsheet

I like having all this information in one place. But, if I wanted to, I could gather all this information as I do my in-depth travel planning which I will talk about in my next post.

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