We recently decided to take a trip to Oman. First question: how do we go about it? We generally try to work with someone local at least for guidance, ideally for putting the trip together. A longtime friend told us about a new formula: a network of travel minded people living locally in interesting locations. For a flat fee, they organize your trip, up to and including setting up the bookings - without actually booking - on Booking.com.
So we got in touch and agreed on a week-long 4x4 self-driving tour. Obviously, getting the details right and the travel schedule agreed up was a matter of many emails and many versions of the main document. While our liaison was Google-mapping out our itinerary, we had to collect the documents we needed: passports, driving licenses, both national and international, obtaining visas online etc., with proposals and new proposals and other changes for the hotels. The whole information heap got a bit more chaotic with each new email exchange. After a while, finding the right message with the right attachments and the right pre-booking became a minor nightmare, especially when we had to cut one day out of the schedule and everything had to move up one day, with a whole slew of new versions as a consequence.
As it was my lovely spouse doing most of the correspondence, I had not really been paying too much attention until we didn’t have any overview at all anymore. Then I did what I should have done in the first place: put all the relevant documents, including PDFs of the relevant emails, in a ZAZA.rocks bag, so that at least I would have a consistent set of documents with the right versions available while on our trip. To have everything available off-line, I even downloaded the bag, which can be nicely done in one fell swoop on the iPhone.
Looking back at the whole experience, what I REALLY should have done - and my sincere advice to you, prospective travellers - was to create a ZAZA.rocks bag at the very beginning of the process and share it with full upload/download rights with our liaison in Oman, so we could basically fill it up, read it and update it from both sides. If you take a look at our bag, you’ll see what I mean:
So, next time you take a trip, business or pleasure, make your life and that of your co-travelers a bit easier: put all the stuff together in a ZAZA.rocks bag and share it among all participants and organizers. Specify “Full Control” so everyone can update.
Now it’s one thing to organize yourself for your trip. Yet what would significantly improve the overall experience, is when it’s organized for you! Why can’t your travel agency offer you this easy solution from the get-go?
So, dear traveler, warm shoutout to send me a short PM (or leave a comment) with the name of your travel agency that would benefit from a solution like ZAZA.rocks - we will gladly reach out to them. After all, traveling is about relaxing and leaving your worries behind. Let’s pay it forward. Thank you!