Destination known – planning with Google

This is my set-up (aka strategy) for planning for destinations when I travel by car (note I did not say train – but some of this I use if on the rare occasion I need to go by train).

Use laptop for following (a few days or months before):

  1. Final destination – full address and postcode must be found or known beforehand.  If not, I locate by latitude and longitude using Google Maps.
  2. Find a Hotel – search via website/s e.g. Premier Inn using above postcode.
    1. Compare prices using sites such as www.booking.com (note the words ‘such as’).
    2. Check customer reviews – very important as some hotels have serious problems, like roaches and body fluids on beds.
    3. If no breakfast included in hotel price, find suitable place such as Toby Carvery nearby, which can work for dinner as well. [This does not mean I’m a fan or favour Toby Carvery, I could equally eat from a KFC, MacDonalds or any old breakfast shed!].
    4. On many occasions I call up the preferred hotel to see if they can give me a better deal.
    5. Purchase  suitable hotel stay online or over the phone and ask for email confirmation. [There’s a separate plan for ‘hotels’ – may publish at some point in the future].
  3. Estimate time , distance and cost (tdc) using Google maps, for route from home to hotel.
  4. Locate nearby parking near hotel and final destination with Google maps and note address and route (using shortlinks).
  5. Check walking routes and save shortlinks in Google Cal – which is automatically synced to phone.
  6. Use Streetview as needed – no point getting there and wasting time getting lost.
  7. Get Google map shortlinks for:
    1. Home to Hotel – tdc
    2. Hotel to final destination – tdc
    3. Hotel to significant others e.g. friends/ relatives – tdc for each
    4. Enter all the above in Google Calendars
  8. Convert any National rate numbers to landline numbers on www.saynoto0870.com, then
  9. Update Contacts on Gmail for all destinations, with addresses, landline numbers, and weblinks. This syncs automatically to phone via internet.

Using phone on morning of departure,

  1. Use TomTom app on my phone to select destination – and hit GO! [Remember that data would have been synced to phone – errrh phones are now used as SatNavs for those who don’t know].

Screenshot_2013-09-21-14-53-17

That left is actually a screenshot from TomTom running on my phone. [Idiots are now biting their nails cuz they’re wondering how I’m gonna use the phone for an incoming call. Errrh.. there is a thing called ‘handsfree’ via bluetooth to my ‘super space age’ car..ooo..ooooooh….’such a show off’ – I heard you think it! And no – I don’t have the phone in one hand and steering wheel in the other. There is a thing that holds the phone – I think it’s called a car mount or sumik. I couldn’t be bothered what it’s called! Chrysst!

Time savings:

It’s actually better to spend 20 – 30 mins doing all the above instead of losing maybe double that time due to poor planning. On setting off on a journey one should be relaxed and confident that all is packed and that you know your route. I use Note Everything to create re-useable lists for journeys.

Right – some idiot is about to say that the above is goobledeegook. Like in 2001, I was speaking amongst a bunch of professionals and happened to say, “You just Google it” – something or the other they were talking about. At the end of the session, I was told sternly to stop using jargon – that people did not understand what I was saying. I was totally confused. So I enquired. I was told that nobody knew what ‘Google it’ meant.

Well, TOUGH! The rest of the world will have to play catch up. Tough if you think I’m being patronising or arrogant – if you do,  I think in return that you enjoy a camaraderie of fools and dimwits somewhere or the other. Now bugger off!

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