Tinkering With Ideas #012: Travel without chaos

published2 months ago
2 min read

Hi Reader 👋 -

Happy Thursday. It's been a frantic week. I got a new tattoo on Monday. I have a dentist appointment today. I'm giving a presentation this afternoon. I finished a new eBook. And I'm trying to wrap up all client work before spring break next week. Whew.

1) Reflection:

Taking time off as a freelance writer requires some planning. For years, my vacations have revolved around the school calendar. Since I'm paid based on what I deliver, if I deliver nothing do I... not get paid for a week?

I've ended up taking slightly less work for the month overall and then doing slightly more work the week before and the week after. In reality, that's not much different than my 9-5 life. I spent years working for companies where there was no true "backup" for my work. While some things might be covered, others would pile up and be waiting for my return.

In reality, I don't hate this. I don't crave unplugging 100% for an entire week. I take breaks all the time, like taking a mental health day and not working. So I don't need the recharge time — it's more about stepping away and spending time with my family.

2) Product:

I'm kind of an insane planner and that extends to family vacations (who would have guessed?).

At least once a year we take a Big Trip and go somewhere new. When I was a kid, my family did the same and we explored many corners of this country. I wan to do the same with my kids. And also realize that I have a finite number of trips available before they leave the house. My oldest son is 13, which means there aren't a lot of trips left.

I use Notion to plan family trips. I have my bucket list of places to visit. And as I get closer to the trip, I start jotting down potential activities and linking to the websites of local attractions. I also prepare a travel budget since we don't have unlimited funds and traveling with a family of five can be expensive.

3) Tip:

Traveling with kids isn't exactly relaxing... it's parenting in another city. Where everyone is always complaining about being hungry or tired or asking "Are we there yet?"

My kids have always been very routine-based, so trips were a disaster. Finally, I got an idea to plan out, in writing, what we were going to do each day and give them a schedule.

It worked. Each kid now travels with a clipboard and a printed itinerary. Even though it isn't our normal schedule, they know what's coming. They know when they'll have screen time, and when we'll eat, and what time we'll leave the Airbnb in the morning.

Does it require more advance planning? Yes. Does it remove the spontaneity of travel? Also yes. But overall, it makes the trips much more manageable.

More Resources:

That's it for this issue of Tinkering! See you again in two weeks.


Anna Burgess Yang


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Anna Burgess Yang

I'm a workflow geek, remote work evangelist, and #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. I educate and equip people to take control of their time and energy, their money, the tools they use, and their careers. I also like naps.

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