Betty hates the word “bespoke,” because it’s overused by smug architect types. But I can’t call this thing “homemade,” because that implies excesses of scrapbooking, when it’s actually just this:
First, the rationale: When I worked for the Travel Company That Shall Not Be Named, the ideology was to take an Exacto knife and cut out parts of the book that researchers wouldn’t be visiting. Since these books were generally 500 pages and heavy as a brick, any weight to not have to lug around all day, every day, was a good thing.
The problem, of course, is that half a book wants to lose pages over weeks of use, and I’d often end up with a mess of loose sheets containing critical information. But I still like the idea of taking only what I need. Here’s how I did it.
For my upcoming trip to Dutch Princess School–and the week beforehand, where I’ll be touring far-flung parts of the Netherlands–I pulled a list of a few locations I’ll be visiting. (None of which, it’s worth mentioning, are covered by the TCTSNBN.) The ingredients that went into this book are:
- An 8” mini-binder Russell & Hazel notebook with various inserts and folders to hold loose pages and an oversized rubber band to keep it together
- Maps from a Dutch cycling atlas ordered from an online Dutch bookstore that ships to the States
- A few pages of sites and restaurants from good guidebooks, but no hotel listings (since those are booked already)
The notebook is small enough to fit in my favorite purse (since I don’t believe in taking “travel purses,” “travel dresses,” or other monstrosities). I can open the binder up and walk around with only the pages I need for the day, including the cycling maps for when I’ll be biking. Between this and my my tricked-out iPhone, I’ll have everything I need for international travel to places I’ve never been before.