Travel Design



    Each of us, no matter who he is and what he does, consciously or unconsciously uses the project approach in his life. Judge for yourselves, any material action is preceded by a plan, the ideological development of a future event. Whatever you are going to do, from the simplest action (making tea, washing floors, meeting a girl) to the difficult one (building a house, graduating from a university, writing a program), you create an action plan mentally or using confused means, such as ISS , WBS , Gantt charts (it all depends on the structural level of the project ). And as you know, planning- This is one of the fundamental aspects of the project approach. It follows that the project management methodology can be applied to almost any life situation, such as travel.

    The problem is which optimal methodology to choose for your project. It is clear that for the simplest actions it makes no sense to use the project approach, everything can be done in the mind. But what if the action requires more serious planning?

    In this article I want to conduct a simulation on the application of the project management methodology using the example of travel design. The fact is that almost all projects (regardless of type and scale) have a certain general structure at the initiation stage, that is, at the very beginning of the project. At the next stages, various methods are already being applied depending on the characteristics of the project. If you find and understand this common element, then project management from the field of something “only for advanced” will turn into a normal working tool available to everyone.

    The simulation is based on the example of a real trip that I want to make in the next 2 years. The project structure itself is as follows:
    • Idea.
    • Problems.
      In this case, the problems will be obstacles that must be overcome in order to complete the plan.
    • Decision.
    • Action strategy.

    UPD: Based on that small feedback from the article at the very beginning of its publication, I want to note that the idea of ​​this journey did not appear for the sake of writing the article. This idea has been ripening for a long time. It’s just that I wrote down all the information on this idea in a notebook (a notebook specially created for this - I’ve been filling it out for 2 years already). As they say, he did everything on his knee. The writing of this article served as an impetus for the systematization of the collected information and a description of those developments that appeared during the existence of the idea. The main purpose of this article is not to describe my trip as such, but to try to apply a design approach to travel .


    Take a trip to the Far East (Mongolia, China, Tibet, Nepal, India) 1 year long - 1.5 years. Objectives:
    • Get skills for extreme survival (part of the route should run through difficult terrain).
    • Visit major cities (Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo).
    • Soak on the beaches of Thailand.
    • Visit a couple of music festivals and hang out at some holiday in India.
    • To visit places in Russia that I had planned to visit for a long time (the Far East, Baikal, Altai, Sayan Mountains).
    • Well, it's over just to have a good time, which means having a travel plan, but without a rigid attachment to it is an element of improvisation :-)


    To implement the plan, it is necessary to clearly understand what range of problems (obstacles) must be solved for this.
    1. Define a route.
      • Checkpoints - places to visit.
      • Events are required to attend.
      • Program - a general description of the logic of travel.
      • Route map - a graphical representation of the route on the map.
      • Calendar is an approximate travel calendar.
    2. Define ways of transportation (plane, train, car).
      • Tickets
      • Cost
    3. Identify the necessary resources.
      • Determine the amount needed for travel.
      • Identify possible risks.
      • Essential Skills
      • Information system
    4. Determine the amount needed for travel.
      • How much is needed?
      • Where to get them?
      • How to store? (cash, cards)
    5. Identify possible risks.
      • Legal issues.
      • Health (vaccinations, insurance, etc.).
      • Security (hot spots, wiring, etc.)
    6. Essential Skills
      • Languages.
      • Survival in extreme situations
      • Hitchhiking Techniques
      • Street earnings
    7. Information system
      • The blog
      • Facebook
      • Twitter
      • Google Accaunt: gmail + maps + docs + calendar + reader

    Now, for each of these points, I need to collect information. I created a map in mind maps, to visually represent the problems of travel (problems are an interconnected tangle of problems). Directly to collect the information itself (links, articles, comments) I created a structured document in google docs (by the way, who wants to join the filling - click on the PM).


    The solution in this type of project will be to create a specific set of artifacts. In this case, an artifact is a kind of man-made object that reflects / describes some part of the work done on the project (documentation, program code, model, etc.). In this example, the following artifacts will be:
    • Route map.
      Map with designation of checkpoints, events, ways of movement.
      Tool: (here I sketched out the route of my trip especially for clarity). The advantage of this service is that you can export your route to google earth, and from there to google maps. This will allow you to use the route map on the phone with all the resulting bonuses.
    • Travel plan.
      Route + calendar: online calendars .
    • Financial plan.
      • Costings.
        The simplest cost estimate, which includes such items as accommodation, meals, transportation (air, rail, buses, car rental, etc.), equipment, visas, insurance, souvenirs, other expenses.
      • Ways to make money.
        - Earnings
        plan - Savings plan
    • Package list
      A list of things to take on the road.
    • A plan to master the necessary skills.

    Action strategy

    An action strategy is a non-detailed action plan for the implementation of the plan. This plan allows you to see an approximate order of actions that need to be done. In this case, it will be the following action plan:
    • Stage 1. Information gathering (disclosure of problems).
    • Stage 2. Creation of artifacts
      • Route
      • Plan
      • Package list
      • Financial plan
      • Skill Plan
    • Stage 3. Creation of a system of savings and earnings to ensure travel.
      • Accumulation of the necessary amount of money.
      • Saving
      • Alternative earnings.
    • Stage 4. Preparatory.
      • Equipment purchase
      • Buying / booking tickets.
    • Stage 5. Organizational.
      • Closing all accounts, debts, etc.
    • Stage 6. Packing the backpack and the latest preparations.
    • Stage 7. Farewell party
    • Stage 8. Departure -> travel plan

    Each of these tasks can be further divided into subtasks, and those in turn can be further divided into subtasks, and so on, to the level of specific actions.
    Tools: , (excellent service, the account can be linked to google calendar)

    So, having the action strategy in hand, you can develop a detailed plan for its implementation. But it is better to act gradually, for example, for the stages of collecting information and creating artifacts, you can allocate half an hour a day to a project. But already at the subsequent stages, when real actions begin, it is necessary to plan depending on the circumstances. And it is very desirable to set deadline - a certain deadline, so as not to delay the implementation of the plan.


    Here I tried to show by the example of travel that the design approach is applicable to ordinary life situations. Now I propose to discuss this topic: how can I implement the project approach on the Internet for personal projects? I have a solution and later I will voice it, but first I want to hear an opinion from the outside. And in general, check whether the implementation of such a service for managing personal projects is relevant. By the way, I note that personal projects can be transformed into collective ones. For example, you want to go not only to travel but as friends, but at the same time everyone is geographically scattered in different cities or countries in general. Moreover, by creating competent tools for personal projects, you can complicate it and adapt it for more complex projects. In a word, there is something to think about and something to discuss.

    PS Some of you may object and say what is the point of planning your trip so thoroughly, and where is the element of adventure, improvisation, some kind of spontaneity. Woody Allen once said that if you want God to laugh, tell him about your plans. But let's think for a second, planning gives you more information in fact. More information - more options. No one says that you need to be firmly attached to the travel plan. Fate just loves those who are accustomed to rely on their own strengths and conclusions, and not at random and Amen.

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