Planning a Trip to Australia? Mind Map It!

Photo courtesy of Tourism Western Australia
Inside Australia(Lake Ballard, Western Australia) sculpture installation. *

In this post, I want to describe my travel planning process for a particular trip and a neat technique for getting all this organized.

After choosing where and when to travel, the next steps are to figure out the budget and what to actually do upon arrival. Buying a plane ticket is certainly easy these days, but filling the time in the selected place (or places) can be more difficult. With so many things to remember, it’s easy to get frustrated and forget things.

I’m planning a 2 week trip to Western Australia. We have figured out our budget, we bought the airline tickets, and now we need an actual itinerary.

What to Do and Where to Go?

We want to swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, see the Inside Australia Installation, do some wine tasting, and see Perth. We had to figure out how to get to all these places, where to stay, how many days to stay in one place, how to book tours. Getting a handle on all the parts that needed booking and organizing were eluding me.

It was a bit of a jumbled mess. Help!!!

Then I remembered a creative visual technique called Mind Mapping. From Wikipedia: “A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole. It is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.”

It’s been used in education, business, research and the arts for many purposes.

Theme: Travel Planning 

A few minutes with the colored pencils and I had the parts of my travel to-do list mapped out.  Categories in bubbles around the center. Places and activities radiate off the bubbles.


Transport, Hotels, Air, Activities, Tours, Clothes were the main categories that I thought of first. I could list the various items in each category that needed to be booked. This process was pretty quick and I easily got all my ideas onto the paper.

Then I turned the bubbles into outline headings, the activities under each bubble making a nice To-Do List.


Next I made a Daily List and plugged in what reservations and/or activities would be needed each day. I could also list the various places to go that wouldn’t necessarily need reservations. A calendar can also be useful to write in the days of the trip and what’s happening each day.

The Mind Map got me well-organized in the travel planning process and I will definitely use this technique again. Let me know if you used it and how it went for you!

* This person is contemplating his mind map in the dry lake bed.


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