Asia 2018

Asia 2018

Japan  Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka
Korea —  Seoul
Singapore — Singapore 

Three weeks, three countries, three currencies, and three different power adaptors.

Whether it is design, or holidays I don’t do things by half. As a way to strengthen my print skills, get more excited about my upcoming trip, and a beautiful way to journal my trip I decided to create an over-the-top itinerary.

Why Japan, Korea and Singapore?

I had been to Japan two years previously and immensely enjoyed the trip, but still felt there was so many beautiful places left to explore. My interest in visiting Korea has continued to grow since completing my It Gets Worse project that details the horrors of North Korea in a touch activated book. Whilst already being in Asia, it felt like a great excuse to swing by Singapore on the way home to catch up with a few friends who had recently moved there.

The process

I had created an itinerary for my 2016 trip to Japan but it was simple in comparison. I began researching and putting together a plan much the same way as before. After working on it a couple weeks I decided to take the time and make this a beautiful, but functional piece of design. One that could could give me all the information I needed if I had lost my phone, and act as a way to properly document my trip. I set out to make the book as functional and as beautiful as I could.

The front of the book includes information I believed I would use most regularly:

  • A page with basic phrases in Japanese and Korean
  • Currency and time conversion information
  • Gift document page to detail who I bought gifts for, and what they were
  • Checklists of food items, and products (re. skincare) I wanted to buy/try

Then came the itinerary pages. Each day was a different colour to easily distinguish between them. The pages listed information and images/screenshots that I needed for flights, accommodation, my passport and contact information, and attraction bookings. On top of the crucial information, it laid out a general flow for the day of locations I wanted to visit and places to go.

An addition which was more helpful than I originally thought were bound envelopes at the back. These envelopes could house printed articles, like tickets, flyers, receipts, etc.

When it came to printing, I decided upon a B5 size to give myself enough space for writing, without it being cumbersome to carry around each day. Printing it in matte, and using spiral binding made the book more pen friendly, durable, give myself maximum use of the page, and allow me to hold a pen in the spiral.

How did it work out?

The itinerary worked perfectly. It allowed me to make the very most of my days and at no point struggle with what to do next. Despite what seems like a rigid schedule, I made sure to allow room for flexibility and was not overly committed to things that were planned. This was even more the case due to travelling solo.

One unexpected surprise was I could use the bound envelopes at the back as a canvas for souvenir stamps that are widespread in their use across Japan and Korea, and stickers. Whilst not originally my intention, the book also acted as a great travel diary, as I made sure to keep notes of everything, even as it resulted in messy scrawls across the manicured pages.

Improvements to make for next time:

  • Giving myself more room to write
  • No need to include directions to particular places. I found the information often redundant, as I often wasn’t travelling from the place I had imagined when I created the book
  • Include a few additional blank pages

I received many compliments about the book whilst overseas, and since I have returned home. When family and friends ask for travel recommendations, it is incredibly handy to send them a PDF version. This itinerary allowed me to create an incredibly precious publication that holds a lot of memories from a very special trip for me.

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