(Forgetting a Birthday because you were chilling on the beach, is not going to cut it.)
It’s common for backpackers to forget what day of the week it is, but forgetting your Nan’s birthday is out of the question.
It can be tough when travelling around to forget these simple dates, that’s why it’s important to come up with a system that works and to show those who are close around you that you’re thinking about them whilst on the road.
Not to worry! Travel Dave to the rescue, over the years I’ve created a system that works well and will ensure that you will never forget an important birthday, anniversary or important seasonal holiday ever again.
iCal or Outlook
For Mac users, iCal, for Windows user Outlook or Google calendar, they all work in the same and will do the trick, perfectly.
I have a terrible memory and will always forget dates and ages, that’s why it’s important to put in a system so you don’t forget forever!
First of all, Write down all the names of those close to you. Write down there Birthday and year of birth (this is important so you don’t miss out on any big dates such as the big “50”) And then check an online calendar with a list of national holidays, this is so you can jot down, “mothers day”, “Fathers Day” and other important dates you should make sure you don’t forget.
Then one by one, place each person into your digital calendar of choice, I use iCal, So I’ll use this app for my example.
(It’s easy to set reminders and takes no time at all to set up, once its done, its done for life)
As you can see, (I’m using my Uncle Rob as an example) I’ve placed in his year of birth, this prompts his age, so I don’t miss out on important anniversaries such as turning “40”. I also select “repeat all events” so it replicates this date into future years, only have to do it once then. I then add this event to a calender group called:“Birthdays”, this keeps it in sync so I only have to do it once and will go into the my iCloud account and will move to any future devices I have. Simple!
I have added this date with an Alert message of one week in advance, this will give me enough time to put together a card/gift so I’m not in a rush. This will also activate a pop up on my MacBook Air and iPhone to alert me its coming up so I don’t forget, the more options for this the less chance you will forget.
It’s important to never forget, don’t be a lazy backpacker!
Following the calendar system recently saved my bacon on Mothers day. Mother’s day in the UK is on another date around the world and only Ireland, UK and Nigeria have Mothers day on an alternative date. Being in Thailand I didn’t notice any signs that Mothers day was coming up, Luckily for me I got a iCal reminder and everything was all set and in place (as well as a nice reminder the day before from my Gran as well to ensure I didn’t have a disappointed mum) it all worked out very well.
But What about posting a gift or card? Isn’t that expensive abroad?
I have a little secret to unlock
When you are abroad, you can still order goods online in the UK to be delivered in the UK for free.
No need to buy something for example, in Thailand and then send it over to the UK, if I did this for each member of my family for every Birthday and national holiday It would cost me a small fortune!
(Funky pigeon allows you to order cards abroad to be delivered in the UK they even have an easy to use iPhone app too!)
For an affordable price you can source a card, add a personal picture/message and sign it online, Post it off to any UK address and never forget a Birthday card again.
This service is fantastic for travellers as you can use this service from any location around the world and use PayPal to pay for the card.
The cost to do this abroad with postage will soon add up, you can also add credit for multiple cards to save a little extra, I order all my cards on the Funky Pigeon iPhone app and pay with PayPal which makes the process super easy!
The cards are very nice as well and the delivery service allows you to choose the date it will be sent and you can add a little note such as “Don’t open before marked date”, you will never miss a delivery again, top service!
I personally use this service a lot, happy to recommend them. If you plan on using Funky Pigeon, feel free to use my affiliate code, by visiting Funky Pigeon and using the friend referral code: 64169250 to gain 25% off your first order, enjoy!
Create a Video Message with Fiverr
Why don’t you create a video, this can be a great way of showing how much you care and you can get some of the locals or your new friends you’ve made to join in and help create it as well, can be great fun and adds a lovely touch to the occasion.
(Lots of Birthday message option on Fiverr, check it out!)
You can also order fun birthday messages on Fiverr. With one search you can locate thousands of people around the world willing to create a special birthday message. Best to order this with a few days to spare as it normally takes 3 days for an order to be completed. You can scan the birthday message section and find a fun video idea very easily.
As an example, one guy can create a birthday message with any name of your choice as Elvis, how fun!
Again, this is a service I use rather frequently and Happy to refer them, if you would like to try Fiverr you can use this link to get your first $5 gig for free, enjoy!
Skype is free and you can even pay a small amount to call any landline in the UK, it’s very cost effective, just make sure you check your time zone before you call, don’t want to wake up the birthday boy/girl!
Amazon Gift Cards
Last minute and forgot? Not to worry Amazon have an Email voucher service, you can head on over to Amazon and purchase a gift voucher that can then be sent via email instantly, you can then create a personal digital card which you can add pictures too as well to make it more personal.
Amazon delivery and gift wrapping
My last tip is my favorite one and its very useful at Christmas time.
Often as I’m frequently travelling I’m sometimes unable to come back for Christmas. This doesn’t mean I should avoid buying gifts for everyone, that’s not an excuse. Lucky for me there is Amazon. Rather than going out to the shops, buying gifts for each person, wrapping them up, then paying stupid amounts from where I am to post these gifts back to the UK then asking someone nicely to hand them out to each person, I simply do this:
Add all my family and friends address to Amazon, Over the year if I spot something on Amazon they might like, I add the item to my Amazon Wish list, I then, 3 weeks before Christmas (beating the delivery rush and Cyber Monday) Order each item and assign personal addresses, select the Gift option, Add a personal message, Opt for free Amazon Prime Delivery, Select Additional gift Wrap and then click send.
That easy and that simple! I’ve been doing this for many years and works without fail.
Rather than doing all the extra leg work, I can find gifts over the year that they generally want rather than going clueless into a shop and buying something they might not want just because I’m short on time. it’s more thoughtful this way and you don’t need to store the gift all year round, the Amazon warehouse will store it for you until its Christmas time, the perfect option for backpackers.
It’s more personal, saves me a lot of time and is cost effective too, as the postage is all covered and normally Amazon has competitive prices anyway its a win win.
There you go! That’s how you sort out Christmas, anniversaries and never miss a birthday, even if you are travelling this is no excuse, create a system that’s both cost effective, works for you and adds that special touch to show you care.