In my previous post, I had calculated how far I had traveled last year. I didn’t pull those numbers out of thin air- the internet has several tools that can make tracking your travels easy to do.
My favorite tracking website is Flightmemory. This website allows you to track not only how far and where you’ve gone on flights, but other details like what seat you sat in; the registration number of the plane; whether it was a leisure or business trip; and other details. It also includes on a summary page fun facts like how many times you’ve circled the earth or how far you’ve gone to the moon or the sun. This is what my Flightmemory page looks like. The site is also available in over 30 languages and includes nearly every airport in the world.
Unfortunately for train travel, no such handy tracker exists. In the US, you can look up the mileage of a trip via the Amtrak timetables. It’s a bit unwieldy and you’ll need pencil and paper to write everything down and add it together. But at least you can get an accurate measurement of distance this way. This technique will work for non-US trains as well, since most rail companies should have timetables available.
For car trips, Mapquest is a good tool for US trips to get an approximate mileage estimate. Most cars also have a trip odometer that can be used to track mileage.
In the case of a cruise I took last year, I couldn’t find anything that listed the distance covered. So, I used Daft Logic’s Google Maps Distance Calculator to find the distances between the ports the ship sailed into. It works by putting pins in the locations you’ve been to and then measuring the distances between the pins. This is a good tool to use to get an estimate if you can’t find the info any other way but you know about where you’ve been.
For the ski-lift numbers, I kept a map of the ski resort and figured out the numbers that way. Holding onto maps and brochures is a good way to keep track of hiking, biking, mass-transit and other such distances that are hard to calculate on a normal map.
Finally, the appearence of GPS devices in things like car navigation systems and iPhones is making it easier to track your travel precisely- down to feet or meters- regardless of the mode of travel. GPS also makes it possible to track travel with more then just a map. Attaching a GPS device to a camera means that you will know the exact location that you took a particular picture. It is also easy to upload the data and share it with others. The website GPSed.com allows users to upload tracks, photos and geotagging info online to share with others or for their own personal use.
If you have a favorite tracking tool, feel free to share it in the comments.