Quote of the day : planning a trip

“I am obsessed with planning travel! Not just traveling, which I love, but the whole planning process and all the details that go into it. I subscribe to all these travel blogs and airline forums and research hotels and activities and destinations for hours on end. And I volunteer to plan trips for everyone I know.” – Lauren Weisberger.

Leaving Saint-Tropez by ferry just as the sun is starting to set… a coincidence? Not if, like me, you look up at what time sunset starts and take a ferry just around that time… just because you want to see a Saint-Tropez sunset in its full glory!


I actually do not believe this is a quote from Lauren Weisberger… this is definitely a quote that has my name written all over it! Really and truly… and I will tell you why…

First of all let me take you back to the beginning of the good old nineties… when I started college… I studied ‘Management, Tourism and Recreation’ and I really loved these studies… I put a lot of hard work in my thesis (which I nailed if I may say so…) and I enjoyed my internship at a travel agency.

I have never worked in the travel industry though, but the love for the tourist industry has never ever died! So whenever we go on a holiday I put into practice what I have learned at college that many years ago… which means that I will rarely do a trip unprepared!

I do research in travel guides and on TripAdvisor, I’m searching Google Maps to see what other interesting things can be found in our holiday destination, I calculate travel times between different cities we want to visit, I’m finding out where the car parks are, I’m looking up restaurants (even search their menus!). I’m checking the opening hours of museums, I’m sussing out the events page of the city/area we will be visiting,… I make sure our travel documents are in order, I copy our ID’s and other important stuff, I make several lists of what to pack and what to do before departure, I print out walks,…

I spend hours and hours of planning and organising and I love every single minute of it… it’s half of the fun of travelling in my opinion!

We wanted to visit Pont du Gard… but  we waited until 6pm to visit the site… first in full light and a bit later we were treated to this light show… a coincidence? I don’t think so!!

But mind you, I will always leave room for surprises as I don’t want to be too stuck on a planning. I will always have more things in mind than we can actually do during our weekend break or holiday, just to make sure that we’ve got plenty of options to choose from.

When we are on a longer holiday, I put my information in a folder. We decide each evening what we want to do the next day and we let our moods and/or the weather help us make that decision. And then of course it is ever so practical to take my folder to see which different options we’ve got 🙂

My husband loves how I’m always prepared for everything and people who I’ve done trips with have made me compliments like that one time when we visited Saint-Tropez and Port Grimaud and we were accompanied by my friend and her two little kids… she actually said : “well… I’ve been to this place years on end with my parents, but I have never ever seen it like I did today.”

I must say I am pretty good at this planning… we rarely have bad surprises during our trips (an income price that is way more than what we expected, a museum that’s closed, an exhibition that has been cancelled, a restaurant that’s been shut down, visiting a fab place but ending up driving around for hours finding a car park just to be frustrated and angry in the car as you head back to your hotel,…).


This fab Japanese garden at Clingendael Park near The Hague is open for only a couple of weeks a year… If you really want to visit it and you didn’t pay attention to the opening times, you could be in for a bad surprise… but not me!

Some of you may find all this planning too much, some of you  may not feel like putting the time and effort in it or some of you may think it takes away the spontaneity out of a vacation. Of course you’ve got every right to think that way… but believe me, you’ll get so much more out of your holiday if you do some research in advance!

Do you like to plan your trips or do you just go with the flow and take the setbacks as they come? Tell me in the comments!

Love, Kathleen

Do you want help with planning your next time? Just give me a shout!

Fireworks at my holiday destination? I will know where to be at what time 🙂


6 thoughts on “Quote of the day : planning a trip

  1. I also enjoy the planning! Planning the trip, looking out for nice and interesting places is already making and enjoying the trip for me. Especially in winter, when looking forward to all those marvellous and stupendous places to go to! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If it’s a big trip, I plan a lot, just like you. That doesn’t mean I have a fixed schedule in my mind that we have to keep, but it just makes it easier to choose what to do without losing too much time. So like you, I’m all for planning ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

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