“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.
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!
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,…).
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!
Do you want help with planning your next time? Just give me a shout!