I love planning and researching travel opportunities. Ok, lets start again. I LOVE to travel. No one has to ask me twice about going on a trip. In fact, I have been known to invite myself on trips that I hear about!!
I get almost as much joy out of planning as I do in going on the actual trip. That’s not crazy, right?? It feeds the anticipation of the trip for me!! This works out well for my busy travel companions (husband, family and friends) who benefit from this research. I feel that if I am going somewhere, I want to make the most of it. So the days spent researching provide options, if not actual reservations, some main stream, and some quirky or “off the beaten path”. Would you call this controlled spontaneity?
What goes into planning a trip? I spend time on-line, buy travel guides, and pick anyone’s brain that has traveled there before me! These are just some of the questions I ask:
- Can I use airline miles to but my tickets
- How light can we traveling,
- What currencies are needed,
- What languages spoken,
- Are there any helpful apps (language, currency conversion, maps, etc.),
- What are the costs,
- How much time is required,
- What are the things we would like to do (snorkeling, hiking, shopping, eating, etc.),
- What is the fitness or energy level required for various activities.
For example, our next BIG trip we are going on soon has been in the works for more than a year. For everyone that has had to listen to me talk about this, I apologize and thank you for being patient. This trip includes a whirlwind self-driving tour of New Zealand (in only 9 days which is a ridiculously short period of time!!), flying to Sydney, Australia for 1.5 days, then boarding a cruise ship and cross the Pacific Ocean, stopping at a few island nations and ending in Seattle, Washington. This is the biggest trip we have ever been on and I have been doing my homework.
The trip has essentially two components – the land tour in New Zealand and Australia (which is on our own) and the cruise. For both components I need to research each country and decide on the key places to see. However, for the tour of New Zealand, I have to weave sites together in an easily drivable, scenic and enjoyable format.
For New Zealand, I felt pretty comfortable driving on the left side of the road, I rented an automatic so that shifting doesn’t complicate issues and I familiarized myself with the traffic signs and road courtesies. I actually took an on-line road test! Hubby does most of the driving though (yes, I made him take the test too!). My job is to be on-point with my navigation and know what our options are each day!! This minimizes stress and maximizes our enjoyment (no pressure, right, but I am up for the task!).
As an aside, I have warned my husband that 1.5 days in Sydney does not check Australia off our list! So what’s on your bucket list of places to go and things to see?? Are you a planner or a more spontaneous soul?? Whichever you are, pack your bags and go somewhere!