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What do you do if you can't plan?

Travel Forums General Talk What do you do if you can't plan?

1. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Respected Member 348 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

This is a take-off on the 'wrap your head around' travel style topic.

If you plan everything, and suddenly you are in a place that you didn't plan for, what do you do?

I was thinking about this because my daughter who lives in Miami is an airline pilot. She was working the flight from Miami to Paris that left Thursday and was to come back Friday. The PTB told her to stay in Paris until Monday. So she's had three unexpected extra days in Paris. I do not know how she decided what to do (I'll ask her sometime). What she did...

Day 1 - figured out how to use the train to get to Chantilly
Day 2 - Did a bike tour of Versailles.
Day 3 - Went to Reims and saw the Basilica and toured three wineries. Then couldn't figure out how to get back by train so she used the bus.

In the old days, before the internet, I would just go to the train ticket office or travel agency and ask (or I would ask the left luggage guy who sometimes gave me better information). It took a lot of time to physically go from one place to the other. Now, I look things up on my phone. But I wonder if I'm not losing something by doing it that way.

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Sep-2017, at 16:02 by greatgrandmaR ]

2. Posted by Teoni (Full Member 192 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

To be fair I have never found myself in that situation in a big city, my unplanned stops are mostly in small towns so my first move is to go straight to the centre of town. You can catch the sights but also I find the tourist information centres are usually there. Of course with internet you can Google things, my go to is always Google Maps to see what is around the area.

Once I made an unplanned stop at a National Park that was an internet black spot and no form of information centre, there was an information board and I took a photo of the map on the board, though it was a very basic map. The only thing I could do was drive around and read every sign to figure out what was what. In the end we had a good time, did a walk, checked out a little waterfall and watched a family of wallabies with their joeys poking their head out of the pouch.

I think rather than losing the internet adds to your resource choice. In Australia there are a lot of remote areas where there is no one to ask and when you're in countries where your knowledge of their language is limited and their knowledge of your language is non existent the internet can help fill those gaps.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Sep-2017, at 16:42 by Teoni ]

3. Posted by goodfish (Budding Member 104 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Flip a coin. Heads, go left. Tails, go right.

4. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Respected Member 348 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting goodfish

Flip a coin. Heads, go left. Tails, go right.

LOL

Time wise, I have done the majority of my traveling before the internet because I have lived longer pre-internet than post-internet. I don't think I used the internet for planning until 1996. Even if you only count from when I was 10, that is 48 years pre-internet and only 21 after.

5. Posted by king_golo (Full Member 50 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Often the unplanned things lead to the most interesting discoveries. I would thus consider myself a person who doesn't like planning everything. I do make a long list of places that seem to be interesting before my trips, based on a lot of research both online and offline, but I never attempt to see all on this list. Instead, I love getting diverted to unplanned places and sometimes come across the most interesting places. In Wales, one of these was the wonky church of Cwmyoy and the ruins of Llanthony Priory. In France, we suddenly came across the majestic church of St-Père near the much more famous village of Vézelay. In Estonia, a local recommended visiting Taevaskoja which was worth the trip much more than what else we did on the same day. There are thousands of things to be discovered everywhere, so it's best to get lost. Concerning Paris or other big cities: try to walk away from the main tourist routes and you'll see a completely different city.

6. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Respected Member 348 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

Quoting king_golo

Often the unplanned things lead to the most interesting discoveries. I would thus consider myself a person who doesn't like planning everything. ... There are thousands of things to be discovered everywhere, so it's best to get lost. Concerning Paris or other big cities: try to walk away from the main tourist routes and you'll see a completely different city.

I think this would be a good idea if you were traveling by yourself and did not have responsibility for anyone else. I haven't traveled by myself since 1964. I am always the one who plans the trip and whether it is a grandchild or my husband, I do not have the freedom to just get lost. My husband would be annoyed if I did, and with a grandchild - it would depend on the child how that would work. Some children are completely passive and just let me bumble along, and some will take charge.

I have on occasion said to a grandson something like "I am not sure how to get back to our hotel." (because when we left the hotel we apparently turned the wrong way and took the long way around). And he know the direct way back to the hotel. If necessary we could have retraced our steps, but we didn't have to do that.

I have tried to let the grandchildren have some responsibility. I know that when I was 10 or 12 and traveling with my parents, my mother made us read the maps and find how far it was to the next town (if we were driving), or we had to tell her what subway train to take and where to get off to get back to our hotel. She pretended that we were helping her to do this, so we were proud of our accomplishments. But I'm sure that she knew already without our "help"

7. Posted by Teoni (Full Member 192 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

I think this would be a good idea if you were traveling by yourself and did not have responsibility for anyone else.

That is very true, unless you are lucky to have a companion that has similar circumstances to yourself you generally have to take into account your comapnions' needs and wants, otherwise you might end the trip one less friend:(

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Sep-2017, at 21:33 by Teoni ]