Travel Forums General Talk Planning

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1. Posted by Old Man At (Budding Member 49 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Just out of curiousity, do you plan your trips ahead or just go with the flow?

I see people in the forum planning trips for a year or look for travel buddies for a trip months ahead. Which is cool, no offense intented, but I just sorta had a sketchy idea where to go and a few weeks before my intented leave, just got bored one morning, packed a few boxers, turned off the electricity and left.

I am booking my tickets, hotels and visas on the fly and just stay at places till I am bored. And I am wondering are there more like me out there or am I the only idiot who does that. Love to hear from you.

2. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 907 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I would love to be able to just pack my bags and leave when i feel like it but unfortunately i have to plan ahead because of my work..
Mostly i look the weather before hand and somethings to do there where i am going but dont book any activity before hand but go with the flow then when i am there :)

3. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

It depends where I'll be going and how long I can go for.

A long weekend staying in Europe requires zero planning and almost zero prior research as I can do that online when I get to a hotel/coffee shop etc, especially if I'm driving rather than flying (but a little research/knowledge on road laws and toll roads helps).
Although a quick check that there isn't a major event on that would cause problems with accommodation etc is something I'll do before packing.

For Long Haul/Longer periods I still do very little planning but lots of research.
From simple stuff like knowing what Visa I need for country 'A' and would it be easy to get a visa for the neighbouring countries of 'B', 'C; and 'D'.
Also what accommodation I can expect in various major cities/towns/areas and what the main sites are to see in the area. I may never get to some cities/towns but spend more time in others as I'll see stuff others often don't when they just pass through on-route to another place...

So for long term travel I'd recommend research but only rough outline planning, for when you get bored where you are.

4. Posted by FleurdeLiz (Budding Member 33 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I wish I can do that but I'm meticulous about the place so I wanna be a little prepared.
Plus there's my job to consider which only allows me 3 weeks to be on leave and broken into days.
And of course the budget so I cannot enjoy the plunge of taking any day to travel.
I plan ahead doing research. pre-booking the flight and hotel one- three months prior because I also wanna see the surrounding area so I'd know what to expect upon touch down.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Nov-2018, at 08:04 by FleurdeLiz ]

5. Posted by LeeXee0819 (Budding Member 37 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I would love to do that someday.

But not at this point where I dont have the luxury of time and money.

I usually have a maximum of 2 weeks of annual leave per year and the rest will be unpaid.

So I will normally set a budget (which always burst) and plan the route, accommodation, transportation and everything.

6. Posted by Dymphna (Respected Member 223 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

My trips are always long haul. I don't like going places without reservations because I don't know what is happening along the way. Example was when I drove to Ohio with my daughter and her friend. I had been driving all day 7am - midnight to get to Des Moines, Iowa. Only to find out that there was some kind of sports tournament going on and finding an open room in my price range was going to be hard. It was about 1 or 1:30 before we were in a room and I had another 800 miles the next day to do. (They were too young to help drive.)

Typically my trips are also short and I want to get in as much as possible. I am looking at Miami with my granddaughter somewhere around April. We have already picked out places we want to go see.

7. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1785 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I started uberplanning because my mother was in poor health and I needed to give her contact information. After she died, the planning was just a habit. We go for a month or more and like to rent a cottage in the country (or apartment in a city on occasion) and the ones that cost less but are still very nice need to be booked in advance. They go quickly. I research where to get groceries and get an idea of what sights are within driving distance (we lease a car unless we're in a city). We don't plan day by day. We just have a list of things to see and do, get up each morning, check the weather and choose something from the list . . . or not depending on our mood that day.

Therefore, the getting there and staying part is well planned in advance. The what we do when we're there part is very flexible. Not sure we could just pick up and leave because we have a cat and someone has to take care of her when we're not here. She's not a traveling cat . . .

8. Posted by Old Man At (Budding Member 49 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

A travelling cat lol.

I realize I am in a luxery position, with regards to work.

And as to research, maybe there is a different between a tourist and a traveller. A tourist is going for the destination, the sights, how to maximize the stay, making sure they get the maximum out of the destination. The traveller, by definition of the word goes for the journey, the destination only being a short break from travelling. Interested less in the places they stay, but more in the interchanges with people, the emotions of the experience. Those things you cannot plan, and by leaving more open for chance perhaps only enhancing the experience.

9. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1638 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

We have to plan. As a schoolteacher I get fixed holidays (two weeks in April, two weeks in July, two weeks in October and six/seven weeks over Christmas). We organise flights out on the evening of the last day at school and return flights a day or two before school starts again.

Destinations control the planing too - we've had to arrange four visas for Africa before setting off and they've taken ten weeks or so from first posting off passports to getting the last one back in the post. And some activities need lots of early planning too - the Inca Trail is usually fully booked four months or more in advance so anything like that would need some planning.

If I didn't work It'd probably be one long, relaxed, unplanned holiday.

10. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2080 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

When we traveled by boat, we had to do more than "pack a few boxers" in order to leave the dock. We usually had a final destination in mind.

But we did the actual traveling based completely on the weather and did not schedule anything more than 24 hours ahead. Anytime we tried to keep some kind of schedule without waiting for the weather it was very unpleasant. We filed a 'float plan' with my son - that is I would call him each night and tell him where we expected to be the next day and when to expect our call. That was so that someone could get in touch with us, but mostly so that if we did no call at the next checkpoint, he could notify the Coast Guard to look for us. (Fortunately, that never happened).

We are both retired, and so we do not have to worry about work requirments, but we now have health appointments and pets to be cared for. There's always something.

I enjoy the planning part of travel, and I get a lot of fun out of the research. Bob (my husband) is happy to let me do the planning, so he is taking an unplanned holiday and I am taking a planned one. My son and his brother-in-law do the same - my daughter-in-law and her sister plan their whole trips and the men just go where they are pointed without having any worry about doing the planning. That works for all of us.