And so we are officially back from our brief spell away. Our trip proved to be a jampacked, hectic holiday.
I have had a few requests for details of our visit. So over the next few weeks I will be sharing what we did on our trip in the hopes that it may be of some help to anyone planning a New York or DC trip any time soon.
Today’s post will give you some insight on how we plan and organize our travels. As I’ve mentioned before, it may seem like anarchy to the meticulous planners out there. But over the years we’ve hashed out a system that seems to work for us.
The 6 P’s
As they say Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. We always make sure to read up on a place before we visit. I spend hours poring over any material I can find on the place, preparing shortlists of things to do and places to see in any given destination. This gives me a good feel for the place and helps me get pumped up about the trip. At the end of a holiday, if I can cross off roughly 70% of the items on my To Do list, I label it a resounding success!
For the most part, DH takes care of the accommodation. Once I’ve prepared my To Do list I hand it over to him. He then locates all the sites on a map and chooses hotels based on a combination of location and price.
For this US trip, I’ll admit I went a bit overboard even for me. I researched everything from attractions to entry fees to travel methods and their costs to travel times between locations to where we would have lunch! Our day was meticulously planned from start to finish. Obsessive much?
Our travel methodology
DH and I are by-the-seat-of-your-pants travelers. A good example was when we were touring Greece and got to talking with one of the locals we met. She strongly recommended visiting Chania and because we had not made any prior reservations we could rearrange our route to squeeze it in. And boy were we glad we did! That happened to be one of the highlights of our trip and Chania was what got us dreaming about retiring in Greece someday!
We learnt early on in our travels that we prefer not to make too many advance bookings. Wherever possible we try to make reservations that do not incur a cancellation fee. This gives us the flexibility to change our plans at the drop of a hat if we find something that interests us.
When travelling we have the attention span of hungry butterflies in a meadow. We will chase anything that appeals to us, gleefully abandoning our best laid plans.
Applying our strategy
For our US trip we did far more than our usual amount of research simply because in spite of it being such a short getaway, it was one of the most expensive holidays we’ve taken. In the week or so leading up to our departure we grabbed every possible moment to get online and read up on our tentative itinerary.
I am well aware that our method will not work for everyone. Many would prefer to just hand all the nitty gritty over to a travel agent and let them do all the legwork for you. And while I love the ease and relative peace of mind of this strategy, to me, planning is half the fun of the trip. What can I say? I am a weirdo.
I look forward to sharing details of our trip with you over the coming days. Meanwhile, I can’t wait to hear from you. What sort of a traveller are you? Are you a Planner or a Let’s-see-what-this-day-brings sort? I would love to hear of any tips and tricks you use while planning your vacations. We can always learn something new from each other so go ahead… teach me your methods 🙂
Until next time…