By nature Dave and I are planners so most often we are the people who have the spread sheet with ideas for the next 2 to 5 years of trips. In 2007 we wanted to try something new and test our spontaneity so we left the country for 6 months with an around the world ticket and only 2 nights booked in a hotel. We learned we can go with the flow. What do you do? Tell us about a time when you booked a last minute ticket and where you went? Tell us about the time when you planned something months and months in advance.
One cold Tuesday January when we were living in Seattle, an ice storm hit and I had just left a job and was looking out the window at the gray sky and ice cover trees. I called Dave and suggested that we go to Hawaii for a week starting on the weekend. He thought I was crazy but after two quick conversations with each other we decided to see if we could make it happen. On Saturday morning we flew from Seattle to Maut non-stop for an incredibly low price. It was a fantastic trip.
Tell us your stories.
This topic feels familiar.....To plan or not to plan ?
I normally do a mixture of the two, creating a general outline months (or even a year) in advance, booking whatever I need to do in advance, and then doing the rest spontaneously.
The time I went to Fiesta San Antonio, I started planning almost a year in advance. With all the people that attend, it was either that or risk my sanity. I ended up seeing things that few outside the region get to experience because I found how to get tickets.
I tend to set up weekend getaways at the last minute, normally a drive somewhere. In a few cases, I picked the destination that morning!
We had to learn that this depends on the country and on the length of our stay. If we go to a place for a short time (like a week) and want to do certain things, we book everyhting ahead. But we are not really planing it. We have an idea where we want to go, we check the cheapest flight options and make rough plan where to go to find decent accomodation. The rest is spontanously.
On longer trips (3 or more weeks) we just decide the countries where we want to go and have a approx. itinery in our mind. Then we book flights and the first night (feels more comfortable to have a bed when you arrive tired). The rest is completely spontanous. But there a countries, like India, where we learned to plan our route. Otherwise you get stuck or end up in very uncomfortable situations. It happened more than once in India... Also when it comes to really high season problemes (around christmas i.e.) we tend to plan in the meantime (we did not plan in the past anything and ended up in weird places or paid too much). But in general we feel most comfortable to go where we feel drawn to at the moment. This gives us more freedom and always leaves the option to stay longer if we love a place or to leave immediately if we do not like a place at all.
I'm a planner by nature. However, I do enjoy those spontaneous trips. In college I would go to the airport without luggage or even toothpaste and brush, look at the departure board, and use my student discount to fly the weekend or week to whatever destination took my fancy...my friends got used to me dropping in without notice. When we lived in Stuttgart Germany my wife and I would wake up Saturday mornings, and if the sky was blue, we would hop in the car and drive to Switzerland for the weekend. Or we would take a train to Rome or the French Riviera. When our kids came along, this became more difficult. But my daughter shares this spontaneity. We lived in Washington DC, and we would all of a sudden get the urge to drive to New York City for the day. So we did.
What kind of plans make you the most comfortable?
i like to do things in a proper way and when there is talk about some trip/vacations i love to do plans according to my needs.Like if i want to visit Panama City Beach trips then the first thing i use to do is i will search on Internet for tis vacations destinations and then accordingly i start planning for booking tickets,panama city beach condos,Activities etc.
I like to know that I have a bed to sleep in and how I'm getting there (I'm directionally challenged, which is so unfortunate for a traveler lol) so I like to know where we're sleeping and how we're getting there. I usually have our transportation from the airport either booked or at least figured out (bus route, metro, etc.) and we go check in to the hotel right away. After that, I usually have a list of stuff I want to do in that city but my husband and I like to be spontaneous and explore. I'll only prebook a tour if it's recommended to do so but otherwise we just kind of fly by the seat of our pants. The exception to lodging rule is the UK and Ireland. B&Bs are so prevalent that unless you're attending the Tattoo in Edinburgh or St. Patty's in Dublin you can usually find a reasonably priced clean place to sleep at the spur of the moment and it's fun to just drive around the country not really have a schedule.