Since we’ve been back in Pennsylvania, I’ve dived right back into planning for Europe. We leave for Scotland in exactly two weeks, and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, but mostly excited. We have our flight to Scotland booked, our three-month lodging ready to go, and I just booked our tickets out to Croatia in September. We have a few big ideas in the planning phase. But I still wake up some mornings fearing that I’m not doing enough and I need to do more.
What do you do to plan your travels? Are you a spontaneous traveller who goes where the wind blows? Can you just show up to a destination and find things to do? Are you able to have the best time without wasting too much time thinking about it? When we went to Ireland years and years ago, we tried to do just that. We decided where we wanted to go, but didn’t decide what we wanted to do while we were there. We ended up walking around aimlessly day one, crying and arguing through day two and finally planning the rest of the trip on day three.
Do you meticulously plan every day of your trip? Do you make your A and B lists, assess costs, make game plans? This trip across country that’s what I did. I researched for days all of the places we were stopping, creating lists of all the things that sounded fun. We took these giant lists and turned them into smaller, more manageable lists (or rather, our A list). It ended up working really well, but we still missed out on some things. I think when in the planning process I reached a point where I threw up my hands and stopped, so we missed out on things like Ghiradelli in San Francisco and Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona.
I’m trying to find a good balance between the two for this upcoming trip. I know if I try to plan every little detail I’ll go insane. If I don’t plan anything, I’ll feel like I’ve wasted some serious time, both before the trip and during the trip. I’m trying to do it in stages, but sometimes I find myself thinking about the end of the trip instead of what’s coming up immediately.
How do you go about planning? Do you have any tips or tricks? How do you ensure your sanity and a great trip? I’d love to hear your thoughts!