As we are gallivanting around Thailand, I thought I’d share with you our trip planning process.
Our first overseas vacation was to Turkey. We traveled with a group, and had no responsibilities as far as the planning went. It was a wonderful first travel experience. However, now we prefer to travel on our own, and we make our own itineraries. We have never used a travel agent or traveled with a tourist company. Would it make our travels easier if were all planned for us? Absolutely. Planned tours are great for some people, but Jared and I like customizing our trips to fit our style and sense of adventure.
Our first trip alone was to Spain. We met there during Jared’s deployment, and had a wonderful two weeks. However, it was very difficult to plan ahead because we were never certain what days Jared would be there until about 24 hours before the trip began. We had a hotel booked for the first night and nothing else. We spent that vacation booking hostel rooms a night or two prior. It actually worked out really well, and I only remember one frustrating day of trying to figure out where we would be sleeping the next night.
Ever since that trip, our trips have been planned in this manner:
Every. Single. Time. We love to travel, and we always end up at wonderful hostels and hotels, but we really wait until the last minute to make final decisions. Jared is our travel planner. I help decide where to go, and I happily make lists of sites I want to visit. However, when it comes to booking things, I am the worst. Jared will look through reviews, shop around for best prices, and click link after link until he finds a place that meets all of our needs. I am too impatient. I become overwhelmed with the choices, and usually decide to settle for whatever is the top recommended hotel so that I can be finished. For our Thailand trip, Jared gave me the assignment of finding a beach. I spent hours going through our travel books, looking at travel sites, and making pro/con lists. I reported to Jared that none of the beaches in Thailand fit our criteria. He took over my assignment.
It’s not the best system, but it’s ours. The joy of the vacation always makes me forget the difficulty of planning a trip!