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Fun Thread: What kind of vacation planner are you?

Fun Thread: What kind of vacation planner are you?

May 30th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,567
Fun Thread: What kind of vacation planner are you?

Do you just book an island/hotel and decide what to do and where to eat once you get there?
Or are you anal like me and plan out each day WAY BEFORE the trip? I even plan where we'll eat breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. Yep I do. My husband just shakes his head when he sees the plan but at the end of the vacation, he always thanks me for planning a great vacation .
And yes, I've learned to be a bit flexible since we've had our little guy.
Or are you a little of both?
Happy travels no matter what you are!
caribtraveler is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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This is fun--I just read a bit on a similar thread in the US forum.

I'm the travel planner in the family, and before I go someplace for vacation(usually the Caribbean, but not always) I research like crazy ahead of time. I always have accommodation taken care of prior to departure and I have always made notes about the best beaches, cultural sites, snorkeling places, and especially restaurants weeks before we leave home.

My husband does none of the planning--he just shows up when and where I tell him to. After that, we go through my list together and figure out which things appeal most to him (I'm sneaky in that I only put on my list things that appeal to me). Then we play things by ear upon arrival. I, of course, make suggestions of things that I'm sure will appeal to both of us, and he generally goes along with all of them. Case in point: the biobay in Vieques. That's one of the few things that I actually insisted upon, rather than just suggested.

Traveling with other family members is harder, but I still do all of the research and then each morning toss out all of our different options to choose from.

No matter who my traveling companions are, though, we always find something at our destination that I didn't know or hear about and end up exploring, whether it's a museum, restaurant, local joint, or whatever. And those end up being some of our most memorable times!
ejcrowe is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 02:01 PM
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I love to read Fodor's and Trip advisor, before AND after the trips.
I do all the planning, hubby just shows up. I look at all the sites, make sure I'm getting best prices. I read the forums to see what's going on. Then once I'm there, then I decide what mood I'm in for food and excursions. I don't plan those until I'm there, see who's going where on what day, and how the weather is. All that planning to make last minute decisions! I guess I'm a contradiction.
Then when I return, I want to hear other people's opinions, so I can rienforce mine!
blamona is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 02:06 PM
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This is a fun thread...thanks for posting something where we can all offer an opinion.

Following EJ's post, I'd like to travel with them. As long as I get to try new foods of my choice ;-)

Life and travel I guess go in stages.

in my pre-child days, we went for cheap. Think Club Med in the early 70's.

In the child years (two girls...4 years apart) we tried to please them both. Now there's a concept ! Not one that was successful...or so they say.

I always did all the planning and the packing and if anyone looked disappointed, I gave a mini-mom lecture and then had a rum punch or something.

Now that I travel solo, I do all the planning and sometimes am compulsive about details and worries that usually are forgotten quickly.

And if someone looks disappointed, I look in the mirror...and learn


MarionCK is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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I do tons of research here , there , and everywhere .... I look at lots of hotels , restaurants , beaches etc, but do not like to book,( unless I have to ) as I much prefer to " wing it " .We follow our noses day by day about where to eat , always a suprise . We have had great success , and it saves us $$$ !!! Next trip is hopefully back to Costa Rica , and perhaps Panama , but perhaps with dianas Dominica trip report , things could change !! lol
faithie is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 04:50 PM
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I am alot like EJ with the trip planning.

christiegr is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 04:58 PM
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I am definitely the planner. I do tons of research before I go and require a place to stay when we arrive. Faithie, you are adventurous! I am fortunate that DH and I have very similar interests when it comes to the type of island we like. Like EJ, I do the planning and he basically shows up. I do run things "past him", but he is pretty agreeable. Heck, I even do the packing, what does he have to complain about! If he packed, everything would be literally thrown in the bag an hour before leaving, I don't even go there. It really doesn't bother me though as the anticipation of leaving makes it fun. Love cluttering the house up with "stuff" that we have to take in the days before. As for planning meals before we go, no way. Just too much structure for us. I have however booked excursions that I knew were "must do's" before leaving (Grenadines, New Horizons II). My husband is always very grateful for the research I have done, although I'm sure he thinks I'm a little excessive.
brenandg is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 04:58 PM
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Funny thread!!! Im planning my next vacation while on vacation. My suitecase is packed 6 months in advance.
I know it will be a Sandals Resort just have to figure out which one.Happy travels to all !!!
Kimberly is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 05:13 PM
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Hi! I'm the planner in the family, my husband and son pretty much show up. They do help in the decision making with some of the excursions/day trips. We don't plan restaurants, unless we've heard of a particular place, then we might say that we'll try to eat there.

I love the planning and always have my 'next' one in the works.
Coden is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 05:19 PM
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To clarify my statement about not planning meals, I do research and pick restaurants that I would like to get to, just not a particular day.
brenandg is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 07:26 PM
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I am definitely the planner, and, from my count, the only male in this post! My wife trusts my decisions and pretty much just comes along for the ride knowing that I have every lodging detail covered. From restaurants to bars to beaches....I have it pretty much all researched. I use the internet and travel forums such as this one to get most of my info. As far as the day to day....we do that on the fly....but all the necessities are definitely taken care of. You know what they say....A Happy Wife Makes for a Happy Life!
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 02:14 AM
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i discovered tripadvisor and fodors nearly a year ago when planning our 25th anniversary with our two teens. it helped tremendously. although i tend to plan out and research, im not fond of having each day mapped out. if a resort calls for having dinners planned ahead, than i will go ahead and do it but if we can "wing" it, i prefer to wait until we arrive. its actually relaxing for me to sit and read and gather information from these posts, and often, very amusing and fun.

i have found that even with the most careful and laid out plans, disaster can strike at any moment. ive bailed out of many hotels that just werent what we thought they would be, or i changed my attitude about others and "went with the flow"....with that said, planning is a good thing, but we like to pretty much stay in the resort for the duration of our vacation with the exception of bermuda, and for dining out, the bahama's.

ive learned so much from these websites and the candid photo's really tell it all.

my husband on the other hand, doesnt want to know from anything until about two days before we leave !!
albee622 is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 03:49 AM
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Am totally 'anal' in the pre-planning
stage ,just so I know the options-- and then I find I go totally spontaneous when I arrive since the best things about travel are serendipitous. In the islands, rarely does anything work on US scheduled time and if you do try
to plan out tightly, things will invariably go awry. "Come soon" and "Soon come" (the latter slightly faster than the former) are the operative words in Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean.
tivertonhouse is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 05:59 AM
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Great thread. I absolutely love doing all the research to pick a vacation destination. My husband and I have similar interests (beach, beach, and more beach vacations). I will research accomodations, things to do, restaurants etc. My favorite sites are Fodors ofcourse and Tripadvisor. Love reading trip reports and opinions on various islands. We've done trips with other couples where I've done all the research including picking the island/villa and things to do while we are there. Worked out well.
In general once I finalize the island, hotel, and car I just take notes and do not book anything else in advance unless required like a snorkelling trip. Definately no restaurant reservations in advance. The notes on good restaurants work out well since we like to be flexible and do things on a whim while on vacation.
Yep, we have definately chilled in terms of exploring the whole island since we had our little girl also.
Bottom line I think I am a little of both. Ofcouse the husband does no research and just comes along for the ride...which is fine by me.
mnag is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 07:07 AM
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Hey, Caribbean Soul, I'm with you, brother! I, too, do all the planning...hotels, restaurants, beaches. I look at forums, like this one, ask a bunch of dumb questions, and get really great answers.

Now, I don't plan out each and every day, but I bring printouts of stuff that we might want to do...snorkeling trips, hikes, guides, etc.

All my wife needs to do is pack and handle all the paper...tickets and passports...because although I can plan, I tend to forget where everything is!

DavefromCA is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 07:51 AM
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I do all of the research and planning for our yearly Caribbean vacation. It is often during those vacations that I have picked up on 'tips' from other travelers on other places we should not miss. I always start my research with Fodors and TripAdvisor. From there I move on Caribben-0n-line or DebbiesCaribbean. Once I have narrowed down a few different types of accommodation I discuss with my wife to ensure she will be pleased. I then start taking note of the best beaches, restaurants, day trips, etc. Prior to leaving I have usually read at least 2 books on the history of our destination so that I can knowledgably engage is discussion with the locals (you really do need to know what subjects are sensitive issues). I always use 'seatguru' so I can select the most comfortable seating. By the time we are ready to go all my wife need do is unpack half of what she wanted to take.
DaveJJ is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 08:10 AM
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I guess it makes sense that everyone who posts here is the planner. Nice to see some men planning! Not that I mind being the planner. I love it. I think my husband gets a kick out of my "obsession" and that's why he kindly lets me do it. I don't want to make it sound like I make all the decisions. I always run everything by him, especially tours/excursions. I don't think he's ever disagreed with anything though. We do have similar taste.
caribtraveler is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 11:19 AM
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When it comes to traveling, I am like a doctor searching for a answer to a mysterious new illness. I leave nothing unturned. I research out each hotel to find the one best for us and then explore the best of the island. Fodor's is my choice of resource, although I have been known to look at Conde Nast and some other magazines. I currently am doing some research into Tahiti, in case I am able to talk my husband into going for two weeks next year. It doesn't look as if that is going to happen, although I may go with a friend. Hopefully it won't be wasted as it's always been one of my top rated choices of places to go.
Knowing is offline  
May 31st, 2006, 06:24 PM
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Knowing: I'll be your "friend"!
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 12:58 PM
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Always nice to know that someone else thinks my chosen places are special. I actually had someone else in mind, but we always need new friends, right?
Knowing is offline  

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