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Do those of you who obsess over every detail really have marvelous trips?

Do those of you who obsess over every detail really have marvelous trips?

Aug 11th, 2002, 09:26 PM
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I agree, I don't like to plan per se. I like to have the first and last night's hotels for convenience then more or less wing it from there. But this does not mean that I do not check out guide books before I go, I do read up on what I want to see in each city I may go to. I make notes in a little binder, including restaurant tips and go from there. I call ahead a day or two to get a hotel that I have picked out from my research, and if I can't get into a hotel I go to another city. This takes a few minutes while my companion is in the shower or repacking so time is not really wasted.
To me that is the fun of travel. At home and at the office I am always on a schedule, and always rushing to meet the deadlines, so on trips I want to be free and easy.
Aug 11th, 2002, 09:51 PM
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Know thyself. I get upset with myself if I miss something (forehead hitting "stupid stupid stupid"), but where I eat or sleep is less critical. I have had terrible luck with "winging it" accommodations, so I don't do that any more, but finding the "perfect hotel" isn't critical. But that's me. Like I said, I get nuts if I miss a sight or an event; other people get nuts if their hotel room isn't a certain way.

Hell, it's my vacation, I'll do whatever it takes to make myself happy. As long as its my money and my time, I'll obsess any way I want.

Nyaah, so there.
Aug 12th, 2002, 04:49 AM
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I was going to reply but I'm still obsessing over my answer. Personally, I just don't get it - this level of intense interest in anyone as boring as me. Why don't you tell me about something more interesting - something memorable, spontaneous, unusual, unexpected? Like, say, your travel experiences?
Aug 12th, 2002, 05:53 AM
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I enjoy the planning process. I usually include lots of tips regarding where to eat, etc. The itinerary acts as an outline, but we don't follow it exactly. However, we never run out of things to do (b/c we can always refer back to the list), and we minimize our screw ups by thinking through things in advance.
Aug 12th, 2002, 06:13 AM
dan woodlief
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It depends on how you plan. I have felt rushed at times if I tried to see too much, so I have learned to approach each place as if I am returning. I go for variety and not try to see every single church, museum, etc, although my wife might still disagree with that statement. My worst experiences have come from not planning enough and then realizing later that I missed things or having to spend too much time getting oriented. I rarely plan meals; at the most I might get reservations a day ahead for one special night out. Still, I do make small lists, at least in my head, of certain foods and sometimes certain restaurants that I want to experience.
Aug 12th, 2002, 06:26 AM
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I can definitely say that I now am a believer in planning. My husband and I very loosely planned a trip to Italy 3 years ago. It made the trip far more stressful and unenjoyable than it would have been had we at least made a few more prior arrangements. Italy, for us, was not a country to try by the seat of our pants. We went in October which is a very popular month. Couldn't find a hotel room in Sienna and were endlessly dragging our enormous bags behind us through the hilly cobblestone streets filled with tourists. My husband wanted to kill me. I think some countries would not be as difficult as Italy though. I agree that half the fun is the research!
Aug 12th, 2002, 07:09 PM
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I'm going to Amsterdam this fall. I like planning. I've read Geert Mak's "Amsterdam" (history of the city) Anne Frank's diary, and everything else I can get my hands on. I like to know what I'm looking at.
Aug 12th, 2002, 07:15 PM
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If you don't plan now, you have to plan under fire at the last minute. Nothing ruins my travels more than spending the better part of a day trying to find and decide on a restaurant or negotiating about which museum to go to. Planning frees up my time while traveling and saves me and my travel companion(s) from stupid wastes of time and miserable after-you-Alphonse/after-you-Gaston gavottes around what to do.

Worst traveling companion I ever had? A guy who kept saying, "we'll decide when we get there," and "just go with the flow, things will be great." Ate some dreadful meals in some silly places, missed some great exhibits because we didn't know museum hours, made stupid mistakes about local vs. express trains, stayed in foul but overpriced hotel rooms, etc. etc. etc.

What you call obsessive I call just common sense. Obsessive is sticking to a plan when it obviously isn't going to work, so one major part of planning is expecting to be flexible.
Aug 12th, 2002, 07:27 PM
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Curious, I do plan. Pretty thoroughly. And usually, my trips are memorable because I plan (even dare I say - overplan)?

It's all itty bitty pieces of a puzzle that I study meticulously before a trip. When I finally do get there, I get to see what all my puzzle pieces have gotten me. It's very rewarding!

But rest assured, one very large piece of the puzzle is the "spontaneity" piece. It's the usually the last piece I fill in. I always make sure to leave room for it in the puzzle because it just makes the overall picture that much more fun when it all comes together!
Aug 12th, 2002, 07:41 PM
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Half the fun is deifnitely in hte planning for me too! I don't care too much about where I eat when I'm travelling on mown but I do a lot of research before deciding on hotels & write a big list of everything I would like to do & see & then group together the activities it would make sense to do on the same day - the order in which I go through the list is completley flexible though depending on weathermuseum opening times etc. It does help to be fairly easy going though as I discovered when the museum strikes in paris blew apart my careful planning!!
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