Have you ever just left without a plan?

Feb 15th, 2001, 11:24 AM
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Have you ever just left without a plan?

I have tried, but as departure gets closer - I start to plan...
Feb 15th, 2001, 11:27 AM
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No way!! Planning is part of my vacation. Besides, what else would I do at work all day???
Feb 15th, 2001, 11:45 AM
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I guess I just feel that it's such a wonderful opportunity to see another part of the world -- a terrific opportunity that is always, no matter the length of the trip (a week, a year!), too short. I want to use my time in the best way possible. Now if only I could take the next natural logical step and realize that the same is true for life in general...
Feb 15th, 2001, 11:50 AM
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Back in the ahem...80's when I was 20 years old, my best girl pal and myself took off for several months to go visit Europe, we boarded the plane in LA with "going away party" hangovers and arrived in London with no money, no Credit card, no place to stay, no clue...let's just say it took us about 3 hours just to figure out a way to get out of the Heathrow.....Not recommened for people over 25 and NEVER again for me!
Feb 15th, 2001, 11:53 AM
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Yes and No. For spur of the moment, last minute $250 round trip tickets, I'll head out with nothing but a hotel reservation. (no park benches for me, thank you)
But as a general rule, the planning and anticipation are an essential part of the trip.
Feb 15th, 2001, 12:11 PM
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Went to Spain southern coast during Easter week and found it too quiet so we decided to hop a plane to Madrid and another to Barcelona ad hoc and had a great time figuring out where to go using our trusty Fodors guide. Very memorable because we didn't remember the change in temperature from south to north and the first thing we ended up doing in Madrid is going to their main department store to buy sweaters, stockings, etc.! Great trip.
Feb 15th, 2001, 12:43 PM
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Half the fun of the vacation is the planning; the other half is being open to detours and changes of plans once you are on the trip.
Feb 15th, 2001, 12:43 PM
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I take most of my trips without a "plan" per se. I do a bit of research in advance to try to get an idea of just how loose I can be about reservations, and to get an idea of the places I might want to see. I like to know how much I'm likely to spend, for instance, but don't worry about where. When I get finally there, I follow my instincts and my whim. Sticking too closely to a plan is too anal and boring for me. The reason I go away is to escape pressure, not to create more for myself. I like surprises. I'm probably foolish but God takes care of us fools.
Feb 15th, 2001, 01:01 PM
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I did this in 1972, a crosscountry trip across Canada, to the coast, down to the Mexican border, and then back to VT.
4 of us, in a van and with a tent.
It was fun, but I was 19 and things like that were fun.
When my husband and I went to the Carribean for 10 weeks, we planned our first months in Tobago, but then just took off from there, using borrowed library books as our guide.
I think I would like to do this some yr. after the children are grown,my husband and I , in italy , with one guide book as our companion!
I think it would be fun.
Feb 15th, 2001, 01:42 PM
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When I was young (student) I traveled w/NO plans at all. I met many people: some helpful, some not. Now I am old and always have hotel and train/plane res. in advance, but not what to do in the city I am staying. I still discover people because of the help I ask for, but always to not worry about where to sleep or getting back to my family. My wife when she travels w/me is even less worried. Go w/who you are always. Ciao.
Feb 15th, 2001, 02:15 PM
Bob Brown
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During my student days I spent a while in Europe. I did a considerable amount of traveling during that time. Unfortunately I did some of it without
clear goals or objectives. I realize now that it was a big mistake.
For example, I failed to get to Vienna.
I did not make it there until last year!
Success in traveling is in being prepared. And when you prepare, you learn. Unless you have unlimited time and a large supply of money, I think you will regret it if you just wander.
True I learned a lot by my adventure, but I realize now how much more I could have seen had I just spent a few hours planning.
You can bet I plan now! Perhaps too much!!
Feb 15th, 2001, 02:17 PM
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Nope, time and money are in short supply, I can't afford to waste either just because I felt like flying by the seat of my pants for a change. I agree with the other poster too, I'm in my 30s now, I want a private bath and a nonsmoking room, not a bunk at the hostel and the stench of stale tobacco smoke while I try to sleep.
Feb 15th, 2001, 02:56 PM
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I've been to Europe five times, each without a definite "plan". I knew when I would arrive and when I was leaving - and I always book a couple of nights in a hotel in my destination city - but other than purchasing train passes in advance, I don't plan. I do buy guide books and read about the potential places that I can visit, so I'm not wandering about totally unprepared. My most wonderful memories of all my trips are not the places I planned to see, they are the places that were spur of the moment. I live by a schedule when I'm working - if I have to do it when I'm vacationing, forget it!
Feb 15th, 2001, 03:18 PM
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If you know an area well, it is fun to do. My wife and I know Germany and have done a few trips with only air tix and car arranged. Arrive at Frankfurt and then decide where to go. Hotels have never been a problem and we stay in some areas a few days or leave if not interesting. Sure takes a lot of pressure off and trips are always fun.

As to doing this in an unfamiliar area: NO. I enjoy the planning portion and don't want to waste time.
Feb 15th, 2001, 05:17 PM
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I don't plan. Sometimes it causes some problems (last year I took the train from Paris - Milan - couldn't find a hotel room so I just stayed on the train and went to Rome instead!), but usually I find it gives me freedom instead of being tied down to appearing somewhere. I figure as long as I have my passport, my round-trip plane ticket, and my VISA credit card, what more do I really need? And no, I am not a student - many years away from it. I do travel solo though so that may have something to do with the no planning as well. My mother got concerned last year though when my one month trip to Europe became 3.5 months!
Feb 15th, 2001, 05:27 PM
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I buy a round-trip ticket and a guide book . . . I find a hotel when I arrive (unless I'm arriving at night, then I do try to book one night ahead), I "plan" one important thing to do each morning and each afternoon, with a couple of other things thrown in (I hate wandering aimlessly), I seldom stick to my plan (but I do have one . . . it gives me something to do until I actually get there).

The most fun is discovering another "plan" once you get there. I always have a plan A, B, C, etc.

Feb 16th, 2001, 05:38 AM
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It's a lot easier to have a plan and throw it away once you get there, then to get there and try and come up with a plan should you find one to be necessary.

If I was a student or the reverse, someone with infinite money, sure, go without a plan. As it is, mistakes caught at the 'paper' stage are cheap to fix. But all the laissez-faire sophistication in the world will not, for example, open up the museums in Florence on a Monday....
Feb 16th, 2001, 06:41 AM
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I have a dream . . . I'm on my way to a two day business meeting, the cat's at the kennel, I have only a carryon, but for reasons totally unknown to me, I have my passport. I'm at the check-in counter and the clerk says, "So, you're headed to Urinal, North Dakota, right?" And I say, "No, not really. Can you put me on the next flight to Rome?" Amazingly, there's a seat available, the plane leaves in an hour, I'm on it . . . the rest is hookey-playing bliss and I can't wipe the smile off my face!

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