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Ok then, what trip was difficult to organize?

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Oct 15th, 2017, 08:55 AM
  #1
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Ok then, what trip was difficult to organize?

I am always reading here that such and such a trip should be easy to organize. Which got me thinking ... what trip would be difficult to organize?

Have you had a trip that was difficult to organize? Duration, place, people, language, events etc. How did it turn out?
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Oct 15th, 2017, 09:26 AM
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I am disorganized, therefore all trips are somewhat difficult to organize.

Other than that:

Little money to spend = More difficult
Lots of money to spend = Less difficult

Difficult is a strange-looking word.
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Oct 15th, 2017, 09:29 AM
  #3
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Very true. I found Norway difficult. There were nine of us. I thought we should take the train - nope. I thought we should take a bus - nope. I found accommodations expensive.
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Oct 15th, 2017, 09:40 AM
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Any trip with a group is a huge PITA, IMO. I am a great trip organizer, but the varied interests/abilities of groups often throw a lot of unexpected moments into a trip, which I don't like. I like to know ahead of time pretty much how things will pan out.

I found Hungary and Slovakia to be more of a challenge than other trips, even though I planned everything out to the millisecond. Language was an issue. Turned out fine, but wasn't a dream trip.
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Oct 15th, 2017, 09:47 AM
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Planning a month in Greece was difficult as the ferry schedules weren't released and the hotels on the islands had strict cancelation policies. I finally used a Greek travel agency which solved my problems.
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Oct 15th, 2017, 09:51 AM
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Interesting topic.

The worst ones involve other people. My road trip-that-didn't-happen last year really stressed me out because my would be traveling partner kept changing her budget, how long she could be away, what she wanted to see (either she was ok with everything or what she wanted was like the exact opposite of her budget.)...what she could tolerate in terms of lodging...and then when I finally said let's just not, she told a mutual friend that the problem was that I wanted to be gone too long. She's the one who had set the time frame! She's the one who added on the destination that doubles out expenses. I had the hardest time even getting her to google stuff, let alone open a guide book. I would not have minded except she's one of those people who panics if she finds out you're winging it.

I'm realistic and flexible and I enjoy planning. I need to find someone to travel with who has those traits, emphasis on the realistic.

I think other than that, the longer you're gone, the more stops on your itinerary, the trickier it becomes. I've had 3 month-long trips. California was tricky because camping during high season is hard to snag so I had to work around what I could get. Europe was a wonderful trip, but I lived and breathed planning that for 3 months. Japan was good, because luckily the logistics there are really easy, but I had very little time to plan and it showed. I winged it a lot more there than usual. The stuff that I researched and planned was fantastic, so I can't help wondering if the trip would have been considerably better if I had had more planning under my belt.

I don't think I would enjoy having a travel agent- I like too much control and I know myself best- but I can definitely see their uses after those three trips. There are no short cuts on the most time comsuming aspects. You need to look at transportation and museum hours and whether or not dinner reservations are necessary and whether bus schedules will work with your day trip ideas. That's the kind of thing that makes a trip go off smoothly, like magic. I'd rather be researching history and interesting walking tours and food.

There are some trip threads we get here that really make me wonder how the trip will go. Sometimes when they (rarely) report back, I wonder if they're telling the truth and they are just easy to please, or if they're lying and just don't want to admit disaster. Planning of course does not guarantee a good trip, but not planning usually means the opposite in my experience.
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Oct 15th, 2017, 01:42 PM
  #7
 
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Iceland was hard work. We had a great time once we were there but it is one of those places where things do not fall into your lap - IME you have to do a lot of research to make it happen.

[the opposite of Rome, where there is something interesting and/or delightful around every corner which makes planning almost superfluous].
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Oct 15th, 2017, 01:47 PM
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The most difficult trip for me to organize was to Sikkim, India. Air connections were complicated, and the limited number of hotels made early booking imperative.

Nothing I've booked in Europe was difficult, but then I never travel with a group (I agree that trying to organize for a group is always more complicated.
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Oct 15th, 2017, 08:05 PM
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I found Spain and Scotland difficult to plan because they have too many potential and appealing sites to visit. Regardless of how much time we might have had one simply couldn't see them all, so narrowing them down was not easy.

It might help if the governments of those countries loaned out some of their attractions to less endowed places like Kansas.

But once those difficult choices were made the trips and went off without a hitch. Advance planning for booking hotels and transportation was essential, with lots of good information from Fodorites during that stage.

HappyTrvlr, what Greek travel agency did you use?
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Oct 17th, 2017, 12:02 AM
  #10
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Most difficult trip was the USSR in the 80's. Took a Sputnik tour instead.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 01:46 AM
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I suspect my most difficult trip to plan will happen in December. We live in Austria, and our son attends university in the U.S. Recently he informed us that his longtime (vegan) girlfriend and her (vegan) sister want to spend the Christmas holiday with us in Austria, one of Central Europe's many lands of meat and potatoes. Our traditional Christmas meal is Polish food; does "vegan" even translate into Polish? His notice comes, naturally, after we had reserved a holiday home in Tirol for the time between Christmas and New Years, during which we planned to enjoy winter activities and all of that delicious (non-vegan) alpine food.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 02:18 AM
  #12
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Trips for more than two people can be agony to organize. Typically, nobody wants to see the same things at the same time or eat at the same place. Total nightmare for the person inclined to do the organizing.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 02:38 AM
  #13
 
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The most complicated trip I had to plan was a trip I never made. My husband's mother grew up in Bombay, when it was called Bombay, and a cousin was going back for her 50th high school reunion a few years ago. My husband had never seen India and wanted to see the sites his mother had told him about. We were going to go to the reunion activities at a resort in Goa with his cousin, do a little traveling with her, and do some more traveling on our own.

The planning involved private drivers, something I had never had to arrange before, and worries about the kinds of things we had not had to worry about on our trips in Europe and the US. When I asked my husband's cousin whether I could stop worrying about things like food safety and whether I was becoming paranoid, she said paranoia was the appropriate attitude.

We made several visits to the travel clinic for a long list of immunizations.

I read enough Indian literature to put together a mini-course. I fixated on whether I would be able to eat without offending people (I'm a leftie). Getting a visa was even charged with uncertainty, as I learned after googling for the right way to order one that I had stumbled onto an unofficial website that would charge a substantial premium over the official website, which had an almost identical address.

I'll never know how all the planning panned out because we had to cancel the trip. Canceling all the arrangements was almost as complicated as it was to make them.I got most of our money back. Finally got the money back from the reunion committee when we visited my husband's cousin in London three years later; she was nice enough to give it to us in GBP instead of the rupees she had been holding onto for us.

I understand the reunion was a good time. We saw a newspaper article about it. The most famous member of that high school class was Salman Rushdie; he didn't make it to the reunion either.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 07:00 AM
  #14
 
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The only thing that's ever a bit of a headache is a trip where you have multiple travel connections to make. I notice that some booking websites have software inbuilt to offer sensible connections i.e with a reasonable time frame between legs, but not all do.

If you book onward flights with the same airline or a partner, usually it's their problem if there's a delay and they have to sort your revised onward itinerary, but going through separate unrelated providers/not on one ticket is always a risk and you need to plan very carefully and have your own contingencies just in case.

For Budapest, which had a lot of rail connections, I worked out my trains in reverse order and left big gaps between them, and in Thailand/Vietnam where we had one very long day with flights, car transfers and ferry, in order to make sure we didn't miss the ferry, we paid extra for a private car transfer to the harbour.

I always look up my accomodation and work out how I'm going to get to it from the station or airport when I arrived. If it's public transport that runs fairly frequently that's fine, but if I'm arriving late in the day or somewhere not well served by metro, buses etc I always check in advance where the taxi rank is, what firms are deemed reliable and so on. Or have a private transfer booked.

I don't usually find anything remotely stressy once I'm there. I rarely book tickets to anything in advance or have a formal itinerary to keep to, so can play it by ear and see what the weather and my energy levels are like before picking activities. Thus there's not much to go wrong and get wound up about once in situ (touch wood!)
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Oct 17th, 2017, 12:22 PM
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I usually do 5 weeks trips and usually combine two fairly distant and different regions. I've done Portugal/Scandinavia, Spain/Scotland, Germany/Greece, Baltics/Italy/Greece, Sicily/Switzerland, etc. Most of these have actually been pretty easy and also fairly cheap. I kind of look at the planning as a puzzle and love when it finally all comes together. Sometimes I actually plan the trips based on 'where can I fly to from blank'.

But the one I'm working on now for next summer is actually giving me a headache. I want to combine Germany and Greece. Also, since my local airport now has two International carriers I'd rather fly from there than drive the two and a half hours to the major city. And, the less I spend on airfare, the more money I have for the rest of the trip. The main problems are that the discount carriers (I'm dealing with AerLingus, Norwegian, Ryan Air and Easy Jet) have flights to all the various places I want to go but not everyday. And so I have to end up spending a few days in 'secondary' places (not my main goals) such as Italy and England (I know, poor me that I 'have' to go to Italy).

But what I put together ends up being a total of 6 flights (total 27 hours, no one day more than 11 hours) costing about $1400. If I go on kayak, for example, and put in my destinations (for all one round trip multi-city ticket) the best I can do is 8 flights/$1800/76 total hours (one segment alone is 46 hours of flights with layovers) - or 8 flights/$6000/53 hours. No way I'm doing long layovers like that, or spending that kind of money. But making my itinerary all come together is a pretty complex puzzle.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 02:00 PM
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Nelson, how can you describe the home of the world's largest ball of twine as "less endowed?"
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Oct 17th, 2017, 03:31 PM
  #17
 
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Jaja, believe it or not I was thinking of the ball of twine when I posted, as compared to the Alhambra. There is nowhere else on the planet to see either.

So I stand corrected.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 04:32 PM
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It was the summer of 1985. My niece, who is also my godchild, was getting married in central Montana. I was a single parent taking my children, ages 13 and 10, and my soon-to-be fiancée, whose age I shall not disclose, from Ohio. We planned to visit and hike in Glacier and Waterton Parks, attend and celebrate the wedding, then camp and hike in Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks. After a week and a half, the children would fly out to California to spend the rest of the summer with their mother, while fiancée and I would continue to hike and backpack in the mountains for another ten days (75 miles).

The planning involved, among other things, airlines tickets, car rental (Rent-A-Wreck), pop-up camper rental, hotel and lodge accommodations, meals, routing. We brought along some of our own camping supplies, and rented or purchased others in Montana. Did I mention that the airline went out on strike? Oh, and cellphones and the internet were not yet available.

It's still a mystery to me how we managed to pull this off! It's possible that the complexity was up there with the Normandy Invasion, but it was one of our best vacations.
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 03:40 AM
  #19
 
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Well for me the most difficult was to organize a trip to Poland
It's not about money or transportation problems, but places to see. There are too many interesting suggestions Definitely after visited http://visitgdansk.com/weekends-in-gdansk I went do Gdansk with my kids. On the side we can find many great ideas, how to spend time in this city with them In my case, tips which were available there, were very useful
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 12:28 PM
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Call me an old cynic, but does anyone join Fodors just to tell us how great a website about Gdansk is, unless they, in fact, have an interest in that website?
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