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Which is better: the anticipation of a trip or the trip itself?

Which is better: the anticipation of a trip or the trip itself?

Mar 31st, 2007, 11:51 AM
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Which is better: the anticipation of a trip or the trip itself?

As I have been planning/researching a trip for the summer (England, Sardinia, and Prague), I got to thinking about the anticipation that goes along with vacation. I don't know if everyone gets as excited about vacation as I do~I'm like a little kid waiting for Santa, but I love the whole looking forward to going someplace new, counting down the days, etc. SO, I wondered, do any of you think that the anticipation is actually better than the trip itself? Or have you ever been so excited about a trip, only to be disappointed once you had actually been?
amydelta is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 12:08 PM
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To me, it's definitely the trip itself!

And in second place: memories of the trip, which remain with you forever.

Anticipation and planning, while great fun, are, to me, way down in third place.


Byrd is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 12:27 PM
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I totally agree with Byrd!
DaveB is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Me three.
bardo1 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 12:32 PM
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I personally love the anticipation and trip planning. I spend hundreds and hundreds of hours doing trip research. However, every single place we have been to this point has still exceeded our expectations - we have never been disappointed (except one major European city I will not mention).

But as Byrd said, trip first, memories second and planning third.
travel2live is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 12:36 PM
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I'm like you, amydelta. Sometimes I just get goosebumps thinking about what's coming...then I try to tell myself not to "over-anticipate." That being said, when my trip is well-planned and I'm relaxed, the actual trips are bliss. One little trick I use while on vacation is to focus on each moment. Sounds strange, but when I try to enjoy EACH moment fully -- whether it's sipping coffee on a rainy day or watching little kids play in a park -- the day actually expands! It's mind-blowing!

With that being said, I'm back to identifying inexpensive, great little restaurants within walking distance of our Paris apartment for our May trip. Oops...there goes those goosebumps again!
NThea is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:35 PM
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I do enjoy the anticipation and planning stage of a trip but it is far better being there then dreaming of it.

pippy4tao is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:39 PM
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I love all of it, especially when my sister/travel companion does most of the work of making reservations and the like. She makes fabulous spread sheets with all the information we could ever need. I just read the guidebooks and daydream.

The trip itself is of course the highlight, but we also enjoy looking at our pictures and reminiscing about the trip, the people we met, the food we ate. It's especially nice to do this because no one's tired and no one's feet hurt.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Love em both.

"to focus on each moment" - well said. The trick is to hurry up and slow down... value the simplest things.
robjame is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:43 PM
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Personally amydelta I find preparing for a trip a workout. I don't enjoy it until I am on the way to the airport. I agree with Byrd except for the fact I don't find planning the trip and all the numerous details fun.
LoveItaly is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:59 PM
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I absolutely LOVE the planning for the trip. I have often said that it is almost as much fun as the trip itself. I love finding a flight we can afford and finding good hotels, but not too expensive. Each find is a separate pleasure! Of course, the trip is many separate pleasures as well.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 03:51 PM
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Iused to relish the trip planning almost as much as the trip iteslef, but having logged well over 100 trips to Europe, plus innumerable domestic trips in recent years, I'm finding the thrill of planning is fading. Unless it's a completely new destination - then I'm all over it.

But in any case, I could never compare sitting around my house reading travel books, poring over maps, and searching the internet to actually BEING there, breathing in the sights and sounds and smells and all. And while mealtimes at my house aren't too shabby, I NEVER manage to eat or drink as well at home as I do in Europe.

I was very very excited many years ago about going to Tunisia...and was pretty disappointed after I'd actually been. At the same time, it was a trip that engendered an unbelievable number of funny stories to revisit, not to mention a few thousand dollars earned in travel articles about some of our misadventures.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 04:10 PM
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I used to overplan and I did enjoy it but then I started thinking that too much planning took away from the trip itself.

I would plan so much that it became obsessive and irritating and frustrating. I would get so sick of the place before I had even been there! Sometimes I would start thinking, blech, now I don't even want to go there, I am sick of it!

To me nothing compares to the trip itself and the memories aferwards.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 02:59 PM
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Hehe...only 54 days 'til I leave!!
amydelta is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 03:16 PM
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sea urchin,

I've become the same way...at first I worried that it was because I didn't enjoy travel anymore...then I realize, no, I VERY much enjoy traveling but the planning can get tedious. Like you, one time I almost sick of the whole trip before I left because I had done so much research...but I greatly enjoyed my trip!
lyb is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 03:57 PM
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lyb, it is funny isn't it? Burnout I guess. Also I don't like the pressure of having so much planned that I feel like I should keep looking at my watch! I do enough of that in my regular life.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 04:20 PM
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Amydelta- you're destinations sound wonderful!

See now, I think this question is a toughie. Once you begin on the trip, time just flies. But the time before you leave, if you give yourself enough time to relish the idea of the upcoming trip, time stretches out in front of you. I think the anticipation is one of life's sweetest pleasures...reading about the places, trying to choose what to do, imagining the feeling of being there. Nothing can replace the actual experience of the trip, but anticipation comes close. So then, which is better, the anticipation or the memories?
ninasdream is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 05:01 PM
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I enjoy figuring out where we'll go. Then I scout for airfares/seats. When I finally secure the plane tickets I get a little buzz!

The beginning of the planning to me is the hardest - where to base ourselves, figuring out transportation, hotels. It just takes hours of research. I'm really glad when I have all the hotels booked.

I must say, that the more trips we take, the more I let little details slide. I don't worry too much whether something is "the most perfect." I know we can find something interesting no matter where we are.

Now, with 7 nights left (!) before our trip to Netherlands and Belgium I am done planning. We'll finalize sights when we're there. And we'll go with the flow. Knowing that I have excellent hotels booked has eased my mind greatly.

canterbury is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:26 PM
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I love to plan my trips. I love reading the guidebooks, pouring over the maps, etc. I start to imagine myself in those places. I don't think about how my day will go, I just imagine standing on the bank of a river, gazing at a famous landmark, etc.

While I plan my trips very carefully, I don't overplan my activities. I make sure I have plenty of downtime and have no problem changing my plans as I go.

I have yet to have a "bad trip" (knock on wood), so I've always come back from my trip as happy, if not happier, than when I left.

And it's 134 days, 2 hours until I leave for my next trip! Not that I'm counting...
toedtoes is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:36 PM
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The trip itself is far superior to the research, planning and booking chores. Yes, that's how I feel about the job of booking hotels and flights-its a lot of work. Sure I'm very excited about the trip and I count the days til we leave but there is nothing like actually being there and living the fantastic days of traveling. Memories second and planning third, for me.
wantago is offline  

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