Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Why the frantic pace of a packed itnerary?

Why the frantic pace of a packed itnerary?

Oct 13th, 2000, 06:45 AM
  #1  
Ron
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Why the frantic pace of a packed itnerary?

Pardon my bluntness, but what is it with the frantic pace of travel I so often see in some peoples itineraries? It seems that often there is this obsession with needing to "see" everything in a given country or region. For someone who may have one chance in a lifetime to travel to someplace, I could possibly understand, but it would appear that this phenomenon occurs even with seasoned travelers. In my, as yet, limited travel experience, I have found that if your goal is to "experience" another country or culture, staying in one place long enough to get into the local rhythm is the way to go. You may not be able to return home and tell your freinds about all the "stuff" you saw but you yourself will forever hold onto the feelings you experienced getting into the flow of the local lifestyle. In other words, don't strive to "see" everything at the risk of "experiencing" nothing. I hope my thoughts are provocative enough to elicit the views of others on this.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 06:53 AM
  #2  
Paige
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I concur, BUT, people travel because they're interested in an area. You can't blame them for wanting to see as much as possible. Also, some may not know if there are more trips in their futures. I used to be a frantic traveler but the more I travel, the more I've relaxed. I can certainly understand the burning desire to see all of Florence, Rome and Venice for the 1st time but only having 2 weeks to do it! Also, different strokes for different folks. You may be more interested in getting into the local rhythm while others may be more interested in seeing all the art they studied in school. I don't think you can really convince people to be one way or the other. They'll do what suits them and that's how it should be.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 06:57 AM
  #3  
Annie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi Ron:
My days of "packed itineraries is over. I have learned that the more I packed in, the less I enjoyed where I was because I would not have enough time to see the next attraction. I now plan some things and explore the possibilities of others and leave time to find those wonderful places I missed during my frantic pace. It gave me incentive to return to those places.
Live and learn.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 07:22 AM
  #4  
elaine
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Ron
I think it is attributable in some cases
to newness to travel, and/or to financial constraints which understandably make some people feel that "more" is a better value for the amount they're spending. And some people just have different styles. Some are comfortable with an active pace, others want more serene and concentrated experiences. Age could be a factor as well.
The factors no doubt affect lots of other issues in our lives besides travel; people seem to tend to be consistent in their styles, whether it's
about arranging travel or tasks at work or PTA meetings.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 07:27 AM
  #5  
Rex
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
For many Americans who travel abroad, it's "vacation" - - in America...

and "travel" in Europe.

When there are fewer financial constraints in my life, I look forward to "vacationing" in Europe, and in many other parts of the world.

In a few dozen more trips, I may quench my thirst for "traveling".
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 07:35 AM
  #6  
Dave
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Pardon my bluntness, but what right do you have to criticise other people's travel styles? If I want to see seven countries in five days that's my choice.

 
Oct 13th, 2000, 07:37 AM
  #7  
Howard
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Great topic!

Frantic is in the eye of the beholder. I have travelled a fair amount, so "seeing it all" for the one and only trip is not so much of an issue of me. However, I do like to move around a lot.

I feel for me that five days or so in a major city (Rome, Paris, New York); two days or so in smaller cities (Siena, Galway, Nashville); one day and maybe a night in a smaller place (Portsmouth, NH, Roundstone, Ire., Bergamo)is sufficient for me.


This seems to give enough time for me - I can see much of the "major" sights, and still ahve time for just walking around, sitting at a coffee shop, etc. However, when I start to repeat things, it is time for me to move on.

Howard
Is this rushing things?? To some yes, to me no. I agree with
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 07:38 AM
  #8  
Cindy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I recently visited Europe with a group, and I have one observation to add. There's no way to put this gently so here goes: Some people have really short attention spans. That means they are bored silly at the Vatican museum in the time it takes to walk to the Sisteen Chapel and out the door, muttering that it's just another big painting, so what's the big deal? So that pace means they still have many hours left in the day to run through other major sights, and then on to the next city. These folks are just different, and for them, the pace isn't frantic. It's efficient.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 07:44 AM
  #9  
Dianne
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
As a younger traveler, I enjoy a busy and exciting schedule. Also, I seem to have 10 times as much energy when I'm on a trip than when I'm at home and going to work.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 07:44 AM
  #10  
Paige
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hee hee. Me, too!
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 08:10 AM
  #11  
Ron
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Dave,
You are certainly correct. That is your choice. What I would be more interested in is your thoughts on why that choice works for you.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 08:13 AM
  #12  
rand
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
What amazes me is how fast many people have to run through an attraction. It was really brought home to us in Westminster which is hit by many tour groups. If we were standing looking at something we would be pushed aside by a group of 30 trotting by while the guide named the one highlight. Then we could admire for a few more minutes before the next group ran by. The brochure claimed a tour would take 1.5 hours. It took us 3.5 hours and I'm sure we missed millions of architectural delights.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 08:26 AM
  #13  
Patrick
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
My favorite is standing in an art museum and watching people enter a gallery. It is amazing how many never even focus on the painting, but go straight to the little sign to see who did it. They aren't really interested in seeing the art, they only need to be able to tell people they saw the Van Goghs, or the Rembrants or whatever at a certain museum.
But I agree with the original post. One of the joys of now being able to take really long trips is that I don't feel that I have to see and do everything in one day. We are really getting good at going back to the hotel in the midafternoon or just sitting at a cafe or on a park bench for a couple of hours and just relaxing. But I also agree that attention spans are short today, and many people really only want a superficial tour of the highlights. If that's what they want, that's fine too.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 08:55 AM
  #14  
Dave
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Ron,

If you were truly interested in thoughtful responses, perhaps you should have been less judgemental and biased in your original posting. (Reread your original message and I think you'll see what I mean.)

I have in fact done, and enjoyed, both types of foreign travel. My first trip to Europe was in 1993: I lived and worked in a small town in Germany for three months. I also had the opportunity to travel extensively (and frenetically), spending weekends in Berlin, Paris, etc. Here's what that I learned then, and has been reinforced in more recent travels:

1. The law of dimishing returns often applies to travel as to business. I learn the most in the first few days of a visit.

2. Routine leads to complacency. When I am constantly moving, I am much more "aware" than when I have become familiar with my surroundings.

3. When it comes to learning, motivation is much more important than opportunity. Once I have visited someplace, even briefly, it becomes relevant to me personally. When this happens, I am motivated to keep learning about this place even after I've left. (Books, maps, news, etc about places I've visited are infinitely more interesting than those about places I don't expect to visit anytime soon.) So the more places I visit, even briefly, the more informed I become.

4. The true difference between visitors and locals is not how much time they have spent in a place, but how much they have invested in that place. You can't really "get into the local rhythm" unless you're playing an instrument in the band (paying taxes, going to work, arguing with the neighbors).

5. I'm constantly slowing down. Even now I can't keep to the pace that I could seven years ago. So I suspect there will be plenty of time for relaxed visits. In the meantime I want to experience as much as I can - even if it looks to others like I'm choosing quantity over quality.

6. At present, vacation time is a valuable, very limited commodity for me. I can sit in the sun with a newspaper and a cool drink here at home as well as in Paris. I cannot visit the Eifel Tower, Louvre, or Notre Dame tonight after work. So when I'm next in Paris, that's what I'll spend my valuable vacation time doing.

Dave
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 09:34 AM
  #15  
xxx
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Message to Dave

"If this is Tuesday, it MUST be Belgium!"
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 10:07 AM
  #16  
Ron
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Dave,

Well taken. I particularly like your point #3 as the learning aspect of travel is a particularly relevant motivation for me personally.

Ron
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 10:41 AM
  #17  
lola
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I like Dave's response alot. Some of my observations, after having traveled a great deal in Europe: Living somewhere, and a slow pace, does not always translate to rhythm (I've lived in England), and short, busy trips to many places do not always offer less experience. IT DEPENDS. I've done it both ways, and sometimes if I feel I've stayed a bit longer than needed, I tend to waste the time. When I scurry, I'm energized, focused, excited, savoring everything. We all have different situations, intelligence, patience, curiosity, means, etc. So it's hard to generalize. What works for you perfectly may fail for me. So over the years I have figured out the pace I like, after considering the place I'm visiting. I actually like to feel a bit rushed, and tired and happy at the end of the day. As I get older I'm pretty sure I'll slow down. But that is the future.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 11:20 AM
  #18  
xxx
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Interesting comments here, and I seem to notice two distinct types of travelers mentioned: those who travel for their own enjoyment and those who travel for bragging rights. The latter group is no doubt the same type of conspicuous consumer who drives the latest SUV, has the latest home electronics, the showiest house... you get the drift. It's more important to be able to point and say "see what I have" or "see what I did" than to actually take pleasure in something for its own sake.

The first group seems more likely to travel for love of history or art or architecture, and they truly enjoy their own time spent there because they don't worry about what they will tell everyone back home.

Just my observations.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 11:29 AM
  #19  
Jeff
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Dave: I just wanted to compliment you on your eloquence. Most of my travel in Europe has been fast and wonderfully furious, but not "frantic." I have said it before. When you only spend a few days (in Paris, for example) you will be rushed, but what a rush.... I appreciated your comments about this so called "rhythm" As you said, to get into the true rhythm would require wading into the unpleasantries that go with daily living, which is not what I want to do on vacation. Unfortunately, I think this thread also tapped into some of the snobbery of those who try to deny that they are tourists.. Let's face it, when we travel, if we are hitting any of the famous sights, we are being touristy (no matter what style or brand of clothing or shoe you wear while you are there Some people need to get over, or at least live and let live. Vacation and travel means different things to different people.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 12:05 PM
  #20  
Judy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hello Ron and All, Whew, I feel your pain! I love Daves eloquent replies! Especially concerning experiences starting to be repititious, and also the time factor element. IMHO, I think we also short shrifted the money factor. I know I do not have unlimited funds(ESP.after yesterdays dismal stock market) and extra time in country, means extra money! Judy
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:42 PM.