Planning for trips - is it a chore or a joy?

Sep 4th, 2019, 04:48 PM
  #61  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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I absolutely like to plan my dining. Iím a discriminating diner and like well presented food that is also fresh. So, a wilty salad at the end of a nice day of touring makes me sad. My husband likes to try at least one or two Michelin-starred restaurants when we travel to Europe. Iím happy to tag along and we usually have a really nice experience.

Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, Iíve not found concierge staff very helpful in recommending restaurants so we try to research ourselves. I have gotten some great ideas from Fodorites for dining in Florence, Paris and Normandy. So far, I havenít had great luck dining in Rome or Venice - the only memorable meal in Rome was at the pricey restaurant at the Hassler. Spain and Portugal had more consistently good food of the lower end ďjust popping inĒ type. Switzerland has decent food most everywhere but nothing anywhere that really knocks your socks off. Unless you are eating cheese! I love French food but have had some surprisingly mediocre meals there when I havenít done my homework.
gruezi is offline  
Sep 4th, 2019, 05:32 PM
  #62  
 
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Mediocre meals make me sad, especially if said meals are not inexpensive.

We have few opportunities to have great meals here and really look forward to trying something new, creative and great.

I make sure we save some travel money for great dining experiences. And I spend a lot of time reading about restaurants.
kureiff is online now  
Sep 4th, 2019, 05:37 PM
  #63  
 
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We are not high end eaters for the most part, but we do seek out great hole in the wall places. We have better luck just popping in in less touristed places or off season when custom is more sparse.
jubilada is online now  
Sep 4th, 2019, 05:39 PM
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by Underhill View Post
Planning a trip is my favorite thing, and I usually have one going. Just had one all set to go to Phoenix in December, and then it turned out the friends we were planning to visit had to be in England at the same time. But I had all the fun of researching hotels and restaurants, and now we'll go over to the California coast again next month. Then I'll start working on something else. I'd love to have been a travel agent if it hadn't meant dealing with anxious people.
I think I'd have enjoyed that too.

I actually enjoy the idea of research down to that level. I get what people say about it getting them excited for the trip.

I just don't do it because on the other end, I feel I have to actually give some sort of consideration to that schedule and plan... and that I've done a lot of work for nothing (and am missing out on stuff) if we don't use it. Love making plans. Hate following plans. So I should probably have done it for other people.
CounterClifton is offline  
Sep 4th, 2019, 05:50 PM
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by jubilada View Post
We are not high end eaters for the most part, but we do seek out great hole in the wall places. We have better luck just popping in in less touristed places or off season when custom is more sparse.
I think youíre lucky, if youíre finding great food by popping into less tourists places.

I love great cheap food and I donít mind paying a lot for great food. I research both and prefer when we can find less expensive. I mean we plan all of our trips by searching airfare sales. We had no plans for Italy until we found $530 round trip tickets out of MT.

What I donít like is wasting money on mediocre food. I love good and interesting food. I donít care if itís street food or a few hundred dollar tasting menu. I just hate spending money on basic, okay food.
kureiff is online now  
Sep 4th, 2019, 05:54 PM
  #66  
 
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And I agree with gruezi that the food in Venice (at least in our price range) was mediocre to less than mediocre. We decided to mostly cook in our apartment or just go super cheap.

We we did have a good lunch in Burano but mostly...ehhh.
kureiff is online now  
Sep 4th, 2019, 05:55 PM
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by kureiff View Post
We have few opportunities to have great meals here
Having been to (beautiful!) Montana, I agree with this statement.

Where did you eat in Venice, kureiff? The local food scene there has really improved over the past 5 years or so but definitely needs careful research. I spent another week there this past May.

Last edited by Leely2; Sep 4th, 2019 at 05:59 PM.
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Sep 4th, 2019, 05:57 PM
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by Leely2 View Post
Having been to (beautiful!) Montana, I agree with this statement.
there are absolutely great options but not all in one town. Not very practical to spread a great meal over 400 miles.
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Sep 4th, 2019, 06:04 PM
  #69  
 
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Originally Posted by kureiff View Post


there are absolutely great options but not all in one town. Not very practical to spread a great meal over 400 miles.
And in fairness I was there in winter, so fruits and veggies weren't really shining. Big portions, though.
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Sep 4th, 2019, 06:43 PM
  #70  
 
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ď
I think youíre lucky, if youíre finding great food by popping into less tourists placesĒ

I guess weíre lucky then.
jubilada is online now  
Sep 4th, 2019, 07:26 PM
  #71  
 
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jub, us too.

As much as picking just the right restaurants and never missing a perfect meal sounds good on paper, I love just following our noses when we get peckish. Usually, if the place has a decent looking menu and it's busy with locals, its turned out to be very satisfactory. But then, some of our best lunches have been a bag of hot street food and a spot in the park or along the river somewhere.

On the other hand, studiously following recommendations and reviews have led us into a few places that really weren't "us" at all. Someone else's idea of the perfect place.

Which, now that I think of it, may be my biggest problem with planning stuff out. Unless you've been somewhere before, planning without experience of your own may just lead you into taking someone else's trip, eating someone else's perfect meal.... And preconceptions perhaps not allowing the place and you work out a new relationship of your own.
CounterClifton is offline  
Sep 4th, 2019, 07:31 PM
  #72  
 
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Originally Posted by jubilada View Post
We are not high end eaters for the most part, but we do seek out great hole in the wall places. We have better luck just popping in in less touristed places or off season when custom is more sparse.
We like this too. The best restaurants we've eaten in were packed with locals. We had some wonderful meals but even better than that, we've had wonderful experiences and great conversations despite (or maybe because of?) languages differences.
goddesstogo is offline  
Sep 4th, 2019, 07:52 PM
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by amyb View Post
I live to plan trips. It becomes a part-time job once I've set my eye on a destination. I don't plan my trips to the minute or to a schedule, but I do know what's available where and when for any place I am on a trip. If I'm in the 6th in Paris, I know what's around there to do and where I can eat or get a coffee. This is, I think, what is most disappointing about safaris though. Once you book it, there's no planning left, just waiting to go. No hotels, restaurants, entertainment, museums to find.

What I loathe though is the pre-trip getting ready part. Maybe we need a thread for that: stopping the mail, the newspaper, getting the cat sitter, calling the credit cards, getting the house ready for the cat sitter, etc. etc. etc. It's all just a means to an end, I suppose.
Indeed, essentially a very thorough check-list for what needs to be done and when.

Underhill is online now  
Sep 4th, 2019, 07:54 PM
  #74  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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As we're not going to Europe much these days, I'd be happy to share guidebooks for Austria, Russia, Germany, and some others with anyone interested.
Underhill is online now  
Sep 4th, 2019, 08:04 PM
  #75  
 
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Underhill, that's exactly how I met muskoka. She was going to Italy, I was going to France. I had Italy books, she had France books. The rest is history!
goddesstogo is offline  
Sep 4th, 2019, 10:02 PM
  #76  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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I used to just love planning trips. Before online booking, my Italian teacher was helping me write an email to reserve a hotel. Fun memory.

But a couple of things happened.

​​​​​​Picking lodgings has gotten harder because there's almost too many choices. Decision fatigue.

On one of our last big trips, one of my kids really wasn't happy with our itinerary. And so now I have a lot of self doubt. Who will like what. Is this a good idea? Overhyped? My youngest, who is up for going almost anywhere, says that my only mistake was not leaving people home who didn't appreciate being there. He's probably right.

Now I'd like to plan for my husband and me, but college costs will preclude any major travel. I am thinking Canada.

​​​​​​
5alive is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 07:22 PM
  #77  
kja
 
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Joy!
(Except deciding what to skip.)
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