Are You a Travel Planning Overachiever?

Do you plan your trips weeks or months out, research the destination by cross-referencing several guidebooks, internet search engines and travel blogs – and ask everyone you know for information and tips about where you’re planning to travel? Is every day scheduled or mapped out with all the must-see’s and highlights? If so, you are definitely a Travel Overachiever and my advice as a guilty party is to stop! Having just returned from another over scheduled trip, I’m planning (there I go again) to unplan my next trip, leaving plenty of time to soak in just being – wherever I go next. I have found that so many guidebooks, destination websites and travel bloggers need to fill empty space and often what is listed as a “must see” is a heavily touristed trap – now sometimes that’s decidedly not true – but unfortunately, you don’t know until you’ve invested some of your precious travel time there. On my trips that lasted several months backpacking around the world, I didn’t have to worry so much about wasting time because if I didn’t like somewhere I just moved on and there was lots of time to have down days. Now that I only have days or a week or so to travel, I feel much more pressured to schedule all of my days. I have to say, though, that the most fun I had traveling on one of these short trips was the two days within two weeks I didn’t schedule or reserve a hotel in Europe. We ended up deciding on a whim to visit a town, got a home stay recommended from the small tourist office, and had no guidebook for what to see there. Imagine that! Complete freedom. We even missed the last train back to our reserved hotel in another city and had to figure out how to get back by bus instead. Not knowing the local language required an amusing and interesting exchange with a local trying to help us. I can honestly say those two days were the most fun of our entire trip. Slow down and allow time for the unexpected and magical.

Comments, questions? – now it’s your turn 

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