I’ve heard that people get as much of a rush out of planning a vacation vs actually going on the vacation. I wouldn’t go so far to say planning is more fun, but I love really plotting out my vacation – it makes me excited for all the things I’m going to do and super prepared.
Honestly though, I probably go a bit overboard. Most people would consider it crazy, I think. Once we’ve booked our trip I plot each day out in a document. I did this the first time when we went to Europe because we had such a brief time there that I wanted to make sure we got to see as much as possible. We’re going to San Diego in May and I already have my spreadsheet started.
Even though it sounds a little too rigid a vacation “outline” has a lot of perks:
· It’s really helpful for thinking through which days are best for certain outings– sometimes things are closed on Sundays or Monday, or I like to put a major destination on a weekday to avoid a huge crowd.
· It also helps me figure out what stops are near each other. Whether you’re renting a car or taking public transportation it’s easier to visit things in the same area when possible to save time and a hectic going back and forth
· It’s friendly for the budget. When figuring out the best day to go, you might also find a cheaper day for tickets, or find out if buying tickets ahead of time makes sense. Even if you don’t get a discount buying tickets ahead of time can be better for your wallet because you’re not making all those purchases at one time.
I also pretty much swear by Frommer’s travel books to help me out with this process. I do feel a little bit like only people with huge families going to Disneyland from their extreme couponing go through such hard core vacation planning, but maybe I’m wrong. It makes things way easier to me! You can see an example of the sheet I put together for our Rome/Paris trip here.