The age-old debate continues – is it best to plan your vacation down to the minute or show up with no agenda and see what happens?
All my fellow “Type A” planners are horrified by the fact people simply go on vacation and “expect” to just waltz into a popular museum, not realizing tickets have been booked for months.
And all the laid-back “Type B types can’t imagine the stress of having to actually plan anything – ESPECIALLY while on vacation!
So who wins?
Well it depends.
You first need to decide what type of vacation you want to have and then factor in the reality of how much time you’ll have once you’re there.
Here are some points to consider to help you figure out the best option for your next trip.
Dangerous Consequences If You Don’t Plan
Perhaps you’re one of those people who utterly despises having to plan anything on your vacation.
You want to just roll out of bed at whatever hour you decide to get up and waltz into your favorite attractions.
But then you find out tickets have been booked over a month in advance and you can’t get in to see anything.
Sounds like a waste of a trip, huh?
And how even more miserable it is to travel to another country and not be able to soak in the wonders it’s known for.
So here’s the deal.
If you actually want to see the cool stuff in the country you are visiting (and we recommend you do) – you need to do some planning and book stuff ahead of time.
Don’t expect places to cater to you just because you show up.
“Elizabeth Becker, author of Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism, says that overtourism is not only changing things for locals, but for fellow travelers, too.
“Tourists will have to plan their trips better, and research to figure out where reservations are required,” she says – but that’s a good thing.”
But Don’t Plan Too Much
Of course, while it is certainly prudent to plan the stuff you really want to see, you still want to leave some room for spontaneous adventures!
Often times you’ll stumble upon things you never expected, like a dive restaurant all the locals love or a street performance you want to check out.
If you make your schedule so jampacked that every minute is booked, you could end up missing out on an adventure.
Balance is key.
Ultimately, Do Both.
The best strategy is to do a little bit of both.
Figure out the main attractions you absolutely want to see and get those booked ahead of time.
Then make a list of items that would be cool to see if you get the chance, but won’t make you too bummed if you don’t.
Research a few restaurants you want to check out and read the reviews to see if you actually need to make reservations ahead of time.
Then, leave plenty of time for fun and spontaneous adventures!
This balance will ensure you experience the best a place has to offer, while giving you the freedom to live a little on the edge.
Do you typically plan your vacations or do you show up without an agenda?
Which method do you think is best?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with all your friends!