Some people dread planning vacations. Sure, they like to get away – but the actual nuts-and-bolts of figuring out logistics makes them break out in hives.
Not me. I sometimes spend hours of my free time researching trips that may never be taken. As a result, I already know where I’d stay if I ever find myself in Laos (3 Nagas in Luang Prabang), Argentina (the Sheraton at Iguazu Falls) and Machu Picchu (at least one night at the Inkaterra). I’ve figured out complete itineraries for Iceland, the desert outside Abu Dhabi, and within most countries in Central America. And don’t get me started on my dream roadtrip (Seattle to Alaska, through Vancouver and Yukon).
My endless research does come in handy at work. One of my reporters will mention Newfoundland and I know that June is the best month to view icebergs. Singapore comes up and I can contribute some knowledge about the licensed food stalls.
The best part comes when the stars align: a cheap airfare comes up, my husband can take time off and we have money in our vacation fund. JACKPOT! I immediately hit my go-to resources: the forums at Fodors and TripAdvisor (much more reliable than the ranked reviews), Chowhound, eGullet or Roadfood for restaurant reviews and of course, general searches of related blogs and magazines. Guidebooks from work become strewn around the house.
Within a few days, what seemed like a impossibly complicated trip is completely planned. Once it’s booked, I’m always a little down – and wary. What if my itinerary sucks? What if the guide or driver I’ve hired is flaky? Should I have let a professional handle this? And what am I going to plan NEXT??
So far it’s all worked out. And even if it didn’t, I would hate to outsource my obsessive-compulsive organization to someone else. Armchair dreaming is much too fun – especially when you get to put it into practice.