Apart from having little trust in others, it also became apparent that I am very much a detail person.
In fact one of the questions to expose this was: "When going on holidays I tend to have detailed travel plans: Always, Most of the Time, Occasionally, or Never?"
Naturally I picked "Always".
While I haven't embraced an Excel worksheet, I do use Word documents with tables outlining the date, location, and key accommodation, transport, transfer and activity details. This is supported by another folder of hotel receipts, timetables, maps and anything else I might need.
|Planning doesn't mean everything is set in stone|
1. Planning helps you enjoy the holiday before you've even left home
|Planning: gives you a taste of what's to come|
I usually start thinking about a holiday nine months before departure. I start with a broad plan and then fill in the details as the holiday approaches.
I will take my time to research destinations, hotels and transport options, and find this hugely rewarding. Using Google Earth, Trip Advisor, blogs and a host of other online tools, I can literally see where I'm going and and can get excited by these virtual tantalising tastings. Sometimes it feels like I'm already there, as if my mind has departed on holidays before my body. After all, why confine your holiday to just a few weeks when you can spread it out over months?
2. Planning maximises the "fun on the ground"
|Planning: more time to enjoy the good stuff|
I'm not going to spend my precious holiday time in a fabulous location lined up in the local tourist office trying to find a bed for the night (only to end up having to take the hotel that has vacancies for a very good reason!).
I also take it to the next level and know what I want to see at the destination, so I don't waste time wondering what the destination has to offer when I'm already there.
3. Planning gets you into places
|Planning: better access to the things you want|
Most people who visit Amsterdam want to visit Anne Frank's House, but because of its size it can only take a limited number of people at a time. For those who like planning, you can pre-book and pay for your entry online for a specific day and time. So while all the non-planners stand in queue for literally hours in the hope they'll make it in, you just rock up a few minutes before your entry time and skip the queue.
The same applies for other major attractions, like Granada's Alhambra. You can buy your ticket online beforehand, or line up at the crack of dawn in the hope of snaring any left over tickets. It's really a no-brainer don't you think?
4. Planning means you can easily adapt to changes
|Planning: finding the easier way is easier|
Rather than make your holiday rigid, planning actually does the opposite by ensuring you've got the information and tools you need to quickly adapt to the inevitable changes, alterations and delays on your holiday.
5. Planning gives you options
|Planning: more options to choose from|
6. Planning saves you money
|Planning: saves you money to spend on other things|