Personal vacation planning styles range from ultra-planners to non-planners. Ultra-planners have every tiny holiday detail planned in advance. Non-planners take a minimalistic approach of only booking flights and then departing. Most travellers will plan their holidays somewhere in between these two extremes.
My personal travel planning style is semi-structured, with periodic ultra-planner tendencies. My family’s available travel time and money is limited, so we have found that investing time into our travel plans provides us with the best return on our investment.
I initially like to read enough about our planned destinations and routes to have a general feel of how much time we should reasonably allow for each location. But I leave the detailed research until closer to the departure date.
We always create a holiday itinerary, sometimes several itineraries if we are considering different holiday options before deciding on our destination. Some holidays have been reasonably flexible, while other holidays have been largely pre-booked. The rigidity of the itinerary depends on a combination of time constraints, whether we are travelling in peak season and our mode of travel.
If you are travelling solo then it doesn’t matter which type of vacation planner you are as you do not need to compromise with travelling companions. However, if you are planning to travel with other people it is important to determine their planning style up front. Travel planning clashes can otherwise lead to conflict for an activity which is supposed to enable you to enjoy your precious leisure time.
Before you start planning your next vacation, take a moment to consider where your personal travel planning style sits on the ultra-planner to non-planner spectrum. Be self-aware of your style, and ensure you ask your potential travelling companions enough questions to understand their travel planning styles before you commit to your trip.
If there is a significant mismatch, it is easier to understand this issue up front and pre-agree how you will plan your vacation. Taking this approach will result in a much more pleasant experience for everyone.