Why I Plan So Much

I talk a lot about travel planning on this site. I confess that I’m an over-planner, I tell you how to set yourself up for a great road trip or flight with little kids.   I plan and I plan and I plan. I can hear you asking, “Why, my dear, do you do this?”  I’m glad you asked and there are two reasons.

  1. I like to plan.  It is how I’m wired. I think it is fun to work through logistics and enjoy a trip long even before I leave. Heck, I even like planning other people’s trips!
  2. I like to have some idea of what is coming my way, a basic framework upon which I can rely.  It allows to me relax and just enjoy, or at least handle, the experiences when they come.
    • Specifically, when we travel I like to know where I am going to lay my head each night and that I can keep everyone healthy by having decent food choices available. When we travel with our dog, it is a bit more complicated because not every place will take a dog.  I know this limits our flexibility but otherwise I’d worry all day about where we would stay and I wouldn’t enjoy the time away.  Besides, it’s not the end of the world to cancel a reservation if plans change drastically.

Honestly, when we leave on a trip, I stop worrying.  Whatever happens, happens.  I have prepared for most contingencies and I know that we can handle nearly anything that may come our way.

Some examples:

  • My husband was stung by several bees.  I had Benadryl.  It was a non-issue after that and we went on with life.
  • We got stopped at the border because the guards thought we had stolen our own car. I had all of the paperwork proving otherwise so it was a matter of a phone call to verify once the bureau opened in our state.
  • I have my bag searched rather frequently when flying (and sometimes when driving over borders).  I pack well and keep like things together, frequently in see-through containers. This keeps the searches to a minute or two and I am on my way.
  • We’ve faced major road closures in faraway places. I have electronic and paper maps in the car to re-route.
  • We’ve been stuck in traffic for hours on end behind terrible accidents. We stop regularly to fill the gas tank and use facilities. We keep snacks, entertainment, and blankets easily accessible.

We try to drive and fly as safely as we can but things happen. We know that we are prepared and whatever happens, we will roll with it. There is really no other choice. As long as everyone makes it through the trip, the stories usually become funny anecdotes once enough time has passed.

In short, the reason I plan (besides that I enjoy it) is because weird things happen on vacation!  (Seriously, this should be my tagline. Can I copyright that?)

Plan well and move on my friends!

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