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Are You a Planner?

When we think of travel style, we typically think of things like lodging and activity preferences. Just as important is planning. When it comes to traveling, planners generally fall somewhere on a spectrum ranging from the super spontaneous to Clark Griswold. Today we are going to explore some of the planning styles.

The first on the list is the super spontaneous traveler. These people can just throw stuff in a bag and take off for an adventure. They won’t have a plan or even a destination in mind. These people are generally very easy going people and very extroverted. They enjoy talking with locals and often find interesting local gems through their interactions with townspeople making their experience unique and memorable. For this type of traveler, where they stay, which restaurants they visit, and the activities they enjoy are based on availability at the time they are at the location.

Next is the travel buddy. These travelers are easy going people who like the structure of a planned trip, but do not like the process of planning and organizing a trip themselves. They will often travel with friends or family who have organized a trip. Travel buddies are also a big fan of prepackaged tours as they enjoy traveling for the experience of going some place new. Travel buddies can be either introverted preferring to stick to their group or planned activities, or extroverted enjoying the experience of meeting new and interesting people while on their adventure.

Continuing down the spectrum is the family travel agent. This is the person that everyone in the family turns to for travel decisions. Generally this person takes the time to do research and will decide on a destination and where to stay. They will coordinate transportation and lodging reservations. While on vacation they are the central person for advice on what to do and where to eat. The family travel agent may, at times, bring guide books with them on their trip. While there is typically little to no advanced reservations for activities or dining, the family travel agent is the group resource for all things fun and interesting while on vacation.

The family travel agent can often become a family version of the cruise director I call the Family Fun Director. These people are hyper organized. They have done monumental amounts of research and know their destination almost as well as their home town. Some might say they have some degree of OCD when it comes to vacationing. The Family Fun Director will want to maximize the experience of their vacation and will have everything pertaining to their trip organized in some fashion— often times in an binder with brightly colored tabs and a spreadsheet with every waking minute highly curated. While this person is hyper organized and has everything planned meticulously, they also realize that traveling can be challenging at times and is able to adapt their family fun plan to the situation at hand.

The terminal end of the travel planning spectrum is the Griswold. These people are driven by providing their family with the best vacation ever. They will do just enough research to get themselves into trouble. Armed with enough general information to fill a pamphlet, they attempt lot create a meticulous vacation plan and execute it with exacting standards. Their strict adherence to their plans in the name of a “good old fashioned family vacation” often becomes an overwhelming source of stress impending the family fun they are so desperately seeking.

At one time or another we have all been one of the characters in this blog post. My personal travel style is that of the Family Fun Director. I find comfort in knowing as much as I can about a place and having a spreadsheet with everything I want to do planned out. That way I know I will get to see and do as many things that interest me as possible. My family, on the other hand, prefers to choose a destination, fInd a place to stay, and figure everything else out when they get there. Generally speaking I can make the best of any travel situation and am happy just going on an adventure. Wether you are super spontaneous or an expert level planner, the objective is the same— just have fun. If you are contemplating your next vacation, head over to Grandeur Travel Planning and schedule your free consultation to learn how I can make your next trip an epic one.


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