Trip planning…It is not as hard as it seems
Planning a global family adventure is easier than organizing summer camps that coordinate your kid with their friends, interests, and your work schedule. I promise. We’ve mostly looked back at trips, but this time I am going to bring you along for the trip planning. Planning a trip can be even more exciting than going.
I’ll write in several installments over the next year as we plan our trip.
How to decide where to go?
Surprise, family! We’re going to Namibia! Just kidding, we have talked about it once or twice before I announced it to them here. I’m envisioning this trip as a three-week road trip in Namibia in the summer of 2018. That said, I haven’t researched a single thing yet. It will be interesting to look back on this a year from now and see what it has morphed into.
I am an extremely decisive person. Jay’s favorite story to tell about this is the time I said, “What would you think about building some dirt mounds here in the front yard?” He indicated that might be an interesting approach, and a half hour later a truck drove up and dumped 30 yards of dirt in our front yard. When the inspiration to choose our next trip strikes it doesn’t take me long to select. Really, it is unlikely that there is a wrong choice when identifying trip destinations.
I was inspired to start planning this trip because of some great Instagram photos by @hacseta. There are lots of other ways a trip seed has started though. My daughter’s second grade class was studying the Galapagos so that seemed like a good enough reason to head to Ecuador. When the earthquake happened in Nepal we wanted to go help so that decided another trip. Another time we picked two guidebooks, skimmed through, and as a family voted for Morocco. There are so many places in the world that there is not a wrong choice so don’t let that hang you up.
Some of the things I consider, but don’t necessarily limit me are: the time window that we could take a trip, if there is a particular thing that is engaging Beija that I could leverage, some understanding of the risks involved and our resilience to them, etc.
When to start planning?
We have two trips planned this year – Oaxaca in August and Peru in November—so it is time to start thinking about what comes after that. What? Start planning a third trip before you’ve even finalized details on the next two? Yep.
That’s how I roll. It allows for several things: maximum anticipation, time to learn, time to adjust.
How to start planning?
Set up tools to capture ideas and information
As I am cruising around the interwebs I need someplace to store my thoughts. There are lots of ways to do this. OneNote, Pinterest, Pocket, a simple Word file. I am just in the initial phases so I set up a Pinterest board and a Pocket. Both are extremely easy interfaces.
Buy or borrow 2-3 guidebooks
I search on the available books then look at the forums to see if anyone has thoughts on which is the best. For this trip, I found discussion in the Trip Advisor forum. I found the discussion just by searching “best Namibia guidebook” in Google.
I always include an Insights Guide for history, beautiful photographs, and back story. Then I choose one or two others that are travelers’ favorites. For this trip I chose Rough Guide, which was the hands down favorite of people on the forums and Jeremiah Allen’s Namibia, which is a more independent publication by a former Peace Corps Volunteer. It was mentioned in the forum and I thought it would be good to have a different perspective.
Search the web
I just start throwing inspiration and information into Pinterest and Pocket or whichever tools I use. If I find great bloggers who have done the trip sometimes I’ll contact them to ask questions. If you are doing some trip planning for a place I’ve been, definitely email me.
Putting it out there makes it real! Tell your friends that you are planning a trip. Who knows, maybe they’ve been and can give you the inside scoop.
Start the party
Let’s get the party started! Even if you don’t have a spot picked you can start a board to pin inspiration and then you’ll have something to start with when you are feeling decisive.
I really want to hear about your trip planning! Tell us in the comments section or email us questions at: info at rivetedkids dot com.