Thinking back on all my previous travels (with Matt, with family and even alone), I realise that most of them weren’t planned very well. I have never done an organised tour before and I prefer not to have each of my days booked up with activities. You might have guessed that I like to wander around and explore in my own time. I’m more of a “we’ll figure it out when we get there” kinda girl and I can’t lie, it has worked really well for me so far.
I’m not opposed to some planning though. I think it is important to have a rough idea of what’s going on and what I’m going to find once at my destination. My three planning essentials are as follows:
- Transportation (flights, travel to/from the airport and to/from where I’m staying)
- A rough idea of the sights I want to see (using tourist guides, Trip Advisor, Time Out and family/friends recommendations for reference)
After taking care of those, I prefer to go with the flow and let each day take me on a new adventure.
Matt visited Canada once before, in autumn 2014. This time, not only was he coming home with me, but his parents were also joining us for those first three weeks of our trip. They had never been to Canada before and I wanted their time here to be really special (like seeing their first moose)!
Surprisingly, the nine months leading up to this trip included: booking flights, bi-weekly family dinner discussions, declined credit card payments, an all-Canadian music playlist on repeat, emails and appointments with tour companies, learning the Canadian rail system, debating hostels vs hotels, completing my university degree, calendar design, facetime calls to my family in Canada and packing up the life I had built in England.
As you can imagine, we had to plan really carefully in order to work with everyone’s schedules and budgets, while seeing and doing as much as possible. Three weeks sounds like loads of time, but it is not. I mean, look at how much we managed to fit into our trip (that doesn’t even include all the activities we got up to).
What I liked most about this trip, was that Matt and I had OUR family together for the first time. We had planned where we wanted to be, but there was room to breathe and decide what activities we wanted to get up to.
I choose to half-plan, by only taking care of my three essentials. The rest is up in the air, and that’s ok with me!