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Planning

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Over-Planning: Guilty as Charged

Sooo... I tend to over-plan things. Just ask anyone I've ever vacationed with. They'll tell you.  

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I read guide books, search the vastness of the internet and get recommendations from friends. If we're heading to an unfamiliar city, I'll get my bearings beforehand via google maps and spend embarrassing amounts of time researching neighborhoods to find the optimal location for our home away from home. For trips to parks and hiking spots, I'll try to scope out both popular and less-frequented trails. I do my best to figure out when to get to the trailhead parking lot and what our alternate options might be should the lot be full of fellow tourists.

I'm not particularly proud of this little facet of my personality and I try really hard to tame the urge to fill every moment. Over-planning has actually ruined vacations. Our honeymoon in Maui? Didn't love it. I over-planned the you-know-what right out of it. Why the heck didn't I just "plan" on snorkeling and reading a book on the beach every day? It was a vacation, after all. 

In short? Because I'm me.

That said, the planner in me has also been a hero on occasion. That grocery store in Boston that just happened to be in the same building as the rental car drop-off and an easy two block walk to our condo? Not an accident. I planned that. The spectacular views of the Teton Range from the Moulton Ranch Cabins. Yep... booked that cabin for a reason.

I enjoying planning, researching and plotting sites on the map. I really do. However, with each new trip, I learn to take one more baby step back from the computer, apps, magazines and guide books. I'm learning that planning is one thing and over-planning is another and, quite frankly, it is not a good look on me. 

I'm trying to let trips "just happen," to a certain extent. And you know what? It's kind of great. We have no clue where we're staying the first night of our road trip to Glacier National Park. We have hikes on our list, but weather and other factors may cause us to pick another trail or a completely different activity. We have our passports ready just in case we make it to Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, but we aren't really sure if that's going to happen. Other than the days spent in the car, we have none of the other days mapped out. 

And I'm okay. :) 

Yes, I will always have some sort of plan, but I'm working hard to be more flexible when it comes to the reality of travel. Because sometimes you have a walking tour planned, but you really just want to drink wine and read local alt. weeklies on your rented condo's awesome rooftop terrace. Am I right?

I hereby promise to let the relaxing rooftop terrace option win from time-to-time. You can all call me out if I slip up. Deal? 

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Anyone else trying to become a reformed over-planner? Who thinks I'm crazy for planning until I'm blue in the face? {For the record, I just raised my hand to both of those questions.}


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Featured: Wand'rly Magazine + Vacation Rentals

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Wand'rly Magazine has just launched their 9th issue and my latest feature for the publication, which had me digging into the details behind vacation and room rentals, is now live!

Here's an excerpt:

"After a long day on the road, every traveler needs a place to rest for the night. Some may prefer tents, RVs or tricked-out buses, while others would rather get their shuteye in hostels, motels or high-end hotels. Some wanderers, however, choose an increasingly popular option: the short-term vacation rental.

Since the mid-2000’s, websites such as HomeAway.com, FlipKey.com, Airbnb.com and Roomorama.com have offered easy access to various types of lodging for those seeking unique spaces. With listings ranging from rustic cabins in the woods to grand seaside castles, it’s easy to see why rentals have caught the eye of savvy travelers.

Many of the websites offer the same type of information regarding rental properties, such as number of bedrooms, amenities, rates, reviews and location; but they can differ when it comes to the type of listings found on each site, the payment and reservation process and how owners get feedback from travelers. We’ve rounded up a handful of the most popular vacation rental websites to find out what you need to know before booking your next stay."

You can read the full article here.

If you have yet to check out Wand'rly Magazine, you should stop in and see what the new issue has in store. Those interested in experiencing the Airstream life or living like a local while on the road will find plenty of good information!

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Your turn: What is your take on the vacation and room rental scene? Love it? Hate it? Have any experiences you'd like to share? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it all in the comment section!

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