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Old 02-07-2019, 07:54 AM
 
2,080 posts, read 706,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creepy View Post
My man often likes to be really well prepared and hates getting lost so that is a drag sometimes.
My late husband was 15 years older and, as his stamina decreased, I had to be very careful about NOT getting lost or he'd be worn out before we even got where we were going! Now that I travel alone, it's a bit of a luxury to put away the map and just wander. Last year I spent a couple of days in Paris and skipped the major tourist spots- had been there before or they were too crowded, or both- and happily got lost and walked for a couple of hours before finding a Metro and heading back to familiar territory. I miss DH but I'm looking forward to getting lost more often!
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
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I don't prepare nearly as much as the rest of you.

I choose a travel destination perhaps 6 months in advance. I will look up major cities and attractions so as to get a rough feel for where I want to stay, and do a bit of background reading to see if I am going to hit or miss anything major, such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Nyepi in Bali. I will book hotels/B&B for the duration, and I make a decision as to whether I want to rent a car or use public transit. I check the weather maybe a week before departure to see what I should pack.

That is about it. Once I am in a city, I will make a rough plan every evening for the next day. If I use public transit to get from city to city, I usually book tickets when I get to the train or bus station, not before. I will look up restaurants and other eating options when I arrive.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:48 AM
 
2,080 posts, read 706,293 times
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Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
If I use public transit to get from city to city, I usually book tickets when I get to the train or bus station, not before. I will look up restaurants and other eating options when I arrive.
DH and I once barely made it onto a train from Milan to Venice, where we planned to spend the day; we'd arrived at the Milan train station with barely enough time to buy tickets and find the train. The next one didn't leave for 3 hours! Sure, we could have changed our minds and gone the next day, but now I check train schedules in advance.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
DH and I once barely made it onto a train from Milan to Venice, where we planned to spend the day; we'd arrived at the Milan train station with barely enough time to buy tickets and find the train. The next one didn't leave for 3 hours! Sure, we could have changed our minds and gone the next day, but now I check train schedules in advance.
I have missed trains. Sometimes it is annoying, sometimes I have used the time to check out the area nearby. European train stations are generally in the heart of the city with vibrant districts surrounding, not like North America where mass transit is placed in a backwater and surrounded by post-industrial wasteland.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
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I plan extensively, you can practically envision yourself already there during the planning stage.

It also prepares you for what to expect. Oftentimes, you need to show up to certain attractions early before tickets sell or long lines begin. You need to be aware of the weather forecast, price of taxis, distance from the hotel to main attractions, food, traffic, dress codes, cover charges, etc.

You can always save some days for doing unplanned spontaneous stuff.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,375 posts, read 1,663,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
DH and I once barely made it onto a train from Milan to Venice, where we planned to spend the day; we'd arrived at the Milan train station with barely enough time to buy tickets and find the train. The next one didn't leave for 3 hours! Sure, we could have changed our minds and gone the next day, but now I check train schedules in advance.
In Germany I went to the station intending to catch the next train and the ticket seller said Schnell Schnell, I ran to the platform and was pulled aboard the moving baggage car by a laughing handler.

I didm't expect to be such an odd-man-out on this topic. I guess my free-wheeling comfort arisis from 60's Africa when Lonely Planet hadn't even been dreamed of, and one operated on blind faith there was even a road all the way across the country. Somehow you could piece everything together on the fly, and I still believe in that magic..

Adventure is not what you find behind behind clearly marked doors, but what comes in through doors left open.

Last edited by cebuan; 02-07-2019 at 06:45 PM..
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
Adventure is not what you find behind behind clearly marked doors, but what comes in through doors left open.
Not everyone is seeking adventure.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,375 posts, read 1,663,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hertfordshire View Post
Not everyone is seeking adventure.
Adventure doesn't just mean being interrogated at gunpoint by revolutionaries. It can also mean being invited to a family's farm for the weekend. Are you free to say Yes, or do you have to squeeze in one more museum?

Last edited by cebuan; 02-07-2019 at 09:18 PM..
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:15 PM
 
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As much as possible about the things and places I know I want to visit. The planning is part of the fun and maximizing the logistics of travel is a great way to optimize the experience. I always allow unplanned time to accommodate changes on the fly. I only plan about half the things, primarily the logistical travel components and about half of what I want to do and or see, and let the rest play out based on weather variables and the way I feel while there.

Sometimes if weather is ideal I skip things and explore local things. I find that solo travel makes for easy exploration.

It can be riding the public transit system during work days to see the pace and rhythm of the locals and their neighborhoods, or a variety of things.

Some memorable ones: exploring the neighborhood in Zagreb where I stayed and shooting baskets with a college age student on nearby outdoor court for almost an hour.

Having lunch with two graduate female students from Leipzig whom I met while in Prague on walking tour. One from W Germany and another from Finland. Learning about the problem of non acculturating muslim immigrants (2007) in Germany. When the Finn went to restroom asked about differences and W Germ mentioned they (Germans) are louder more gregarious the Finns quiet. It's the cultural exchange type things that make it fun.

Getting followed around Moulin Rouge in Paris after asking questions to the sidewalk touts about whether the 'girls' they kept imploring me to have a drink with were of proper age and legally in France and then losing the guy in the museum of eroticism (I had to google it now and found out it closed down in 2016 due to drooping demand-haha).

Watching in outdoor play in Poland countryside while on trip in SE Poland and being befriended by the young man in the tourist center who tried to help me in some family history investigation. I found three of four surnames from fathers side's graves at the local WW2 memorial and a photo in the history museum of a children's country musical group that had a player (circa 1880s) who could have been a great grandparent as his photo looked eerily like my fathers at same age!

Seeking refuge during a rain shower under the post card selling stand in Tallinn and having brief conversation with beautiful young woman. Roaming the cobblestone streets of Old Town Riga with the Zombies tune Time Of The Season echoing in my head as countless beauties seemed around every corner.

I also will examine and print out google earth satellite photos to get the lay of the land for orientation in urban areas. As well as purchase local maps and speak to concierge or tourist center information workers to find out about any local festivals events that may be going on I would not know about.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:48 AM
 
Location: Caverns measureless to man...
7,247 posts, read 4,670,946 times
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I research the living daylights out of wherever I'm going, spending weeks or even months looking up every single thing I can. I create folders on my computer and save files and bookmarks, print out web pages and create paper files, buy maps and study them - you name it.

But at the same time, I don't really plan very thoroughly. I'll make lists of things that sound the most interesting, and order them in order of preference. Then once I get there, I start working my way down the list and play it by ear. And, I meet everyone I can and pepper them with questions about what I ought to see. For example, maybe Griffith Park sounded like someplace I might want to spend a half day at, but once I get there, I realize I could spend 2 or 3 days and evenings in the immediate vicinity. So, I do; and then I move on to the next thing on my list.

Or, maybe I originally thought Monterey would be worth spending 3 days poking around, and then maybe a day of hiking on the Big Sur coast on my way back south to LA. But once I'm done with the Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf, I'm not that interested in Monterey anymore, but - the locals I meet tell me that the hiking's fantastic down the coast. So, instead of being locked into Monterey because I made rigid plans and reservations, I bail on Monterey and head down to the state parks for some extra hiking.

Way I figure it, I can't know for sure what I'm going to find most interesting about a place until I get there, and I want to put myself in a position where I can just go with the flow. Doing it this way has allowed me to find some absolutely wonderful places that I never would have known were there if I'd had a rigid itinerary, and I have some really special memories that will last me a lifetime. And I've never once come back from a vacation wishing I'd planned it differently.
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