Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Your Perfect Travel Strategy

A change is as good as a rest, or so the saying goes.

I happen to believe it's true, which is why my lovely hubby and I took a trip to Amsterdam last week. After a stressful six months, it was good to get away for a few days and an ideal way to unwind. Not because the weather was any different (it was snowy the first day and then warmed up) or we had to go too far (the flight was 40 mins!), but because it was away from home. Different. Yet, because we've been there so many times, comfortably familiar. What better way to relax than to potter through the streets of the old town, alongside the canals? We visited many places we'd been to before, but also managed to find some new ones too. We had coffee, lunch and dinner in both old favourites and new discoveries.

On Valentine's Day, we had dinner booked at a romantic restaurant. It was one of those skyscraper, rotating restaurants, with a fabulous view of the famous harbour, as well as the rest of the city. Finding our way there meant we had to take the free ferry across the harbour. A new experience. And the view gave us a whole new perspective on the city. So much so that we did the trip again the following day, during daylight hours. Why had we never done this before? [and yes, that is a swing on top of that building!]

Unfortunately, we weren't able to make our planned day trip to The Hague - we'll have to do that another time. It didn't matter too much in the end, because we were able to do other things.

All of which got me thinking about the perfect travel strategy. Some people, like some writers (called plotters), love to have every last detail and minute planned before they travel. They like to see and do everything they possibly can, so no time is wasted. Others, again like some writers (called pantsers, because they fly by the seat of their pants), like to just turn up and play it by ear. 

We are somewhere in the middle - which, coincidentally, is kind of like the way I write. We like to do plenty of research about the place we're visiting and a rough idea of the things we'd like to do. Where tickets or reservations are necessary, and if it's something we're very keen about, we'll make the booking. Otherwise, we like to keep things open. There will be a broad structure to what we would like to do, but also enough flexibility that we can take advantage of surprises and detours.

 So what is your travel strategy? Are you a plotter, a pantser, or like me, an in-betweener? Leave me a comment to be in with a chance to win a signed, limited edition, print copy of my Valentine's short story, A Perfect Bouquet.
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12 comments:

Mary Preston said...

I plot my trip to the supermarket, so anything further afield gets the full treatment from me. I'm going to visit my mother in April - yes, travel tickets already booked and paid for.

Jane said...

Hiya, Anna. Congrats on the new release. Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities. I'm a plotter. I prepare and pack a few days before the trip.

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Mary! I wish I was that organised for the supermarket. I'm terrible - even when I write a list! Have a lovely trip!

Anna Sugden said...

Hey Sweetie! Thank you! There's another thing we have in common! A love of Amsterdam. If only they played hockey!

Laney4 said...

When we have to pay for travel insurance but are driving (we're in Canada driving into the U.S.), we plot on a large map with post-it notes, based on various websites noting tours of plants/stores/etc. Once we have dozens noted in a state, we choose our favourites, then calculate how far away each are, booking motels along the way. Once completed, we still keep the "other" tours just in case our plans change (businesses close up or move, we take too long or not as long at a previous business, etc.). We cram pack it all into a week of great memories.

If there are no time constraints when making day trips, we wing it around a few planned stops, watching street signs to lead us (astray sometimes).

Like Mary, grocery stops are well plotted weekly, as I don't want to be out any longer than necessary, nor do I want to buy (many) non-sale items on a whim.

Laney4 said...

Please don't put me in the draw. I read A PERFECT BOUQUET. A lot of territory was covered in only 20 pages - and it was done well! I still managed to feel her love start to "blossom" and his "in full bloom". Cute throughout, including a nice ending for a novella.

dstoutholcomb said...

Pantser... we never go anywhere that requires real planning

denise

Kaelee said...

I think my husband and are basically pantsters. We do read travel guides ahead of time and roughly know where we are going but we are fully open to distractions. I can remember having to find a hotel before we got to our hoped for destination as it was homecoming week in the city we were heading for. We never did get to that small city. I love the idea of driving down a road and seeing a sign for some attraction and going for it. When we are on freeways we will often head off for a small town just off the freeway and see what it is like.

Anna Sugden said...

Sorry for the belated replies everyone! Got caught up in the NJ Writing Challenge of writing 30k words in 28 days! I did it *YAY*! Of course I'm behind now on everything else LOL.

Laney - that sounds like a good mix when you're planning. I'm very similar in that I like to make sure I get somewhere and have a bed for the night (I'm too old for camping out in bus stations or ferry stations or airports, like when I was a student!), know what's available to see and do, and then head out!

Thank you so much for your lovely comments on A Perfect Bouquet - you've made my day!

Anna Sugden said...

I'm intrigued, Denise - does that mean you don't travel far or that you totally wing it when you do travel?

Anna Sugden said...

There is so much fun to be had if you're open to distractions, Kaelee! My lovely hubby and I love to take detours and do different things (as long as we know where we're going to sleep at night LOL). We've found some real gems by getting 'lost'!

Anna Sugden said...

Since I was so late replying to most of the comments, if you've already commented above and would like a signed, limited edition print copy of A Perfect Bouquet - email me at anna at annasugden dot com with your snail mail address and I will pop one in the post to you.

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