Trip planning can be the most enjoyable part of the trip – other than the trip itself, of course! You just have to spend some time thinking about where you want to go, what you will see and how long to stay in a given location. Planning a trip is much like a project you would do for your job, or around the house. There are steps to follow if you want to have your desired outcome – a fabulous vacation!

Trip planning can be a lot of fun and it builds anticipation of the trip!

Managing a project

I’ve been managing IT projects for many years. Some of the training I’ve attended has hammered home the fact that the more you plan your project, the more likely you’ll have a satisfactory outcome. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that 80% of the work should be done in the planning stages of the project. That includes planning the sequence of events, ordering materials, getting labor lined up, and kicking off the project so that everyone knows what their part will be and what is expected of them.I’ve been managing IT projects for many years. Some of the training I’ve attended has hammered home the fact that the more you plan your project, the more likely you’ll have a satisfactory outcome. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that 80% of the work should be done in the planning stages of the project. That includes planning the sequence of events, ordering materials, getting labor lined up, and kicking off the project so that everyone knows what their part will be and what is expected of them.

If you do 80% of the work up front, the 20% of the project that is left will be easy, and will generally go much smoother. You want the project to be almost anti-climactic. You want that because you want to relax and have fun on your vacation. You don’t want to keep running into annoying “things that were forgotten” or overlooked like reservations, tickets, or personal items.

Enter the “fast, cheap, good” constraints

If you know what you want to do, then you can reserve tickets in advance in many cases. That will allow you to skip long ticket lines. Many attractions have online ticketing so you can just show up at the scheduled time and go right in. You can’t tell me that isn’t favorable to queueing up to buy tickets. A good example is the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. My wife and I have been there three times and never stood in a ticket line. I always reserve a time online and pay in advance. We walk right up to the will call window, get our tickets and go right in. Other people wait for up to 2 hours in the hot summer sun hoping to get in. That is an example of very poor trip planning. Avoid this wasted time and get on with your sightseeing. Don’t waste your precious vacation time!

trip planning

Your airplane taking YOU on vacation!

If you’re like me, planning for anything is a necessary evil. You don’t always want to do it, but in order to have the best outcome, time is required to put everything in order. I have learned over the years that I have a lot more fun when I’ve properly set things up. The worst feeling in the world is when you realize that you’ve forgotten something important (like my last trip when I left the Rail Pass on the dresser at home).