Ten Reasons Why I Love Planning Trips
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” Yogi Berra
I love planning trips. They don’t even have to be my trips. I love looking at hotels, restaurants, things to do, shopping. I don’t particularly love the logistics. But I love the itinerary. I thought about why that is.
1. Anticipation makes you happy. According to Brian Knutson, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Stanford, a big part of happiness is looking forward to something. (like Pavlov’s dogs learning to salivate at the sound of the bell)
2. Everything seems possible. “I’m going to be in Thailand and my daughter is going to be in Hobart Tasmania for New Years Eve . That can’t be too far. They are both in the Southern Hemisphere. Maybe I can meet them.” (except there are no direct flights and I would have to change my mileage ticket, no easy feat these days.) “I’ll just fly straight home from Misiones, Argentina.” (three planes and five airports later). “So we will go to the Kyushu Islands and then Okinawa.” (planes, trains, buses and automobiles).
3. Buying things in a store on sale, though it makes you happy, is not as exciting as scoring a business class mileage ticket to Australia or finding the cheapest flight possible on the internet.
4. My travel agent makes it fun. (firstname.lastname@example.org) He gets just as excited as I do when it comes together. He is also into getting the best price. As soon as I find the best deal for a hotel on the internet, I tell him and he goes to work and does better. One time he called and was so excited, “I just got you breakfast included and the price down 500 yen a night.” I didn’t want to tell him that was five dollars. But he beat me again.
5. Shopping for travel is my most favorite thing. My first stop after I book my flight is Travelers Bookcase (http://www.travelersbookcase.com) to stock up on the best and most current travel books from the countries I am going to. Next,Flight 001 (http://www.flight001.com) for more packing bags and the latest and greatest travel must haves. Then Savinar Luggage (http://savinarluggage.com) to see if an even lighter suitcase has come out yet.
6. You are not packing yet. (which for me is the opposite of love).
7. I love reading about places I haven’t been to yet. I like doing the research It’s great to find some weird tour, out-of-the-way art gallery, store that sells something only they have in the world, a must eat in restaurant, a special beach or flea market. Then I picture myself at these places. I’m a complete travel nerd.
8.Though I love planning alone, the most fun is planning my Japan trips with my friend Reiko who lives there. We are both planners. No detail is too small for us to discuss in-depth for hours. Her niece Anna is a super planner and when we go somewhere together, it is always perfect. They always want me to have the best experience in Japan possible. I always do which is probably why it is one of my favorite countries.
9. There is no jet lag, flight delays, cancelled flights, broken suitcases, missing luggage, getting lost, bugs, stomach problems, illness, blisters or bad weather when you are planning.
10. The best part of planning is knowing that no matter how much you plan, as some point when you get there, you will need to be able to go with the flow and change gears. That is the secret to the perfect trip.