Travel style: Planner or last-minute?


Things got heated last night between my husband and me as we discussed what should be the happiest of topics: Future travel destinations. We don’t disagree about the location, lodging or budget; we disagree over the timing. Whereas I’d like to plan an international journey at least one month out (at minimum..because really I could linger over planning a trip for six months), he’d prefer the “where are we flying this weekend?” approach.

Just thinking about booking a flight for tomorrow is giving me heart palpitations!

Neither approach is better than the other. One is not right and the other wrong. They’re simply different. Rather, we’re different. We’re wired differently when it comes to the idea of “adventure.” His definition almost requires an element of last-minute-ness and mine requires weeks of research. Does that make me un-cool?


According to a 2010 study “vacation anticipation” increases a person’s sense of happiness for a full eight weeks before the travel occurs. And a 1997 study found “vacationers were happier in the period leading up to their time off than during the vacation itself.” Wow.

That said, I don’t think I plan because of the happiness I derive from it. I plan because I’m a risk-averse person …who is only becoming more risk-averse as I delve deeper into parenthood. How about you? What’s your travel style? Meanwhile, a few links for a rainy day:

Eight scientifically-proven ways to become a happier person

This looks tasty. Are you as obsessed with soup as I am?

Look up! A history of overhead photography.

I started reading this book last night and I’m hooked

What to pack for a long-term trip (I swear by #11)

The fantastic film I’m watching to prepare for an upcoming trip

4 thoughts on “Travel style: Planner or last-minute?

  1. I like to plan in detail before a trip so that I get to see as much as I can that interests me in the time allowed. As I like to use public transport overseas I always look up train and bus times before departure, look at where the stops are on street view and what sort of ticket is best for my needs. I love everything about travelling, the anticipation, the trip and the memories I return home with. I usually plan what I want to do in a destination prior to going so that I know how much time I’ll need and allow some extra for things I stumble upon whilst there. Happy travelling!

    1. We love to use public transportation when we travel, too. I always look up how to get from the airport to the center of town via train or bus, because there is no point booking an inexpensive flight if it requires a $200 taxi ride. Planners for the win!

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