I’ve never been one for planning too far in advance, in any aspect of my life, especially with travel.
I don’t like having things ‘too planned’. I’m all for a general guideline of the days ahead, even the week ahead for that matter, but when it gets to the two week mark, that’s about all my Type B personality can handle.
My theory when it comes to travelling is that you never know what you’ll encounter, so it’s always best to be open and adaptable. For instance, you may meet people who inspire you check something out off the beaten path, or the weather has taken a turn for the worse at your intended destination. Maybe the political climate of a certain region has changed, who knows, but there are many things that can result in one altering their travel plans. Having a loose idea of where I would like to go and what I would like to see without overcommitting has always served me well.
In fact, this mindset has already worked well for us this trip.
When we were in Lisbon planning the next leg of our travels we discussed spending a week in the Algarve, then off to Seville, Spain for the weekend (April 1-5). The minute I started looking at accommodations, I knew something was up; places were basically double the prices for that weekend. It’s still shoulder season so I knew another force was at play to cause such a price increase, but what?
Oh, I know, Easter. I mean I should have known, I was raised in a Christian household and celebrated the holiday for twenty-some odd years but it completely slipped my mind. In Spain, one does not forget about Easter.
This is one of the most celebrated holidays for Christians in Spain and for the city of Seville the holiday is one of the biggest festivals of the year. The city has a massive weeklong celebration with processions of costaleros (bearers) carrying pasos (religious statutes) proudly on their shoulders through the streets of revellers each day.
After reading about Seville’s Holy Week, or Semana Santa as it is known in Spain, we thought it would be an amazing time to see the city, however, the prices for accommodations so late in the game were just too steep. So we made a decision. We would alter our plans and head to Seville after Easter and extend our stay in the Algarve.
In the end, this is about having balance. If you’re the type who likes their whole trip planned beforehand, you should go for it. But if that one incredible festival, bout of warm weather, new friend, or other incredible life opportunity should pop up around your travel – you want to be there. Have a plan, have a backup plan, pencil things in but don’t be afraid to use the eraser if you need to.
Are you a planner? How far in advance do you normally plan your travels?