Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crazy Vacation Planner Lady

Over the weekend I got back on a roll with researching the Big Island of Hawaii. We're planning a future trip there.

I checked out this book from the library last fall, and a few months later grabbed the newest edition of it for my very own. I used a similar book when we visited Kauai - they're great for pointing out the lesser-known, often cheaper, but still neat things to see.

[I'm considering requesting their book on Oahu as well, even though the couple of days we'll be on Oahu are nearly completely planned already. I might come across something super cool that we've never seen or tried before.]

Somewhere in there I started to feel anxious that we're not going to have enough days on the Big Island to see EVERYTHING...and it made me wonder if this amount of research - which has become fairly standard for any family vacations we plan - is average or sort of over the top.

In the past, I've made a list of ideas...or a 'wishlist' of things we might like to do or try. In the case of Kauai, I organized it by area of the island because I'm...weird. I think when I finally shared the list with Rob and his family members they probably thought I'd lost my mind and was creating an itinerary that we'd never be able to manage. In hindsight, I know if I was the recipient of that 'helpfulness' I would have bristled and speculated as to why someone was trying to harsh my vacation mellow before we ever arrived.

This time, I'm most concerned with sharing my research with my immediate family so we can skinny things down to what is most important to us. After that, we can throw it out there to our other travel companions. It's the Big Island though - volcanoes, astronomy, Southern-most point of the U.S. - and it's BIG (duh), which means more travel time to see what we want to see.

I don't plan quite this much when it's Rob and I going - mostly I try to find good food when it's just us.

Is that amount of research over the top? Do you like to plan, or just wing it?


AMY said...

I would research to learn and have ideas, but never wanted an itinerary. Somewhere finding a balance of seeing what I wanted but not a frantic pace.

Nancy R said...

Yeah, my list for Kauai was never meant as an itinerary...it was more like a compilation of things that we might like to do. Once we got there though, it took a while for us to get into scheduling the things we DID want to do - the beaches and palm trees are mesmerizing, yo. And because I had done the research, everyone sort of looked to me for 'what should we do today'...

My wish is to be a little more pro-active NOW...and get my peeps more involved ahead of time...so we can hit it when we arrive and schedule the 'must-do's' we all agree on...I'd rather get those things pieced in at a nice pace instead of trying to cram at the end of our trip. Not to mention we can start watching Groupon!

The list DID help us out on our last day in Hawaii, when we had time before our flight and didn't want to have to clean salt and sand off of the crew before scrambling to the airport. The Waikiki Aquarium filled the bill!