i should begin by saying i have an ambivalent relationship with planning.
i am in love with planning, but only in theory. on paper, i am a calculated person, a spreadsheet person, a hyper-organized, borderline OCD post-it person. but in practice i am, well, Not. instead, i’m a super whimsical, spontaneous, i-have-an-idea person. in the beginning, we started with a spreadsheet like the one below.
this underwent a ton of revision and a couple complete rewrites.
travel tip: plan your trip with your travel partner when you’re in the same time zone, and, preferably, in the same room.
my travel partner and i didn’t decide i was even coming on the trip until he was already a whole ocean and nine hours away, which, i didn’t think was going to be a big deal. i was wrong and it was a big deal. working through the millions of issues that potentially arise when planning travel to a foreign country is a difficult endeavor when you’re sitting right next to the person you’re travelling with, don’t complicate this further by trying to plan your lives when you’re in different countries and on opposite sides of the day.
travel tip: don’t plan your trip around the (supposed) weather forecast.
the first moment of disillusionment — meteorologists have no idea what’s going on. we planned to go climbing in the dolomites and a week later, i looked at the forecast and saw it was supposed to rain every day we were climbing, so we nixed the dolomites from our plans completely and rerouted our entire adventure. it wasn’t until we asked a local in the area that we decided to chance it.
travel tip: always, ALWAYS, ask the locals.
the “local” we talked to about the weather was a girl on instagram. you would be surprised how willing people are to answer questions (unless you’re in France). so don’t be afraid to ask. if he hadn’t, we wouldn’t have gotten the chance to climb in the dolomites at all, which was, for me at least, the highlight of the trip.
travel tip: make an email address specifically for your travel, and keep it short.
that is, do NOT use your nineteen-letter-long full name email address that everything else in your life gets sent to for two main reasons: reason the first: LOTS of letters sound the same. (b, c, d, e, g, p, t, v, z. english is dumb.) reason the second: you will very likely have to communicate your email over the phone with someone who barely speaks english. and it’s eleven nightmares.