|Subject: Re: The value of travel planning|
I have two modes when it comes to travel planning and it depends whether I am travelling alone or with a companion.
When travelling alone I do much less planning but am well aware that I may be subjecting myself to a night in a train or bus station. Also I can travel for weeks with nothing more than, what most of us refer to, a 'day pack'. My wife on the other hand...well, let's just say she can't! (I made the mistake of carrying too much, too often and now when I think I should have brought... I remember back to the days of lugging a full 88 litre backpack for months on end and I am thankful for all the things I didn't bring.)
For me there is no better feeling then standing in a station looking up at a departures board and picking my next destination at that very moment. I have flipped a coin to decide the next leg of my journey, and once, before arriving at the station, I decided to take the train departing nearest 9:17 AM. That is how I first visited Ljubljana, Slovenia. Of course this is really only an option when you have time to spare and I have been fortunate to have had that in the past. These days as I unshackle myself from my computer and head to the airport it is important that I have a plan. With trips lasting from a weekend to a couple of weeks there is no time to lose.
Also, now I rarely travel alone and when travelling with others I don't like to subject them to the unknown. It makes me uncomfortable to think people are not enjoying themselves because I have caused them to sleep in a bus station or the like.
We are currently planning a trip to Spain and Portugal for early October and the planning alone is a great deal of fun. We have already changed our plans half a dozen times but we enjoy the process.
At this point it looks like we will spend a week in Salamanca, Spain. Then we will relocate to the Douro river valley in Portugal. After reading Don & Linda's travelogue of the area we have tentatively decided on three days in Pinhao as a base for driving the region. Then onto to Coimbra and to the coast.
But, as always,...subject to change!