When it comes to travel planning, we are definitely in the ‘play it cool’ category. There are pats on the back all round if we’ve booked flights a month before we leave, got accommodation lined up a few weeks before arriving and put together a general plan to get from the airport to the hotel. Obviously we pack our bags on the morning of departure, why bother doing it any earlier?
At the airport we are those cool kids who board the plane last, at the other end we are always swift to alight with only our small backpacks in hand. Once at our destination we are armed with little more than a map and a vague idea of the main attractions. We alternate between days of pounding the pavements until our feet ache, taking in whatever sights we happen upon, or casually whittling away the hours simply soaking in the atmosphere. Often these hours will be spent baking on the beach or people watching in the town square with a glass of wine in hand; basically living the life!
But all this sunbathing and random street strolling doesn’t always end well. There have been times when I wish we were less laissez faire and more travel militant. Some of our friends have their whole year’s travel booked in January which usually means they get some fantastic bargains. Some of them read guidebooks cover to cover before setting off, so not only do they know where the main attractions are but they could probably score quite a few points if the subject ever came up in a pub quiz. So yes, there are those times when I feel we miss out a little by not doing more research, but evidently not enough to make us change our ways.
Now before you type A, crazy planning types despair, there is one thing we do take some time to research… yep, I’m sure you can figure it out… We spend more time looking up the local delicacies and hunting for the best restaurants than we do anything else. Whether it’s that stand at the end of the road (though it did take me some time to convince a certain someone to eat off the street) or more high end dining, I want to try it all. Although I love to marvel at the history and architecture, the cuisine of a country engages me a lot more than buildings or museums, and will often tell me more about the culture of the people.
Besides, a girl gets hungry after all that walking… and on other days? I’m just a greedy. So actually, now that I think of it, my real travel personality is neither play it cool nor plan it to death, it’s probably more accurately described as ‘gluttonous traveller’!