I remember several years ago we went on a trip to the US. I was excited to be going for the first time and couldn’t wait to see and do so many things. Before we left a friend gave us a list of things to do and places to visit. I was happy to get some guidance.
Once we got there however I realised we were very reliant on the list and had stopped doing our own thing.
This frustrated me. I wanted to have my own US adventure.
It was why we hadn’t booked a tour for the whole trip. We didn’t want our itinerary be dictated. I love discovering stuff for myself.
It’s great to go home and tell people about an awesome place that nobody you know has been to.
So we started to think for ourselves again.
We didn’t discount the list altogether (who doesn’t want good Mexican food in San Francisco), but we tried a few things of our own.
It was a great balance and worked out well.
On more recent trips I’ve started to feel like we’re slipping back into the “list” mentality.
Nobody has given us one this time, but there is still an ever present list: The Internet.
It’s habit now to see if a place is good by checking Trip Advisor or Yelp. If a place has bad ratings, we don’t go.
This has started to frustrate me again, so we need to choose our own adventure a bit more.
We’re happy to get recommendations, we’ll usually incorporate them into our travels. But some of the best (and worst) stories we have, are from randomly selecting an activity or place to go or eat.
We’ll start slowly I’m sure, but I look forward to having days or even weeks without checking the reviews.
How do you plan your trips? How much do you rely on the advice of friends? Or do you choose your own adventure the whole time?