When Travel Planning Goes from Me to We

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One of the reasons I enjoy traveling solo is independence and freedom of choosing what I want to do and when. I enjoy immersing completely in a new environment and sometimes when traveling with others, I can’t relax and enjoy the experience. I feel the need to entertain other people traveling with me and am concerned whether they are enjoying their vacation.

I’ve decided to plan a Alaska vacation this summer and it’s turned into a girlfriends getaway, since it’s a destination they have wanted to visit but not alone. They are dear friends from my Yellowstone days and I’m really looking forward to seeing and traveling with them again.

Planning for Europe

Trip Planning for Amsterdam, Bruges and Brussels, 2010

The planning process has begun and I’m about finished but I wasn’t involved in 100 percent of it, which is making me uncomfortable. I’m not saying it’s bad, just uncomfortable. [Note: I wasn’t planning on trip planning for another couple of months but one of the travelers wanted to get it done now.]

Yeah, I’m having control issues. I discussed it with on my traveling companions and she understands, she’s not used to planning for others either.

Here are a five things I’ve learned when the travel planning goes from me to we:

Make Sure Everyone Has the Same Objectives
In my case, we all want to visit Alaska however in the beginning, there was brief discussion about taking a cruise. Sorry cruisers but I’ve never taken a cruise, not sure if I ever want to take one and definitely know I don’t want to take one during my Alaska vacation. There was also early talk about traveling by train but when considering the cost for three people and the flexibility a car offers, we decided no on the train.

I’m up for seeing quirky, off-beat things, like the Musk Ox Farm and giant vegetables at the Alaska State Fair (I’m talking 100 pound cabbages!). Since I was put in charge of putting the itinerary together, I threw in a few things but not too many.

Keep Lines of Communication Open
Planning this trip with two others doesn’t seem as though it should be difficult but since none of us have been to Alaska and I’m not sure of everyone’s price points and interests, emails and phone calls have been frequent. One of the ladies does not have Internet access meaning she does not have email nor online access for travel planning. This means more phone calls than usual.

Agree on a Budget
Something  we should have agreed upon before the planning was how much to spend on a hotel and activities. If we would have worked this out at first, this would have reduced the back and forth communication.

Compromise isn’t a Bad Thing
I know I won’t be able to do everything I thought I wanted to do but am rationalizing the experience will outweigh the sites. I’m also certain we’ll have a blast together.

Just Make a Decision
Since I’ve been put in charge of the bulk of the itinerary, I’m just making a decision and the other two will have to enjoy what I’ve selected. After all, that’s why they asked me to do the bulk of the planning, right?

Check out Tips for Planning a Girlfriend Getaway Road Trip for additional tips.

What tips do you have when the trip goes from you to them?

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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1 Comment

  1. When you ant to travel with family, friends or alone, there is so much to know and to plan. However, sometimes the best way to get the most out of your trip is to leave the planning to the experts. If you are planning to come to Costa Rica, there are so many activities to plan that probably your best bet is to just ask your travel agent in the country.

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