Itinerary or budget question? Please read this first before posting.
Replies: 113 - Last Post: Jun 11, 2013 8:56 AM Last Post By: clementis_fur_cap
Jan 15, 2013 7:02 PM
Jan 15, 2013 7:39 PM
Jan 15, 2013 9:31 PM
77People come here seeking opinions and advice. it's true that it's a widely (and deeply) held opinion among many experienced Western European travelers that it's better to spend as much time as possible in the places one wants to visit and, a proportionally small amount of time between those places.
There have been threads in the past where people have said, "I've tried traveling at a variety of speeds and I prefer faster." That preference is typically respected once it's presented. But the assumption there is that fast travelers want to visit only one or two pre-selected attractions per city. And people who already know what they want to do don't tend to post questions on travel forums.
I've seen many more posts by people for whom fast travel is a "default mode" rather than a thoughtfully considered preference. It's a small percentage of thread-starters who return to report on their trips, but of those who do, most come back to say thanks for the advice. I've yet to see the opposite: "You guys told me to slow down and I was so bored!"
Please note that this is a sticky thread. Management must have seen some value in retaining this post and it's contents near the top of the forum. I think it's safe to say that most travel forums subscribe to some "travel philosophy" tenets whether stated or not. But can you point us to any travel forum where the poster of a whirlwind itinerary won't be encouraged to slow down?
Anyway, these are opinions--not gospel. I hope those of you with viewpoints opposed to the general consensus will stick around and contribute to any upcoming "How's my itinerary/" threads. The more perspectives the better. The first post of this thread provides some of the rationale for the widely help views on this forum. I hope you'll be willing to provide your rationale when the opportunity arises.
Jan 16, 2013 5:42 AM
Jan 16, 2013 6:43 AM
Jan 26, 2013 4:51 AM
Jan 31, 2013 9:28 AM
81"Due to the problems there I spent just enough time in Cairo to show my O/H the main sites and then we took the nightrain back to Luxor. We'd seen what we wanted to see in Luxor in the first 5 days and were getting antsy on the last couple of days. I wish we'd gone to Aswan, but I'd thought there would be plenty to keep me occupied in Luxor for a week and didn't feel we had enough time to go to Aswan and back."
I'd love to hear an explanation for that comment by Kulafey in #72 and I don't think it would be irrelevant to the purpose of the sticky Zabba.
My guess is that Kulafey had it all pre-booked. From my perspective I cannot see how someone would stay in Luxor (or anywhere else) longer than they wanted to or leave Cairo before they were ready to do so UNLESS they had pre-booked an itinerary and then discovered the shortcoming of pre-booking as well as (back to OP point 1) not having allowed enought time in Cairo.
Again, from my perspective, what should be added to the sticky is the issue of pre-booking an itinerary rather than having a rough plan to follow and then staying/moving on as needed. Generally speaking, there is no need to pre-book hotels etc. How would I possibly KNOW how many days I would need in Luxor until I got there? The above quote is a perfect example of a major problem with itineraries.
The whole idea of an itinerary having to be pre-planned to the day makes no sense to me at all and should be a major point in advice on itineraries.
Jan 31, 2013 9:42 AM
82Completely agree with you here TIS. I find the whole idea of deciding how many days to spend in each city beforehand crazy. Just go, stay as long as you enjoy yourself, then move on! This contradicts the OP though. The only issue with this is that in some places you do need to make reservations far in advance to get the best prices, especially when it comes to flight tickets. So a balance must be found. Also, some people seem to find it very stressful to travel without a plan. They need everything neatly organized before they set out on a trip.
Feb 1, 2013 5:25 AM
Having said that, times have changed- 20 years ago you could wing it and youc ould always get a train at the last minute, and there was no obvious advantage to booking in advance. These days, you can book a ticket Amsterdam Paris for 40 EUR if you book 3 months in advance or 160 EUR when bought last minute.. That's 120 EUR difference- enough to fund 2 days of travel. So flexibility comes at a significant cost, and not everybody may be prepared to pay that price.
Feb 1, 2013 6:15 AM
84Yes,and even more so with flights.
Myself and a colleague took the same flight just before Christmas (Palermo-London).
I booked in April and paid 45 euros.She booked at the end of November and paid 228.............
I also agree with not booking in advance when possible,but if the differences are that great people are going to do it.....
Feb 1, 2013 9:10 AM
85Agreed, the trade-off for flexibility is cost. It is really the only potential advantage pre-booking has. However, while generally true it is not universally true and even if it were, the choice still remains to be made.
Every time this topic is discussed, cost is always the argument. I ignore cost in favour of flexibility. I don't suggest everyone can or will, even if they can afford to. But as I am sure we can all agree, it is a choice and many posters don't consciously realize the choice exists. They automatically start planning an itinerary without thought as to what they are giving up.
We are pretty much conditioned from birth to live life by the clock and to schedules. That's normal everyday life. Travel however is about (among other things) escaping from everyday life. It is the freedom to get up in the morning (at whatever time we feel like getting up) and deciding what to do that day. Stay in the place we are in or move on; spend the whole day doing nothing but reading a book and putting on sun tan lotion; or whatever.
Why then do so many people automatically give up that freedom to decide and self-impose a schedule on their 'free time'? All I'm saying is it is a good idea to let them know it is a choice. What choice they then make is up to them.
I can think of many advantages to keeping things flexible and playing it by ear. I can think of only ONE advantage to pre-booking.
Feb 4, 2013 2:32 AM
Apr 4, 2013 8:58 AM
87As a newbie, I just want to say thank you for this thread and thank you for responding to individual posts even though they often get repetitive. I feel like you can read all of the threads you want to, but having a personal response makes it that much easier to realize what you need to change about your trip.
Apr 4, 2013 9:00 AM
88As a newbie to both the board and to traveling overseas, I want to thank you for reading and responding to each individual post even though they often get repetitive. I can read as many threads as I want, but a personal response makes it much easier to understand what changes need to be made to my intineraries. (sorry if i posted this a couple of times, my computer is being ridiculous)
Apr 30, 2013 6:45 AM
89I'm a fast traveller and there's something most people don't really try to understand.
take a person who wakes up at 6 in the morning and goes to bed at midnight. he eats fast, avoids lines to enter monuments, he knows how to deal with local transport, takes night trains...
take another person who likes to wake up at 10AM, have his breakfast, have long hours of lunch, walks slowly, always has issues with understanding how a city works, gets lost, likes to party every once in a while, spends half days browsing guidebooks and drinking tea in a youth hostel, takes daytime transport... have him travel with a group of 5 or 6 friends.
the first person will see 5 times more than the second person.
so for the first person, 3 days in Paris will equal 15 days for the second person.
on top of that, sometimes, you just capture the feel of a city really fast and staying too long doesn't add anything to your trip. I remember having spent 2 daysn Krakow on my way to Moscow and it was so great that I decided I wanted to spend more days on my way back. I spent 4 extra days and I can say that the 4 final days didn't add much to my memories.
however, when many people think they fit the first category, persons like the first are actually very uncommon.
another point is that when you travel, mishaps happen. and with too tight a schedule, you just miss things. I was pretty bummed when I arrived at 6AM in Canterbury and I saw that it was impossible to have a close look at the facade because doors open at 8 and that at 8, I was to be on the road to Wales already.
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