Sunday, September 18, 2022

Spontaneous! Travel!

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: We talk a lot about travel at JRW, probably because 1) we all love to do it and 2) a number of our guests, like several of the Reds, travel for research for their own books. (Once again, I’m going to promise my next book series will require me to travel to exotic warm beaches in February, not to towns in upstate New York.) So it won’t surprise you that one of the first sections I turn to at the Washington Post is Travel (after my true first, the Advice columns.)


What caught my attention was “Going with the flow on an impulsive trip to Thailand” by Lily Radziemski. It’s a nicely-written travel piece, with the usual recommendations and reviews, but the most interesting part is at the beginning. Radziemski books her trip to Thailand on a whim, less than four weeks before flying off, after a cheap ticket to Bangkok pops up while she’s surfing travel sites. And she quotes an analyst from online travel company Skyscanner, who says this summer 35% of tickets originating in the US were purchased less than thirty days before travel.


Now, correlation /= causation, and it may be these travelers are planning well in advance and for some reason grabbing their tickets at the end of the process. But let’s face it; the standard “best fare” window has remained around sixty to seventy days before the flight takes off. Which suggests a third of Americans traveling are really, truly winging it.


I used to be a spontaneous traveler. In the era of the unlimited Eurailpass, I made several spur-of-the-moment travel decisions, some of which worked out better than others. After we were married, Ross and I used to go for weekends at B&Bs or Inns throughout New England, calling for reservations on Thursday evening and driving out on Friday night. Where would we eat? What would we do Saturday? We didn’t know. We’d figure something out.


Now, however, the thrill of launching myself into the void without an itinerary or plan is gone. I don’t think it’s an age thing - the turning point for me was when we went to Africa on a four-country, eighteen-day photo safari my father in law had planned down to the minute, thanks to a team of amazing travel agents. The joy of never, at any point, having to figure out what to do, where to go, or how to spend our time was utterly liberating. Everything had already been decided, planned and paid for, and all we had to do was live in the moment (and remember to NOT drink liquids before one of our flights in a two-prop plane.)


I still travel like that as much as possible - albeit usually with a lot less luxury and gin and tonics - but I’m willing to hear the other point of view. What do you think, Reds? Are any of you part of the 35% of spur-of-the-moment travelers?



HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: No. ForGETaboutit. I am a 100 percent travel planner. And I have to predict that the “this summer 35% of tickets originating in the US were purchased less than thirty days before travel” figure is probably NOT because people are carefree and spontaneous, but that they are terrified.

 

JULIA: Ha! I was thinking the same thing, Hank... 


RHYS BOWEN:  in my youth I hitchhiked across Europe, spent 3 months in Greece with no planned itinerary and a backpack. Now I like my travel to be stress free to the point of knowing the driver who will pick me up at Heathrow. This is a shame because cruise lines often send me fabulous last minute deals and I would be free to go!


LUCY BURDETTE: I love the planning almost as much as the actual traveling! I have a trip to Paris (postponed a few times) planned for the spring. You wouldn’t believe the digital file I have chock full of restaurant and other recommendations. It’s a big part of the fun for me!


DEBORAH CROMBIE: My second trip to England was six weeks with a bus pass and NO RESERVATIONS. Fun, yes, but now I look back on some of those dodgy B&Bs with nylon sheets and coin-fed heaters with horror–especially the place that had a chamber pot under the bed because the toilet was in a separate building. I did lots of other spontaneous trips with my parents and with my ex, both in the UK and Europe, but now I want every single place booked. And I'm with Rhys on the car service from the airport! My daughter is the planner extraordinaire–she will have every single meal booked! 

 

JULIA: Now it's your turn, dear readers. What's your take on spur-of-the-moment travel? Have you done it, and how did it turn out?

66 comments:

  1. While I’ve never been one of those spontaneous “grab-your-backpack-and-go” people, I can see the pleasure in just going along, discovering new things, and not over-planning the trip. But it’s also nice to know you have a place to stay amid your travel adventures . . . .

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  2. Remember "Europe on $5 a Day"? That was my bible at age 19. If one had a Eurail pass (or, in my case, an all-Italy pass) one could sleep on the train, saving a night's lodging. I've slept in cold-water fifth floor pensiones with shared bathrooms (but usually a sink and bidet in my room). I've always been happy winging it.

    Then I discovered the joys of travel on someone else's nickel. The first time that happened, the State of Wisconsin sent me to an EEOC conference and I had a room all to myself-- no siblings, no sink full of mushy fruit in the bathroom. And ROOM SERVICE.

    But winging it has its advantages. We got into Beijing about 12 hours before we had to join our tour, so I went to the zoo and came (literally-- we were 6 inches apart separated only by chicken wire) face to face with a giant panda. After buying a scalped ticket for "Hair" in London in 1969, I told the scalper he'd just gotten my entire food budget for the week-- so he took me to lunch in a pub with a cast of characters straight out of Oliver Twist!

    One of the reasons I hate cruises is that they are so regimented-- but it may well be that I am no longer that woman who was attractive enough to be picked up in our hotel lobby by an international diamond merchant who took me to a private gambling club where I promptly lost $100 for him at the roulette wheel (back when that was real money.)

    Come to think about it, my preference would be spending someone else's money but being able to follow my own adventures-- that's how I wound up at the mass in celebration of the investiture of the new cardinal of Milan in 1963. He later became Paul VI.

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    1. Forget science fiction, Ellen. You need to write a memoir!

      Between you and Hank (and Cornelia Read), we could write a female version of Forest Gump, minus the running. I think you gals have rubbed shoulders with everyone of note in the last 60 years!

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    2. Karen in Ohio, I definitely would love to read the female version by you, Hank and Cornelia!

      Diana

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    3. and Ellen in addition to the three above!

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    4. So funny! Cornelia’s list alone is jaw dropping!

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    5. Wow Ellen, I’m impressed and I echo the ‘we want your travel tales memoir’. What great adventures you had, though I did have one of those taken to a gambling club, losing £100. not mine, back in the day. What fun it was when I was young. - Celia

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    6. Hank, especially now that Cornelia is married to Peter Reigert!

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  3. Like RHYS and DEBS, I did the Europe trip for 6-8 weeks with a Eurail/Britrail pass and NO RESERVATIONS at 19 & 22, and loved it. Years later, I took my mom on her (first) dream trip to Europe. We landed in Frankfurt, Germany and spent the next 6 weeks travelling across Europe with no itinerary or bookings and it was glorious.

    And when I lived in Toronto, I did take spur of the moment (long) weekend trips to Boston or even San Francisco. Sadly, those days of easy airplane travel are long gone. Having recently returned from a problem-free trip from Minneapolis Bouchercon, I am still itchy to travel this year. But tales of airport chaos, impromptu rail/airline strikes and other travel calamities are making me hesitate.

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    1. GRACE: Pleasantly surprised by how easy my travel went last weekend. I flew to Sacramento round trip from SFO. I was expecting chaos and delays. Went smoothly. A friend and his husband experienced chaos travelling in Europe last week.

      Diana

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    2. DIANA: I'm glad your trip to Sacramento-SFO went smoothly!

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    3. Also, my travel stamina is not as good as it used to be. It should not take 11 hours to travel from Minneapolis to Ottawa. It has taken a couple of days to recover and get back to a regular routine from this trip.

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    4. I am going to be flying from Portland down to St Pete's in Florida for the Novelists Inc. conference. I'll let you all know how the flights were!

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    5. GRACE: I am so sorry that it took you 11 hours to travel from Minneapolis to Ottawa. I wonder if it was due to staff shortage. I suspect that my trip to Sacramento went comparatively smoothly because not as many people were travelling by plane to Sacramento?

      Diana

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  4. I'm getting ready to have everything planned for me if I go somewhere I've never been, although I did have fun wandering around Minneapolis alone the day before Bouchercon. Gone are the awful beds and bathrooms of my youthful travel!

    Anybody know a good Celtic music tour of Ireland? Or maybe a week cooking in Tuscany? Mmmm.

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    1. Do you know CIE Tour Ireland ? When I visited Ireland, I don’t know about one on Celtic music but they had many different kinds of tour in Ireland .
      Danielle

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    2. Edith, I would love to go on a week cooking in Tuscany too. Diana

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    3. My friend Judy Witts Francini runs culinary tours and market tours of Tuscany and Sicily. I think Karen-in-Ohio has been on one. Judy-- who originally trained as a pastry chef in San Francisco-- married an Italian. She blogs at Divina Cucina (Florence).

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    4. Yes! What a coincidence that you also know Judy, Ellen! Is she still teaching cooking, though? I thought she had stopped.

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    5. She is-- she just had to make alternative plans during the pandemic, so she has been teaching online.

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  5. I have never been a traveler. I did a college program with Audubon where we backpacked around the United States, parts of Canada, and dipped into northern Mexico. I was very proud to live out of a pack and sleep on the ground for two years, and I loved seeing all the beautiful places and people we visited, but once I got back from that experience I never particularly wanted to go anywhere again. With my husband's job we moved to the D.C. area for three years, and the S.F. area for another three, and long ago I did a lot of research work in Los Angeles and Manhattan, but otherwise I've enjoyed getting to know my own land on a micro level. I am a provincial farmer at heart.

    I've promised my husband, a devoted mountaineer and traveler, that we will travel for our 40th anniversary in two years. Now I have to think where we will go.

    As for travel conditions currently... my husband is on his way to northern CA. His connecting flight was canceled last evening and he was forced to sleep on the floor of the Dallas airport overnight. They offered a hotel voucher but the hotel was 30 minutes away and the new flight was continually changing. He has slept on many an airport floor over the years, but it's a bit tougher at 70. He boarded his new flight at 6 AM.

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    1. Oh horror show on sleeping on the floor of an airport! I bet you'll have a lot of fun finding the perfect trip for your anniversary...

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    2. oh yes, I remember sleeping on the floor at the airport in 2000. I was so exhausted that I could not move after I got off the plane!

      Diana

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    3. Oh….. that is so bleak! Awful. Is he home yet? And safely in his own bed?

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  6. We've done it both ways, in this country. Steve used to have six-week lecture tours where he knew he had to show up for individual appearances at specific times and places, and he was very often hosted at people's homes. But in between he meandered, serendipitously stopping for the night, usually close to a place he could find stuff to photograph. When we started dating I would join him now and then, often flying out to wherever he was and driving back to Ohio with him. In those early days, the late 1970s, that meant a lot of motor courts made of concrete block, sometimes just three or four units together.

    I've similarly taken many solo trips across the country, just stopping to visit friends and staying wherever I could find a room and bed.

    Then, like Julia, we went to Tanzania for a 12-day photo safari. Activities were planned it to the second, and I just went along for the ride. We didn't have to do anything but enjoy ourselves, and that we did. When I went to Europe a few years ago, it was the same--well planned, but with wiggle room for exploration. I realized that "pantsing" a trip to an unknown place where you don't speak the language is not nearly as much fun.

    However, things have changed a lot. There are not as many hotels/motels or even restaurants as there were pre-pandemic. A friend just drove back from Sacramento in an electric car, and had to plan how to make it between charging stations. We have talked about driving across Canada from the Maritimes to Vancouver, and I think it will be a very different trip now than when we first had the idea five or six years ago.

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    1. Karen in Ohio, this reminds me of my childhood. I remember my family drove through northern California all the way up to Eureka. Many motels had no vacancies and I think it was the first and last time we tried spontaneous travel together as a family. We eventually found a motel with a vacancy.

      Diana

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    2. Diana, there is nothing worse than getting to motel after motel with no rooms available, particularly if it's left to late in the day.

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    3. Karen, that happened to me my second time in Rome. Since I had an Italian rail pass and was quite comfortable on Italian trains, i planned to take the midnight train to Florence and the 4 a.m. train back to Rome, but I tried one more treck up to a 5th floor pensione near the Trevi fountain, and the woman who ran it decided that I looked like a nice Italian girl and gave me a room with a big window, a folding cot, a folding chair, and a sink that overlapped the bed-- for a dollar a night! And it included a cup of latte and a hard roll every morning. I walked all over Rome and slept like a log every night.

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    4. Karen, that's an excellent point about hotels and other destinations perhaps not being available thanks to the pandemic. I know here in Maine, there have been a number of restaurants that have markedly reduced their hours because they haven't been able to find enough staffing.

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  7. I flash on a memory of 4 goofy college students standing in the middle of Glasgow's train station with our BritRail passes and deciding to take "whichever train leaves next". That trip worked out so well. We ended up going to Oban and then Iona and then Lewis and Harris and Inverness before heading back to Edinburgh.
    Moving forward in time to my last trip to Europe in 2009. Before we went, we bought our plane tickets and made reservations at a hotel in London for the first few days. Everything else we ended up booking as we went. We took the train to Leeds and the Tourist Information office found us a nice BnB near the University. Amazingly enough there was a picture of an Oregon lighthouse hanging on the stairway landing. My son and I traveled separately to Nice, making our flight reservations on line. He stayed in a hostel for a couple of days before I joined him. (Julia, speaking of drunken Brits, try an EasyJet Friday afternoon flight from "Leeds-Bradford International Airport" to Nice!) We were able to book our Antibes hotel from the train station when we arrived, and it was absolutely lovely. Italy followed the same pattern--going there and finding a place either on the way or when we arrived. It was truly a memorable trip.

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    1. Whatever train comes next —love that!

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    2. Gillian, that sounds a lot like the way Ross and I traveled through Scotland on our honeymoon. We had reserved a car, which he bravely drove everywhere, and had reserved the first two nights in Edinburgh, sleeping in a university dorm for cheap. Then, we had another two night reservation at a luxurious lodge in Oban. Between those two points, we traveled wherever we felt like and looked for a local b&b at the hospitality center when we arrived.

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  8. Travelling alone, security and a place to stay are important. I need a minimum of preparation for travelling but as the years passed, I left more place for improvisation than in the first years.
    Danielle

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    1. Danielle, security and a place to stay are important, as I have learned over the years from my years of travel.

      Diana

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    2. Agreed, I'm always very conscious of where I'm staying traveling alone. Thank heavens most hotel clerks have gotten the memo not to give your room number out loud!

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  9. I will confess that I get extremely grouchy when I'm tired and hungry. So I prefer knowing I have a bed waiting somewhere for me and food nearby. Grant me those and the rest of the time, I am quite willing to meander down the road less travelled.

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    1. Maybe rule number one of spontaneous travel should be make sure you are carrying snacks!

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  10. I don't know if they exist anymore, but back in 1977 my fiance (now husband) and I flew on a cheap airline from LAX to London. These airlines contracted with large commercial airlines for their planes, and would charge around $100 round trip. They weren't very reliable but when you're young and adventurous and don't have money it was - Let's Go!
    This was my first trip to Europe, the plane arrived at LAX around 15 hours late due to mechanical issues, the big news out of London was about the "bloody IRA" attacks, so with this on my mind, as we started down the runway two tires exploded! We were not off to a good start, but out trip was wonderful!

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    1. Anon, that makes me think of trips I made while in grad school, traveling away from DC using People's Express, which, as I recall, made traveling by Greyhound seem luxurious...

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  11. I barely travel to begin with so the last thing I'm going to do is do it on a whim. If I ever travel again, it will be as before...plan, plan, plan and then plan some more.

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    1. Jay, welcome back! Missed seeing your comments for a while. Diana

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    2. Thanks Diana. I didn't leave or anything. I've been reading right along each day. But if I don't have anything to add to the conversation, I haven't posted a response.

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  12. Love to travel. Have to say that I am a travel planner. I have tried implusive ? spontaneous? travel with mixed reviews. I decided at the last minute to travel from Oxford to Brighton to see Princess Diana (missed her by a day!) and I forgot to reserve a hotel room. I arrived at the BDA (British Deaf Association) conference and luckily I met two women interpreters who were kind enough to let me stay overnight with them.

    And I flew to London from SFO on one way ticket, thinking that we would be able to get a return flight from this "broker" who got a "great deal". This "broker" arranged flights for a relative's business travel.

    My travel was not business. I remember trudging to London from Oxford thinking that I would be able to pick up my return flight and there was no return ticket. I sent a postcard to my Mom saying that I would be more than happy to stay in England indefinitely with its free NHS. LOL.

    Eventually I got my return ticket and went home to drought stricken California after basking in the greenery of beautiful England. It was the same summer that Iraq invaded Kuwait.

    Never hitchhiked though some could say that my ability to travel on my own was akin to hitchhiking. Because of my "disability", some would think I am helpless. I am amazed by how I was able to travel on my own with my profound hearing loss, when mobile phones and texting did Not exist yet. I flew to England in 1990. I sent a postcard to let my family back in the States know that I arrived safely.

    And I went to a dress shop in Oxford and asked if they could send a fax for me. I gave them Six pounds to cover the cost of sending a fax. They eventually sent the fax. When returning home, I learned that my family received my postcard BEFORE they got my fax! They asked the airlines to let them know and they never heard from the airlines. They were about to call Interpol when they got my postcard!

    I went to see the Royal Ballet, travelling by train. I was going to take the train back to Oxford from London at night. This lovely family, whose son was a ballet dancer in the Romeo and Juliet performance, did not want me to travel alone at night. I thought I was safe but they were worried. They drove me back to Oxford from London, even though it was out of their way (they lived in Aylesbury).

    For me, I like to plan especially the places to stay! I once decided to stay in London at the last minute after Oxford with strange results. A student called the Hotel for me and I got a place to stay but when I arrived, it turned out that they put me in a room with strangers and they did Not speak English. A friend at BDA told me that when he called them, they sounded like they had a Cyrus accent.

    When I travelled to Copenhagen, I went to the Tourist Office and asked if I could stay at this "green" hotel that Rick Steves guidebook recommended. Turned out this "hotel" was very filthy and I left after one night. Yes, I slept in my clothes. I went back to the Tourist Office and asked if I could stay at the Cab Inn, a wonderful clean place where I stayed the last time I visited Copenhagen.

    Diana

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    1. Diana, you sound like a brave single traveler even without the added complications of profound hearing loss!

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    2. Julia, thank you for your kind words. When I really want to do something, then I do it. For some reason, I really wanted to travel to Britain and Europe.

      Diana

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  13. During our student days, I remember being stranded in the middle of nowhere in Yorkshire, desperate to find a place--any place with a bed and indoor plumbing--for the night. A local recommended a farm that could accomodate wayward hikers. Since then, I'm all about reservations. I'm flexible on our daily schedule which is usually weather dependent and not adverse to taking a chance on a restaurant by reading the posted menu instead of on-line reviews.

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    1. Oh, Margaret, is there anything scarier than being in a strange place and not knowing where you're going to spend the night? I am wholeheartedly in favor of reservations!

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  14. Another innocent abroad here (armed with a 12 week Laker to London ticket, a Eurail pass, and a copy of Let's Go Europe!) I think people responded to our ignorance and enthusiasm--we got invited to swanky parties, spent a day at a villa in Antibes, got to hear and meet some incredible musicians, etc. So much of that serendipity is lost now for young people who don't need to ask for directions, or find someone who speaks English, or who start to cry when the hostel the guidebook promised is right HERE is now a car dealership. I love traveling with all the apps and Google tools on my phone now, but I'd never trade those encounters that depended on the kindness of strangers (none of which required sexual favors, as my more suspicious travel buddy would make clear when kindness was offered!)

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    1. That's such a good point, Spuds. I met so many other young people wandering around Europe - I wonder how often that happens today, with everyone staring at their phones all the time. (Wow, I sound old, don't I? Get off my lawn, you kids.)

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  15. When I finished grad school in 1985, my boyfriend (now hubby) and I packed a car and took off out west. We traveled from NY to Chicago and on to Madison, WI, the Badlands in SD, climbed Cloud Peak (13000 ft) in Wyoming, watched a rodeo in Cody, WY, dropped down to Mesa Verde in Colorado, the four corners, Death Valley, San Francisco and up the west coast, then home. No plans, no phones, no credit cards. Slept under the stars, weather permitting, or in a tent, or sometimes in our car. We were young.

    When we were early forties we booked flights to Scotland and had joined the International Youth Hostel assoc. But otherwise had no plan. Rented a car, stayed in hostels (most had rooms for couples, thankfully). We left on sept. 5, 2001, and of course six days later 9-11 happened. We had little access to TV so it was hard to process. Otherwise, fabulous. There wasn't a castle ruin we didn't visit. Climbed so many spiral stairs worn in the center from centuries of feet.

    Now, I like a plan (with flexibility). They say Anticipation is as mood-boosting as the holiday itself. I have fun reading travel information and anticipating seeing new sights. I'd like as few difficulties as possible.

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    1. That's what I enjoy about planning ahead, JC. I want to spend as much of my time experiencing the place I've traveled to, not sorting problems and wondering if things are going to work out.

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  16. Funnily, my backpacking adventure started in mid life. Our daughter was doing a semester in Greece, my husband had just retired and we were feeling poor. So I borrowed two packs from our local vicar and together with one suitcase between us went off to Athens to meet Olivia. She had picked up Greek by our arrival and after a couple of days sightseeing, and being amazed in Athens; not but the beautiful building but by a Greek guy at the Parthenon who tried hard to pick her up as we stood helpless next to her. He didn’t succeed. Then it was repack the back packs, leave the suitcase at her apartment, board the ferry and off to the islands with no plan. What a great time we had. - Celia

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  17. A friend from South Africa and I stayed in the Venice Ghetto in 1963. Room had one gigantic bed with canvas sheets that had probably never been changed, torn up magazines stood in for toilet paper. But you can handle a lot when you're 19.

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    1. Truer words never spoken, Ellen. As a friend told me, "I like those quaint pensiones and youth hostels as much as ever. It's just my back that disagrees with them."

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  18. I love spur of the moment travel. Even when I plan everything, I'm off itinerary the first time something catches my fancy.

    My first taste? I was 19 and in college. My roomie and I had gotten an illegal cat (no pets in the dorm) and we got caught. Well, my brother's sister-in-law agreed to take the cat if we would have it transported to New York (from Miami). I took Bleeker to the airport and as I dropped him off, I heard a last boarding call for a flight to Montego Bay. I hoofed it to the ticket counter, bought a ticket and made it to the flight before the door closed. No luggage, no passport, no nothing. I did have a Bank of Americard - remember those? When I landed I told the customs agent I had a reservation at Treetops in Negril. He gave me an odd look. I later discovered that was a honeymoon hotel. I went to the American Express office in Montego, got cash from my Bank of Americard, bought a change of clothes and hitchhiked to Negril. Paid a quarter to have a palm frond hut built on the Seven Mile Beach - this is 1970, it wasn't developed yet - and stayed for a month. It was glorious. When I arrived back in Miami the lack of a passport became an issue. Customs called my parents at 3AM and took their word for it that I was a US citizen. Now none of this would be even remotely possible today, but it sure was fun!

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    1. Holy cow, Kait! That goes into the spur-of-the-moment travel Hall of Fame!

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  19. Sorry I'm late chiming in - I'm in a mad scramble to clean my office after turning in one book (Thurs) and starting the next book (tomorrow) which, incidentally is set in Ireland. My research trip is Nov 1-10 and I have my plane ticket and my first two nights in Dublin booked and that's it :)
    WINGING IT, BABY!

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    1. Jenn, you didn't need to chime in - we all knew you were going to say you like going spur-of-the-moment! :-D

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  20. I do like knowing where I'm going to stay, and I love getting settled in somewhere for a long stay. But I'm entirely flexible on the daily stuff. Wandering is my favorite thing to do on a trip. In London I love riding buses to the end of the line--you never know what you'll discover!

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    1. DEBS: Wandering by public transit is my preferred way of travelling, too. During my 7 free days in Minneapolis, I had either a 2.5 hour or 6 hour timed ticket, and got on/off on several buses/LRT when I saw something interesting that caught my attention. Fun times.

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  21. I'm not a keen traveller. So much can go wrong! And so much in other places looks just like it does at home. My disillusionment with travel began the instant I saw the McDonalds on the Champs Elysees in Paris in 1977. I know that that is a curmudgeonly attitude, so I leave the travel adventures to others. I had my share during my year in Europe (1977/78) -- wandering the streets of Paris without an agenda; getting on the wrong bus in Florence and using my phrase book and gestures to find the right one; eating things without knowing what they were, etc. But these days, I go back and forth to our cottage on the lakeshore and I (boringly) like the known aspects of everything. No pantsing for me...

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    1. I hear you, Amanda! I always say I love to travel, but I love arriving back home even more (except for that one time we got back to Maine from Hawai'i in January in the middle of the Polar Vortex...)

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  22. No winging it for me. I like to know where I'm sleeping at night and what's available in that area. I might not have the meals planned down to where they will be every day, but I want to know what my choices are ahead of time. If there's some restaurant I especially don't want to miss out on, I will make a reservation for while I'm there. And, I like getting up in the morning knowing what places I'm going on that particular day. Having said all that, I do like unplanned discovery of places, too, which probably doesn't make sense with my need to plan, but I do like to allow room for local recommendations and last minute surprises.

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    1. I'm with you, Kathy. Thinking about it, I suspect my spontaneous travel itch is best satisfied when we're already at a settled location - renting an Air BnB for ten days in Hawai'i, say, or staying at a resort in Cancun. With the basics nailed down, the rest of the activities can be flexible.

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  23. Speaking of travel, I am trying to figure out why I get so sick staying at American hotels. Is it the carpet or the cleaning chemicals?

    Diana

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