So we have been looking at hotels and flights for the good of the last three months! We’ve been spending an enormous amount of hours trying to make the best itinerary and booking hotels.
I’m not completely comfortable with the fact that we are planning everything at forehand. Actually it even makes me a bit uneasy. But here’s the thing; we have chosen to go to places that are good for traveling with small kids, i.e. main criteria has been no malaria. That actually rules out quite a bit of the world unfortunately… and this has left us with an itinerary that taps directly into high season most places. So for one, we need to make bookings ahead to make sure there is actually room for us when we arrive. And second, we will have 120+ nights on our trip, and making bookings as we go along would simply take too much time and effort from actually just enjoying our time, while it would also end up being too expensive. Had we traveled in other parts of the world (e.g. South East Asia) or out of high season, we would have just found places to stay as we go along.
And we’re talking from experience. We’ve done both. We went to Japan and the States with our daughter without anything planned, and we ended up sitting in our hotel room trying to figure out where to go the day after, and paying way too much for hotel rooms. We even went to an island in Japan that we couldn’t get around due to an earthquake earlier on. This we could have avoided. But you know, we learn from our experiences, and I would probably do the same again, – just to have the freedom. Because that is what we will miss (and gain) – we will miss the freedom to make changes to our plan, to get excited about a place and stay there for a long time, or to move quickly along to a better place. And also we will miss the excitement of looking for places and negotiate rates that I so much loved when traveling earlier. Along with the internet came online hotel bookings, making the old-fashioned backpacking ways almost extinct. Too bad!
BUT we will get the freedom to just enjoy ourselves knowing that we don’t have to find the next place to go to. We can rest assure that we have thought and read about the places before and (hopefully) found the best place and the best itinerary (for our budget anyway…).
And this freedom excites me. It excites me so much that I can barely wait the month and a half until we leave. What exciting time that awaits us!