Ok, I know I said we’d start talking about restaurants and such, but I’m not there yet; we still have some foundational stuff to do!
Once you’ve figured out what sort of traveler you are, this is when the fun really starts. Now you can really start sketching out your dream itinerary and tricking your brain into giving up that nasty Fear of Missing Out: FOMO. (Plus your itinerary is a super handy resource if you ever end up taking this trip!)
So how do you get started? You can totally go the traditional route and pick up a guidebook from Amazon or the local bookstore. However, my FOMO usually rears up when A) I’m scrolling through Facebook and get blindsided by someone’s exotic trip photography, or B) something at work is particularly stressing me out. In this case, I’m on a computer or mobile device, and I can immediately open up a browser and find something to add to my itinerary. If you’re the type, though, who wants to buy a book and carry it around, I won’t stop you; you do you.
Next, figure out some place to keep your itinerary. I am beyond obsessed with Google Drive, an online file storage app with a lot of the same functionality as Microsoft Office. One huge bonus is that it lets you collaborate in real time. In other words, I can open up a blank file, invite a friend who’s also in a FOMO slump, and the two of us can plan a trip at the same time without overwriting each other. It also lets us IM with each other — and nothing helps me hack my FOMO more than having a little hive mind!
Again, if you’re the pen-and-paper type, you can do this all in a notebook, though you’ll obviously lose the crowd-sourcing aspect. If you go the analog route, I say go all out and include clippings and pretty pictures as you come across them. After all, if you’re creating itineraries because you’re stressed out, looking at landscapes can help calm you down.
As you jot down notes, don’t censor yourself. If you’re excited to do the silliest thing, this is your chance to indulge yourself! In Iceland this June, I’m really tempted to try the infamous dish hákarl, which is rotten, fermented shark (this is a testament to just how determined Icelanders are: “Oh, this shark is poisonous when fresh? Well, what about if we bury it, can we eat it then? Still no? Well…hang it out to dry for a few months, then!”). When the time comes, I may totally wimp out and be all like, “nah, I’m good, actually” — but until then, rotten shark is in my itinerary and I know exactly where in Reykjavik I’ll be able to find it.
Still not sure what this all looks like? Well, it’s your lucky day, for I’m attaching two snippets of a Google doc I’m working on for friends that are heading to Paris in July.
Ok, so next post I promise we’ll finally start talking about all the awesome resources available for trip planning. Until then!