How to manage clashing travel planning styles

How I plan my travels, or rather how Austen continually convinces me not to plan them. I’m an organized, meticulous planner through and through, but Austen is more of the spontaneous type.

Seeing the monkeys who lounge around the hot springs in the countryside was my all time favorite memory of Japan. Planning ahead is necessary to make sure you get to experience all the most amazing activities in the area you visit.

Before every trip I get anxious and want to plan it all out, but every time I get close to setting plans Austen persuades me not to. SO what I’ve learned is...


1. Do what makes you happy. If you’re a planner like me then PLAN. I research like crazy before a trip even if Austen says not to-I just don’t tell him I am planning.

2. Make a GoogleDoc and write out your itinerary including where you will be staying each night (highlighting the days you still need to find a place to stay) and amount of free time you may have that day. Include any time spent on transportation to other areas too.

3. Add a list to your GoogleDoc of all the recommendations you receive word of mouth.

4. Do extensive research of the places you plan to travel to and copy paste all the things you would like to possibly do/things that sound fun onto your GoogleDoc. Read blogs, TripAdvisor recommendations, Google searches and make sure to also add links to your notes on GoogleDoc so you can go back to the website for further explanation later.

5. Categorize your extensive list of research into Restaurants, Things to Do (Activities), Things to See (Sights), and Places to Stay.

6. Invite your travel buddies to be editors of the GoogleDoc, but don’t bother them further about planning.

The time will come when your travel buddies will need your expertise (whether on the trip or shortly before when they start freaking out because they haven’t planned), which is when you pull out you handy travel plan GoogleDoc. Your research will not go to waste. This way you can be spontaneous and appeal to their non-planning ways, but also feel happy with yourself by researching, planning, and feeling prepared for your trip!

Have you had to deal with this? Do you have any PRO-TIPS to travel planning or dealing with clashing opinions?