Planning vs. Spontaneity


To plan or not to plan? This is always one of the first things that comes up when we talk to other full-time travelers, and we've met everyone from the super spontaneous to the hyper planned over the last year. Sometimes those two types of people are even married and traveling in the same RV.

We definitely fall into that category. Shoam doesn't really like to plan anything more than a day out. When we book flights, even if we know we're going somewhere, his typical response is, "let's sleep on it." (Yup, it drives me nuts). 

I need to have at least a loose idea of the next few months. And by loose idea, I mean a meticulously researched, calendared and mapped agenda. And by next few months I mean six. (Yup, it drives him nuts).  

While it might sound like we're totally incompatible here, we've learned to compromise and we're actually grateful for the way we balance each other out. If we did it all his way, we'd be roaming around Yellowstone looking for a spot on the 4th of July. If we did it all my way, we'd miss all those happy accidents that come out of having no plan at all. 

So here's what works for us. We make reservations well ahead of time for the summer season (Memorial Day – Labor Day), major holidays and super popular destinations. The rest of the year, I relax my death-grip on the calendar and we create a loose plan for the next month, only making reservations about a week out if we make them at all. 

And we always, always check in on whether it's working. Sometimes we have a plan and we throw it out the window. This year we scrapped most of the August route I had spent hours mapping and booking to escape the humidity of the Midwest and get to Colorado faster. It cost us my planning time and about $100 in campground cancellations, and it was totally worth it. We got more than two weeks back to explore the Fort Collins, CO area, which we loved. 

Sometimes we don't have a plan and we realize we need one. We figured things would slow down after Labor Day and we wouldn't really need reservations. It turns out a lot of people like Colorado, and weekends are still pretty booked up through September. We're heading further south and west starting tomorrow and hoping to find fewer crowds. 

What's your planning style? Are you the no-reservations type, or the professional organizer? And if you're traveling with a partner, are you the same, or opposites like us? Leave us a comment and let us know! We'd love to hear from you. 

Happy travels,