Do not overplan

Sometimes it's best to toss away the plans and just wing it (Photo by unknown)
Sometimes it's best to toss away the plans and just wing it

Make a plan, but do not stick to it slavishly

I will freely admit to being as guilty as anyone of this, but: Please try not to over plan your trip. That's a two-fold plea:

  1. Plan everything, but don't feel compelled to stick to the plan. I think it's a fine idea to work out all the details of what you plan to do—if nor no other reason than it will help you get a handle of what you are able to get done, and start making the hard choices of what you have time for and what you should leave for the next trip. (Always assume you will return!) 

    But then do not book absolutely every second in advance (that leaves no room to adjust things as you go to accommodate changing interests, sudden festivals, or unexpected invitations), and please do not attempt to stick to the schedule if it turns out to be overly ambitious and starts making you miserable. 

    Remember Clark W. Griswold, the Chevy Chase dad in the Vacation movies, always bound and determined to get to WallyWorld or see every sight in Europe come hell or dead aunties? Yeah, don't be that guy. No one in that family was having any fun.
     
  2. Don't try to pack too much in. A vacation is not meant to be all about checking sights off a list or dashing from place to place to fit in as much as humanly possible. It's about enjoying yourself. 

    So do that. Enjoy yourself. Take a break from the sightseeing every once in a while. Leave some time to stop and eat the crêpe au sucre.
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