FWP: You Can Take Your Travel Advice And…
PROBLEM: I’m planning my family’s first big holiday in years, and everyone is full of travel advice. “Oh, you have to visit X place,” “You must stay at Y hotel.” It’s all well-meant (I’m always assured I’ll love it), but it’s also annoying, and there’s a part of me that rebels from all of this unsolicited travel advice. At the same time, I hate logistics, and these people’s information could make it easier to plan. Should I forge my own trail, or stick to the well-worn paths?
SB: Dear negative nomad, this definitely seems like your problem, not theirs. You can consider people’s suggestions an exciting short list of prospects to sift through and find the best fit, or you can get comfortable with travel planning; you can’t have it both ways.
Either way, there is so much more drama and decision-making involved on random family trips that I think you’ll have much more to focus on as the trip approaches. There is a reason these types of trips only happen occasionally. Good luck!
RT: Why don’t you hire a travel agent and forward him all the text messages you get with travel tips? This way, he can deal with you hating logistics and also hating unsolicited travel advice from your loved ones.
If you can’t budget in an agent, then appoint a moderator (maybe a calm aunty-type), and create a travel-specific Whatsapp group where all the family and friends can go ham. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “my own trail” on family holidays and big life decisions, so get used to collaborating and communicating. Oops.
LG: Ugh, logistics. Why not stick to the rough path these people are shaping for you, and then look up 1-2 special activities or sites that you want to do personally? It’s the best of both worlds!
Also, if the advice about lodgings has anything to do with finding a deal — take it! What are you, crazy? In this case, two (or three, or 15) heads are better than one. Use the collective wisdom to plan a dream holiday that doesn’t have you stressed before you step off the plane.
KB: Why don’t you just do what I like to do with all unsolicited advice? Either nod your head politely and completely ignore, or tell the person to their face why they’re wrong. (That usually nips the stream of advice in the bud). Not sure why your vacation is anyone’s business but yours!
MM: It doesn’t matter how much you hate planning trips or how lazy you are, never take vacation advice from anyone, especially the enthusiastic ones. They will overwhelm you with a downpour of information, an unrealistic list of “must sees” and “must dos” and follow up when you are back to evaluate if you made the most of your stay. The seasoned Srinagar travellers will examine your Pashmina and tell you it’s a fake, the foodie pros will take one look at your photo of Bangkok noodle soup and turn up their noses. You don’t need that shit. Just do the work and plan your own trip, and stay out of the pashmina stores.