lo-gis-tics: (noun) the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies
I have found that, when traveling with a group, it is beneficial to have one person who is willing to be the leader. Not in the sense of making all the decisions and telling everyone where to be, when to be there and what to do (I always find that person a bit annoying) but someone willing to do the tedious legwork of researching flights, securing tickets, figuring out where to visit, where to stay…..basically the logistics person.
In my marriage I am that person. I don’t mind it really, and most of the time I enjoy it and find it quite exciting; but there are times when it can become a bit overwhelming with so many questions to answer and decisions to make. I am not a novice traveller but I would, by no means, label myself as a seasoned traveller either. Especially on a trip this long and so far away from the familiar.
So where does one begin? I can tell you how I began…there may have been better methods but so far it seems to be working.
- Where to visit & what to see: After deciding our destination, Ireland. We needed to figure out what we wanted to see, (castles, museums, countryside, landmarks etc) At first I thought I could do all my research online, but I found myself with too much information scattered over too many sites. So I went to B&N bookstore and browsed through a handful of travel guides. I ended up purchasing the Frommer’s Ireland 2017 travel guide and it has been indispensable! I liked the size and it felt comfortable in my hands and can easily fit into my day bag. It has a great lay out breaking the country up into 12 regions with what is most visited places in those regions; it has a “Best of” section describing the best of “castles” best of “museums” etc.; there is a section of suggested itineraries for short trip, families, golfing etc. There are a ton of maps as well as sections that talk about practical things like money, public transportation, driving laws, cell phone availability, etc. The author has an excellent writing style that I found enjoyable and easily understood, as if I were listening to a good friend tell me of his recent trip. I would highly recommend getting a travel guide.
- Make a list & check it twice!: As I looked through the travel guide I started making a list of everything and I mean everything that piqued my curiosity and that I wanted might want to do or see. As you could imagine, the list was very very long! When the list was complete came the task of whittling it down to something more manageable and realistic. Considering our time and budget allotment we can’t do it all but I believe we can create a vacation that will meet all of our expectations. Our time frame was to be between 10 days-14 days….initially it was going to be 12 days but after researching the Belfast area I decided I would like to do more than a day trip so it stretched to the full 14 days. The cities we are planning to visit are: Dublin, Waterford, Kilkenny, Killarney, Tralee, Galway, Aran Islands, and Belfast. I have an idea of how long we will stay in each city and what we will be doing in each city. I tried to have a balance between going on tours and exploring on our own with some down time.
- Purchasing airline tickets: Once we knew how long we needed to be gone then I was able to start researching airline tickets. Fortunately for us we had enough airline miles from our credit card awards to obtain both our tickets for free! Yay!!!!!
That is where I’ve managed to get done since January, the next big task….and quite frankly the most daunting in my opinion, is choosing our hotels. That I will save for another post!