Did You Forget How Much Fun It Is To Plan A Trip? I Know I Did!

by joeheg

As of today, I’ve firmed up many of the plans for our trip to Iceland. We have flights, a rental car, and places to stay on our journey. While I’ve already made plans for trips to visit the Florida Keys, Florida Panhandle and the Texas Hill Country in 2021, I had forgotten the thrill of planning what is shaping up to be an amazing trip.

Back in 2020, in the midst of canceling all of our trips for the year, I wrote about an article I read that explained the science about what happens to us before, during, and after we travel.

The psychological benefits we get from planning something, experiencing it, and then getting to relive those memories give us a huge amount of emotional comfort. For part of 2020, all of that was gone. Sure, we found ways to bring back part of that routine by planning trips to the beach, cabins in the mountains, Christmas at Dollywood or even just special dinners at home.

At the time, these things were the best we could do. There wasn’t much in the way of international travel for those who were following the CDC guidelines. Sure, some places would take visitors but you had to ask the question if you’d want to visit a place where they didn’t care about visitors that might be carrying COVID. For most of us, that meant staying home or visiting places where we felt that we could stay safe.

For the first part of 2021, most of the trips Sharon and I have taken have been much like those in 2020. We used our timeshare points to visit Vero Beach and Hilton Head Island, and took day trips to Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando. But once we were fully vaccinated and it set in that we were going to be as protected as possible from getting seriously ill from COVID-19, our travel plans changed quickly.

We’re all set with a trip back to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, TX. Cedar Fair, the new owners, extended annual passes from 2020 to be good through 2021. We’ve even extended our trip to make sure we can visit all of our favorite places in the area, along with visiting some new spots.

However, that wasn’t enough for us. Since our cruise on Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady has been postponed, we needed to do something with that vacation time. Why not visit Iceland?

Since they’re letting vaccinated guests (or those with proof of past infection) enter without quarantine, it seemed like a good place to go. Honestly, this isn’t the way we normally plan a trip. We usually pick out a location first and then it’s up to me to get us there.

I’ve never planned a trip to somewhere I knew nothing about. What type of money do they use. Can we get away with just speaking English? (Add Iceland to the countries where this isn’t going to be a problem) Most importantly for us, since to see much of Iceland involves driving, do they drive on the same side of the road as us and can you rent a car with an automatic transmission?

Spending time looking up the answers to these questions kept getting me more excited about the trip.

Where should we visit? Where should we eat and what’s the not to miss foods. So far, I know about the hot dogs and the Arctic Char.

Honestly, I had forgotten how much fun it is to learn about a new place.

Sure, I was able to get a similar feeling from searching for Airbnb cabins in Georgia and Tennessee. Still, it was nothing like learning about a country I hardly knew anything about before we booked flights to visit.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Photo by stein egil liland from Pexels


swoopest May 27, 2021 - 12:18 pm

Iceland is a good choice. Everybody speaks excellent English, they drive on the right side of the road like Americans, and you can rent cars with automatic transmissions.

While the Blue Lagoon is very popular with tourists, note that there are ~ a dozen geothermal swimming facilities in Reykjavik, and (reportedly) every town in Iceland has one. (Just be sure to wash off really, really well before you enter one.)

joeheg May 28, 2021 - 12:26 am

We’re all set with the rental car. It’s our first non-US rental and driving on the same side of the road was the clincher. We might hit Blue Lagoon knowing that it’s overpriced and overly tourist. It’s the blogger dilemma. If we don’t go, how can we review it to say if others should go.


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