When Eddie and I first started traveling together, I definitely took on the role of PP (Primary Planner). I had created more itineraries, planned and executed more vacations and organized more trips than he had, so the job naturally fell to me and initially I was up for it!
Generally in any group (usually a group of 2 in a tiny trailer…) there is a PP. If you and your travel partner plan everything together…well…more power to you! Personally, I’m not sure that it would be in the best interest of my marriage to plan everything together, but you need to do what works for you!
Working on our first trip (a trip into the Washington State Rainforest) was a labor of love as I planned, researched, emailed, ordered Visitor’s Guides and questioned Eddie about his interests.
I was truly a woman with a mission.
It did eventually became frustrating to me that Eddie kept answering my questions with, “I don’t really know”, but I also understood that he hadn’t traveled much and that there was going to be a bit of a learning curve for Eddie as he discovered his interests and his ‘travel style’. What I wasn’t prepared for was finding out how different his interests, needs and preferences were from mine, and how dismayed I felt at realizing that I didn’t know him any better than that! What I also wasn’t prepared for was feeling so responsible for his enjoyment of a trip.
Now, after some years of traveling together, we have learned more about ourselves and each other than we would have initially anticipated. We have learned (and are continuing to learn) each other’s ‘travel styles’ and needs so that we can both maximize our experiences, and now I can relax and not feel so much pressure to be the ‘tour guide’. We have also managed to put together the list of ‘questions and things to ponder’ that we wished we’d have had to start with.
We want to share that list with you and recommend that you read it together, discuss and take notes. At the bottom of this page you’ll find a PDF button to download and print a copy of this list. If you’ve known each other for any length of time you’ll probably be able to answer these questions for each other, but you also might be surprised at what you could learn!
The information that you gather will help the PP make choices about itineraries, sites, meals and schedules as plans for future trips unfold. It can also help you to be aware of and sensitive to your partner’s needs, interests and challenges.
Print out the following list to fill out and take notes. Make it a relaxed time over dinner and drinks, enjoying a cozy evening in front of the fire or whatever makes conversation fun for you. Here goes:
1). On a scale of 1-5, rate the following areas of interest and make notes of specifics:
- Nature, Landscapes & Wildlife
- Planes, Trains & Automobiles
- Outdoor sports
- Relaxing time at Camp
- Sci-Fi and Science
- Military sites
- Local events (parades, festivals etc..)
- Theater, Concerts and Performances
- Shopping & Antiques
2). Are you an early bird or a night owl?
3). How long do you enjoy riding in the car at a time? What kinds of things can we do in the car?
4). Do you enjoy using mass transit in unfamiliar places?
5). Do you need/like to eat as soon as you get up?
6). Do you enjoy setting up and tearing down camp?
7). Do you enjoy outdoor cooking?
8). How comfortable are you to be away from a restroom and for how long?
9). Are you and Introvert, Extrovert or an Ambivert (one that’s in-between)?
10). What types of electronics do you need on vacation?
11). Do you like an organized daily schedule or do you just like to ‘wing it’?
12). Do you need ‘alone time’?
13). What do we need to do to accommodate our pets?
14). What 2 things can really ruin a trip for you? How can we avoid/overcome these things?
15). What do you need most in the trailer to get a good night’s sleep?
16). What 2 things make you the crankiest on a trip? What can we do to overcome these things?
17). How much do you enjoy heights?
18). In what area of a campground would you most enjoy being in? Secluded or busy?
19). What are your 2 biggest obstacles to enjoying a vacation?
20). On a scale of 1-5, how much input do you want on planning the itinerary, and it what areas does it matter the most?
There you have our starting point questions. I’m sure you’ll come up with some yourself and I’d love to hear what they are. Have Fun!!!
CLICK HERE TO PRINT THIS WORKSHEET: 20 QUESTIONS