I love traveling, and have always traveled since I was a kid. Now that I have more freedom of movement, I'd like to take the chance to see the rest of the world. While living in Europe, it's easy and accessible to travel within the continent over long weekends or for short breaks, however I find the process of planning the trip very tedious and exhausting or even impossible(!) to the point that I end up going nowhere.
For instance I would like to go skiing, but I haven't skied much in the Alps. Last time (which was my first time skiing in the Alps), I was fairly lucky to have a friend's friend's friend to help me get to the mountains, etc. but that's not always the case and anyhow it takes so much time to research, read online, post questions, and eventually choose from the so many options. This time I tried narrowing down my options by asking a friend who's a ski instructor but I only got a couple of one-word answers and and in the end also I noticed the transport is quite impossible (well, possible at the cost of 600-1000 euros from the airport to the resort!). My usual process which I don't think is particularly efficient or useful is:
- Think and think and think about that upcoming long holiday that will happen some time in the future
- Getting closer to the date start stressing that I have to plan or it'll be too late
- Start looking at the options and panic about all those unfamiliar names and hundreds of options that I can choose
- Try and ask someone with some local knowledge where they'd also make a list of names (still many to choose from) without much info or say: "they're all good" or something like that
- Eventually while the panic monster is running after me, I force myself to sit down and choose and book a flight while taking the options of accommodation into consideration
- Once the flights are booked, including making the decisions on how many days to stays, I start planning the things I would like to do during the trip and the accommodation
- In this last instance (which I still would like to happen this coming weekend!), I was about to purchase the tickets when I realized that I need to figure out my transport from the airport to the resort as well, and then it became clear that I don't have many choices to use public transport, and I also don't have any choice over the flight times as they happen only on certain hours to certain destination
- Call it a failure at making the plans and start over from step 1!
I've got to the point that I believe my assessment/understanding of how long things can take or how I can/should plan things do not comply with the realtime world. To get away for 3-4 days, it seems like I have to spend a similar amount of time to research and plan. Of course this would have been a lot easier if I were traveling in groups, but that's not much of an option at the moment, so I have to plan and do everything on my own.
So, what is the average/usual thought process of someone who wants to plan a trip? What is the average time one would/should spend on planning a trip and any other tips to make this process more efficient that you would suggest? I would also like to know how you initially pick a destination and a period of time in the future to plan things far ahead? (there's probably an element of fear of uncertainties and commitment that probably becomes bolder by age!)