We are bad at making decisions from the couch about holidays. It all starts with the destination: where are we going? And more importantly, what do we want to encounter during that holiday? Culture, nature, beach, mountains, good food, in the right season, a bit child-friendly… Actually, we want everything in one destination, and that’s where the misery starts for me and my boyfriend.
anticipation = misfortune
For some people, choosing a nice destination is a pleasant part of going on vacation and they call it anticipation. We call this predictive. We really want a super destination and holiday without making concessions on all points that we find important. Because that is difficult, we often do not find what we are looking for, and become frustrated as a result. As a result, we just put it off. Not the most ideal tactic because that does not solve the problem and the holiday often becomes unnecessarily expensive. And sometimes it’s just really stressful: last year we managed to book a week away less than 24 hours in advance, even though we had known for months that we were going away that week. I can’t recommend it to you.
Our Excel system
We have found a solution to limit that predicament and to get a little grip on the stress of choice: Our-Large-Where-Should-We-Go-Excel-System. This is a kind of higher holiday science meets nerd factor 10. We enter vertically in a table all our possible destinations that we think would make us happy if we went on holiday there. Then we place horizontally all the points that we find important during a trip, such as temperature, number of weeks needed to travel well, good food, etc. After some research, we fill in every destination with pluses and minuses. Then you can even add some sort of color scheme to it to get a better picture. Tadaa, this is what it looks like with us:
Did you think we’re just doing this to pick a destination? No, this also works for choosing a place to sleep. Where we used to just pack our backpack and read the Lonely Planet on the plane where we wanted to go for the first nights, it is now a bit more convenient to record things a little more. Main reason: we have a 2 year old son with us. And to lug him from hotel to hotel in the blazing sun and jet-lagged to find the best place, negotiate and then two more times to check the rooms, no we don’t see that anymore sitting with a lot of luggage and mister B. So now we prefer to arrange our sleeping places in advance.
Engage the expert
More and more often we have a travel specialist make a selection of beautiful locations that are also somewhat ok with a child. Saves a lot of hassle (read Excel sheets). We only went to Bali for 1 week, so we thought we could figure it out ourselves. Turned out to be a bit more difficult than we thought because what a range of accommodation there is! And all equally beautiful and beautiful and good. We couldn’t see the forest for the trees. In the end we chose a top 3 from a list of 8 locations and let our system loose, even this time with a points system. Yes, we go very far in those things to finally make a decision: