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Okay, I admit it….I have a problem. A planning problem. I am a massive nerd when it comes to planning things, travel especially. I’m sorry I’ve been MIA lately but I’ve been in super duper nerd planning mode! When I get an idea, for a trip/event/whatever, I’m like a dog with a bone or a fat kid with a cake….I will not let go until I’ve completely devoured all aspects of planning for it!

I’ve been planning my mum’s visit in August. What’s that you say? August is ages away? Too right but that doesn’t stop me from planning! In January/February 2012, my mum and I spent 3 weeks in Europe for my 30th birthday. I had the itinerary planned 6 months in advance. It was all put into a document and broken down by day, sometimes by times if we had something specific planned that needed booking. Seriously, 6 months in advance. In fact, the day she agreed to come with me, by that evening I had about 30 holiday apartments bookmarked. I have a sickness.

A screen shot of my Paris schedule.

A screen shot of my Paris schedule.

What I’ve been planning this month is Mum’s month long visit to London. Her original requirements were shopping, tea and staying in London to experience all the stuff we didn’t get to in our single week’s visit last year. No worries there. I could practically do that in my sleep and in fact had a list of teas and shopping done up almost immediately.

I happened to mention to Mum about how I was going to do a week organized tour in Italy once I finished my current locum (aka temp) position in London. As I described the trip to her, I could practically hear the wheels turning in her head and by the end of the conversation, we’d changed the trip to August and we were going together for 2 weeks! Since she can’t stomach shared accommodation, it was decided I would use my planning skills to organize the same trip like the tour we were looking at but on our own timetable and staying in B&Bs and hotels/apartments.

In the weeks since, I have booked our apartment accommodation in Rome and Florence, sorted a B&B in Venice and a small hotel in Cinque Terre (more specifically Monterosso Al Mare). I discovered AirBnB thanks to the lovely SeebyZoe and read countless reviews on Tripadvisor. Before I booked each of our places I would email Mum a list, internet links of websites and reviews included, of each place I had my eye on, price breakdown, pros/cons etc and let her choose which she preferred. I’ve travelled enough with her to know what she likes in accommodation and what things are deal breakers. For example, I researched the towns in Cinque Terre and found B&Bs/hotels and then laid them out for her with a description of each town so she could make an informed decision-she chose Monterosso because it was the only town of the 5 with a beach and the accomm was close to the train station.

You see? I have a problem. I am such a nerd for this stuff.

I even have a folder on my desktop and separate documents with trip breakdowns.

I even have a folder on my desktop and separate documents with trip breakdowns.

So needless to say, our Italy itinerary is almost completely sorted and we still have 4.5 months until the trip actually takes place! I just need to officially book a tour or two but basically, everything is booked, down to our walking tours/day trips! I have now changed my focus to the part of the trip where she is actually in London! I’ve already sent her emails with choices for day trips out of the city and possibilities for overnight stays in the country.

While doing all this research, I’ve also been planning my own travel! I’ve researched and booked a 9 day tour in Spain in early May after my locum finishes (the time when I had originally planned to see Italy) and I’ve been seriously researching a weekend in Prague at the end of May for the bank holiday here in England. Plus a bit of research has gone into my weekend at the end of June in Paris to catch up with some Aussie friends visiting. Oh AND looking at places in Greece for when my sister comes over in September. Whew. It seems a bit ridiculous when I write it all down like this but I’ve got different folders and documents all worked out, flight times and prices as well, all organized on my desktop so it’s not overwhelming.

If I wasn’t a physio, I’d be a travel agent. My sister, who IS a travel agent, often tells me to research my own questions because “you’ll know more than I do”. It’s a bit of a family joke that I should be the one who’s the travel agent. But then who would do my family’s physio treatments?! My thinking on the matter is that once I can no longer work as a physio (I think I have another 10 years max in these pathetic little hands), I will become a travel agent. I LOVE planning trips and planning trips for others would be fun! Shared excitement is even better than being excited by yourself 🙂

Anyways I’m off this Easter weekend to the Netherlands to visit friends based in Amsterdam-I love me a long weekend. A long weekend with chocolate and friends-EVEN BETTER!

Hope you all have a wonderful Easter long weekend and hopefully I’ll be less slack writing a post about my Dutch adventures!