Winging it vs. planning out your vacations

When it comes to traveling, there’s a variety of ways to vacation. At the extremes, you can visit an all-inclusive resort or you can wing it in the wilderness with just a backpack. Both require different amounts of planning.

There’s also a variety of ways to plan these vacations. As you’ve probably guessed, there’s an entire spectrum of planners. Here are three different types of planners.  

Find out what type of planner you are below! 

Type A Planners 

Type A planners are very organized. They have their flights booked well in advance and have an extensive itinerary stating what exactly they might do. It might not be down to the minute — like my sister’s itineraries (this is how managed to ride all the rides in Disney World) — but they know about 90% of their vacation details before they board the plane.

Type B Planners 

There’s also the Type B planners who are completely spontaneous on their vacations. Sometimes they show up at the airport without their ticket purchased. They love to see where fate and their luck takes them. Once they get to their destination, their motto is “It’ll all work out.”




ABstract Planners 

What about me? Well, I’ve always been one for planning, but I like to have flexibility in what I’m doing. In short, I’m a hybrid of both of these planners. I like to call this the ABstract planner (Do you see what I did there?)

An ABstract planner is a combination of both these planners. As an ABstract planner, I book my flights well in advance, as well as figure out transportation. I create a wish list of things I’d like to see. Though, I don’t schedule tours or buy attraction tickets ahead of time. When I arrive, I let my whims be my compass. What I’m going to do that day is decided either the night before or during the moment.

Read more about how I create my traveling wish list here

For me, I love the freedom of being able to sleep in and not miss an essential part of a jam-packed day. Some days I love to get up early, watch the sunrise and start my day right away. Other times, I love to sleep in and enjoy the nightlife.

I also hated the feeling of exhaustion on vacation. I book a getaway to do precisely that — get away. Worrying about chasing attraction after attraction and not truly enjoying the country I’m in makes me sad. There are always tourist spots that I’ve missed because you can never really explore a country 100%, but I’d rather be able to enjoy my surroundings. Gaze at the clouds slipping by as I lay out on the beach. Be able to enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch in the morning overlooking the rainforest. (Read about all the details of my vacations in the journal entries portion of my blog.)

There are pros and cons to all these types of planning, but ultimately it’s choosing whatever will work for you. Some trips you might seem like a Type A planner, but maybe you resort to being an ABstract planner on others? There’s no shame in being one type over another.

Comment below what kind of planner you are. Better yet, tell me about a trip planning experiencing and how you regretted/were grateful for being a Type A, Type B or ABstract planner!

Quirky Globetrotter

Hi! I'm Martha! The mastermind behind Quirky Globetrotter a feminist travel blog. Quirky Globetrotter is devoted to telling narratives devoted to female solo travel and hidden gems worldwide with an emphasis on intersectional feminism and how that impacts travel on a global and local level.

20 thoughts on “Winging it vs. planning out your vacations

  1. I love the thought of a well planned out vacation. But does everything always go as planned? I planned our vacation to the Bahamas for weeks, had everything written down, flights booked, hotels reserved…Once we missed our flight (things happen with a toddler) all plans were out the door. Maybe once the kids are older, and we have more control over time, we’ll have a better planned vacation.

  2. I definitely all for winging it!! I also love to plan too, so it all depends on the type of vaca for me!

    1. I completely agree! I think it depends a let on the destination and who you’re going with, honestly. Happy travels!

  3. I’m an ABstract planner too! I always find when I get to a new spot I learn about things that weren’t in the websites and guidebooks. If I planned too much I wouldn’t have the flexibility to add on any extra little gems I came across so I like your strategy 🙂

  4. I totally just wing my vacations most of the time. Small trips, I love the mystery and excitement! If it’s somewhere big though, then I definitely would plan! Great post!

    1. Hi Shawna! I also love to wing my vacations. This summer I was in Europe for five weeks and didn’t plan a single thing. That was a little nervewracking at times, but also so, so freeing! Happy travels to you!

  5. Planning a trip is sometimes stressful, and more stressful when someone suddenly cancelled! So I prefer that someone will do my itinerary, and I just sit back and relax.

    1. Hi Blair! So it sounds like you enjoy a pre-planned vacation by a travel agent. That’s a type of vacation that would give me a lot of anxiety, ha! I would feel like I’m not in control. Maybe I should try it sometime just to say that I did it. Happy and safe travels to you!

  6. Has anyone done a wing it trip to the Pacific Coast? My family are going in July and my husband said to get the plane tickers and a car nothing else. Are we going to be able to find hotels??

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