The Most Exciting, Yet Most Anxiety Causing Stage Of Booking Travel

It’s a very exciting time of the year here at YMMV headquarters. Halloween has just passed and we’re already doing the pre-work to get the house ready for Christmas. That means there are plenty of totes and boxes spread all over the house and garage in one fantastic, one-holiday-going-out, one-holiday-coming-in mess.

While I dislike the mess, I know that out of this will come a holiday display that will bring joy to us and the rest of the people who come by the house to look at it.

Before:

After:

Now watch me strain this metaphor to make it relevant to planning travel for next year.

2020 is a blank slate, like our front yard or the inside of the house. Just as we’ll decorate the house with things from the boxes in the back room, attic, garage and scattered around the house, I’ve been gathering things to “decorate” the upcoming year’s travel plans:

  • Airline miles
  • Hotel points
  • Free night certificates from credit cards
  • Bump vouchers
  • Companion certificates
  • Rental car points
  • Cash back money

Here’s where the exciting, yet anxiety-causing part comes into play. I’m confident that I’ll be able to take all of those things and plan an awesome trip, or trips. But what will those trips be? Where should we go? What should we do? I should have made a goal.

Now, I have an idea of where we want to go but that’s more of a template. For our big trips, I don’t know which cities we want to visit or what hotels to stay in or even which airline we’ll fly with to get there. I have thoughts and scraps of paper thrown around but nothing confirmed, much like containers of decorations all over the house.

For me, the clock is ticking because I have to lock in vacation weeks for 2020. Sharon and I have agreed on what the basic plan for the year will be and that’s why I’m getting excited. Now that I have dates and locations, I can start to look at plans. Flight schedules and award availability will be occupying my free time. Searching for nice, yet convenient and hopefully interesting places to stay will become a minor obsession. Getting plans locked in takes the trip from the abstract to being concrete.

Already knowing what I do about the plans for 2020, we have some great things in store and I’m anxious to start setting everything up. This must be how Sharon feels when she starts decorating for the holidays (Note from Sharon: yep!).

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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