When it comes to travel planning, I do most of the work. Don’t misunderstand; Sharon’s fully capable of making plans for herself, as she proved when she flew to NC to surprise me during one of my business trips.
It’s more of a mutual decision as she knows that I enjoy doing the planning and I know more about the options we have with our points and miles. We’ve known each other for more than half of our lives (what a shocker that was when we did the math) so I have a degree of certainty about what Sharon’s going to say when I present travel plans.
After doing the preliminary searches, I’ll present a few choices with the pros and cons of each one. In my mind, I think I know which one she’s going to pick but occasionally she’ll surprise me. That’s why I still go through the process; I’m smart enough to know that I’m not always going to be right.
Sharon makes it easier by giving me leeway with the plans. For instance, she didn’t bat an eye when I said I wanted to fly to Germany on Singapore Airlines from JFK when there were faster options. I built some things into the trip that made it more palatable for her, like renting a car so we could drive around and look at Christmas lights for an evening in New York, and a stay at the TWA Hotel. Give and take.
Sharon’s taken more of a role in the planning since many of our more recent travels have been road trips and staying at Airbnbs. She did most of the research about the different places, distilling the choices down to a few that met our needs. I’m not going to lie, it was kinda nice. Since we were paying for the cabins and condos, the only thing I needed to worry about was making sure we used the correct credit card.
Our trips for 2022 are normalizing and I’m back to doing the planning. When booking trips for two people using points and miles, there are some advantages and challenges you don’t have when only booking for one person. It’s how things are when you’re using two-player mode. But I recently forgot the most important thing when planning trips as a couple and I’m blaming the travel slowdown as the reason.
I’ve been focused on locking down reservations for our trip to Hawaii at the beginning of 2022. The first thing we needed to do was decide on the dates for the trip. The next step was booking flights, for which Sharon gave me carte blanche as long as I didn’t get too crazy with the routing.
Once I had the flights, it was on to the hotels. The first big decision came after I messed up our reservation at the Grand Hyatt Kauai and booked for the wrong dates. I could book a room with club access and ocean view but it would cost 8,000 more points a night.
One way I work through choices is by talking it over with Sharon. By speaking the choices, it forces me to think about the decision at hand. Sharon stopped me after going over why I wanted to book the club room and why I thought it was too much to spend for a reservation.
Sharon: “You know, you haven’t asked me what I think.”
Yeah, I totally left her out of the decision-making process.
Me: “So, what do you think?”
Sharon: “Book it!”
That was easy. When I got back to my computer, I transferred the necessary points from Chase to Hyatt and booked the club room.
Here’s a little advice if you’re the one that makes the travel plans. Don’t forget that you’re not the only one going on the trip and even though the others not as involved in the plans, they need to have some input into what’s going to happen.
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