A while ago an acquaintance asked me who was the trip planner in our family, me or Peter. The question had never occurred to me, but when I thought about it, I realized Peter does the heavy lifting for our big trips. It was my idea to go to Sicily on our next trip, although Peter thought I made the suggestion just to distract him from an issue that had him in a stew. Not true, but it did work.
But once the destination is chosen, he pours over the books — we always figure buying a couple of books in the cheapest part of the trip — searches the internet and reads the magazines articles. I add requests, suggestions and have veto power. “Let’s do a food tour” or “I want to be there on market day” and “Let’s stay at least two nights in each place.” Rarely do we disagree, at least at this stage of the trip, but we do discuss the options endlessly.
There was a time when we traveled spontaneously, booking rooms only after we had arrived in an interesting spot. But that was when we could pick up a charming room with breakfast for $15 just outside of Budapest. No longer.
Airbnb’s and Homeaway’s have become our default lodging. We like being in a real neighborhood and attempting, however feebly, to blend in with the locals. “Our” coffee place and “our” cheese store. Having a kitchen means breakfast isn’t a restaurant meal and when we get laundry facilities that’s a real bonus over washing out the undies in the bathroom sink. And we recognize these rental units have become controversial, and acknowledge there are issues to be addressed. But for now they work for us.