Murray and I have a natural division of labour when it comes to planning and preparing for a trip. I guess it follows from what our strengths are.
Murray does most of the reading and gathering of information. He has an extreme ability to sit in front of his computer for hours on end. I would just go bonkers. He reads Trip Advisor and various websites until he is satisfied that he has all the information we need to make decisions on where to go, where to stay, what to do, what to pack and how to travel. He is always more informed than me. I just go along for the ride and follow with whatever he has planned.
When we went to Arizona, Murray suggested we go to Mesa Verde National Park. I said okay, not knowing what he was talking about. Well, it is one of the premier ancestral peoples’ sites in the US and was very interesting. Murray’s research pays off.
Murray is also in charge of gathering the information that we take with us. Most of this is photocopied pages of travel books or printouts from websites. Small city maps, lists of “must see” or “must do” and notes on things like tipping and extra charges. We try to keep the amount of paper to a minimum as it is heavy and eats up our carry-on baggage weight allowance. As we use the information, we throw away the paper or use it for notes for future posts.
I do most of the gathering and sorting of stuff. I put together the first aid kit, gather the “liquids”, sort and pile dive and travel gear. Movement, organizing, crossing off lists – that’s my shtick.
When we get closer to our departure date, we start working more in tandem. We both review all the paper Murray has collected, sort it and organize it for the trip. We go over the items on the packing list that are not crossed off and deal with them. Take them? Leave them? How many? Which ones?
By the time we leave, our separate and together preparations bring us to a good trip plan and well packed luggage.