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September 13, 2013

Discuss: What’s the Worst Part of Travel Planning?

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As my regular readers know, I’m a big proponent of planning your travels. However, even for those that love travel planning as much as me, there’s always something about the planning process that is frustrating. So, for this week’s discussion question, I want to know: what’s your least favorite part of travel planning?

For me, the worst part of travel planning is the price fluctuations. Nothing drives me more crazy than a price going up before I can book a hotel room or flight (or it going down after I buy it).

Flights especially annoy me because there isn’t much rhyme or reason to the price changes that I encounter when I search. Sometimes, booking early secures you the best pricing; however, sometimes it’s better to wait.

For example, on my recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, I waited to book my flights until about 2.5 weeks before the trip. Thinking that I would have to pay an exorbitant rate, I was actually able to find round-trip tickets from the US east coast for around $260, quite a good deal. Had I booked those same tickets several weeks earlier, I would have paid a higher rate.

Hotels and train tickets, on the other hand, at least go up and down with a bit more obvious logic. While it’s still frustrating if you miss out a good deal, booking early usually provides you with the best rates on these tickets.

So, what about you? What’s your least favorite part of travel planning? Let me know in the comments section below.


  1. I also love planning my trips but I hate booking them, especially for low cost airlines.

    Last week I booked a flight for some family members through a low cost Australian airline and by the end I felt very stressed. By the time I had to carefully check each page to unselect the ‘auto selected extra cost’ items through to trying to work out whether to pay the extra fee to get pre-allocated seats I had had enough…

  2. Predict the weather!

    I am planning a trip to Norway next month to catch the Northern Lights. As October may not be the best month to watch the Aurora Borealis, I am hoping the few days when I stay at Tromso will not rain.

    • Trying to figure out the weather can be tough. I know I missed the fall colors in the US Northeast because they came out early several years ago. It can definitely be frustrating trying to guess the best time to go.

  3. I hate price fluctuations too! It is what holds me back most when planning or moving forward with planning!

    Something else I always struggle with is trying to make sense of a route. I try to plot out a general idea of how many days to spend in each place and research what there is to do, but I always finish the trip wishing I’d spent more time in one place and less in another.

  4. Price fluctuations suck! But I hate it most when, after all my research and planning, the booking website decides to act up and I have to fill out the same stupid form over and over and over again until the website god is happy.

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