Planning a trip is part of the fun of travel. The internet shows all sorts of marvels to visit, blogs that give you hints and tips and the maps, oh the maps are fascinating. You can zoom in to levels of details never seen and all from your sofa at home! But the choice and number of decisions to make can end up being a bit stressful. No wonder so many people still choose package holidays, guided tours and cruises. All the decisions made for you.
But planning involves research and that means getting to know your destination before you arrive. As my next trip is to Japan, this research has been fascinating. I have been following Japanese photographers on Instagram, listening to podcasts and old radio programmes. Catchup TV has old documentaries, especially the BBC wildlife programmes andeven new programmes like Monty Don visiting Japanese gardens in Spring and then again in Autumn. Japan seems to be more in the news with the rugby world cup later this year, the new Emperor and the Olympics in 2020.
We’ve bought travel guides and hard copy maps. We now have international driving licences and a new chip for the phone so that we can always access data and not pay a fortune to do so. The list of places we want to see grows longer the more we research. Apps to help us learn a little Japanese have been downloaded and friends in Osaka and Hiroshima contacted ready to try to see them. Yen has been bought. So are we ready for Japan? I hope so!