I like winter…..sometimes. It tends to wreak havoc on my legs because I can’t control my body heat below my knees but it also offers some of the most breath-taking (both figurative and literal) moments the whole year round. However it does mean shorter days and weather that can, at times, make it dangerous to venture out beyond the fireplace, your favorite fleece blankets, a warm pair of slippers, a thick hoodie, and a warm beverage.
Of course sharing that with a very special someone (wink:wink) or someone’s (spouse and children….control where your mind goes people!) help to keep one inside in front of a good book(s) or movie.
So what do you do when time, weather, or even the lack of sunlight threaten to keep you home locked? Do what I do…..plan for the heat baby!
Thanks to my friends at Google (okay I don’t have friends at Google, but I’d like to!) they make my trip planning so easy. I like to use Google Docs and Google maps to get me started. I use spreadsheets because of my familiarity from work to play with numbers and it is always easy for calculating costs. Thank you SUM and AVG function!
The other beauty I find is the ability to share with others. I can share the document with my wife and we can change it anytime and anywhere we’d like. Plus it has multiple tabs so I can create multiple versions of the same vacation or keep all my plans in the same document. I don’t know how many plans I’ve created over the years, most of them I’ve never been on but it’s fun to dream!
Another function I like is the ability to change variables and see the end cost which sometimes is the driving factor behind whether the trip gets booked or not. You can create multiple versions of that one vacation changing the days you leave, time your gone, etc and see how it affects overall costs.
Week long trips, day trips, month long expeditions it doesn’t matter. I find that planning in the winter helps me to prepare for the other three seasons. I know how much it’s going to cost and how much I will need to save to make it happen. What gear do I need to get, when do I need to get the car serviced, and most importantly when do I need to submit my vacation days. If you’re anything like me, last minute planning does not yield the best results and can at times yield no results.
Not sure where you want to go? Do what I do. Check out the states travel and tourism website and order a free guide. Sometimes you’ll get other guides sent from other companies, resorts, etc as well so be aware. I also grab every travel and guide brochure and magazine every place I go and keep it all on its own shelf. This way I always have reference materials at hand. I find that ordering travel packets and guides makes the boring trip to the mail box an exciting adventure…..even with a handful of bills.
So when the snow, sleet, and bitter cold winds are keeping you off the slopes, or out of the backcountry don’t let it damper your outdoor spirit. Get cozy, get warm, and get planning! The heat isn’t too far away and you don’t want to be caught unaware!
Until next time…..Adventure On!