Why do we travel after all? I mean you can experience the Mona Lisa better in your own home than you can while trapezing through the Louvre. Yet we still go.
We go for the experience. So plan your trips with experience in mind.
I built a great trip in 2017 through France with my 6 year old son and 4 year old daughter. Not traditionally known as the best travel ages. But I planned for it.
I was faced with driving from Annecy to Paris in order to catch our flight home. It was a 5 hour trip that we had the ability to break into 2 days which allowed for traveling at slower pace.
So I immediately opened up Google Maps to find the best route. My kids love animals and getting in some fun outdoor time so I was looking for some natural parks. I immediately saw that the regional park of Morvan seemed promising. It was at the midway point and seemed to offer some great green space.
I then started grabbing Pinman the yellow google man you can drop almost anywhere to see what it really looks like. To be honest it was a little disappointing so I knew that this would not be a park that would be worth going to for great vistas or interesting sites. It was good to use street view to manage expectations.
Before I gave up on this route, I decided to see if there were any cool houses or places to stay there that could really make this trip unique. It was the perfect midway point so I was willing to try to make it work. I searched the area and was pleased to find that there was a place on a goat farm at a really reasonable price.
It made all the difference! It turns out that two actors from Paris decided to buy a farm in the country and raise heirloom goats. We were all treated to three horned, shaggy and wickedly beautiful goat eyes in the morning.
It was totally worth it and I would not have found this place if I didn't start with the following thought pattern:
1) What is my route?
2) What are some points of interest along the way that I can find on the map?
3) Could the place I stay be part of the experience?