Uganda Safaris

TOO MANY PLACES: OVERCOMING THE CONFUSION OF CHOICE

“Where should I go?” is a question most people ask themselves.

 

Thats Called “choice overload.”

Whether you have two weeks, two months, or two years, deciding where to go is the hardest part about travel. Once you have the time, picking the destination becomes a task of whittling down a long list of “must-see” destinations.

When people are faced with too many options, they are sometimes so paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong choice that they don’t make any choice.

Think of standing in the Church aisle. We have all these options right in front of us, but we keep going back to our old favorite, Ex Lovers.

You may want to try something new, but you can’t figure out what you want the most — there are just too many options! How do you choose? How do you know you won’t make the wrong choice? So, paralyzed with indecision, you go back to what you know. And, if you don’t have a favorite, often you just choose what is popular and familiar to your mind.

In psychology, this is called “analysis paralysis.” Contemplating our options becomes such a taxing mental burden that we don’t make a decision. Our minds want shortcuts. It’s how we process all the information thrown at us each day. It’s too difficult to think about every simple decision all the time. Going with what you know and is familiar is how we shortcut our analysis paralysis.

Think of the world as the proverbial cereal aisle. We’re looking forward to picking a cereal (a destination), but suddenly realize we have too many options. Faced with so many choices and without a strong opinion , we stare blankly, wondering if picking a destination is the right choice, so we end up (a) fretting about it for months.

Most People often get so paralyzed by choice that they don’t book a trip until the last minute, and even then, you often suffer from buyer’s remorse. Did you really want to book that flight to Uganda? Or should I have gone to Madagascar instead? If I do this trip, will I have time to visit Rwanda later this year, or should you just go to Uganda now?

Of course, when you get to the destination — any destination — all of that second-guessing melts away and I have the time of my life.

If you’re a long-term traveler, you can go anywhere for as long as you want. But when you only have a limited amount of time — because you’re like anyone and slowing down, or because you just have a few weeks off from work and need to make the most of them — you have to be more selective.

So how do you narrow down your destinations, get on with your trip planning, and not suffer the anxiety that comes with choice overload?

This experience has given us a new philosophy on trip planning.

First, embrace the variety. You’re always going to be overwhelmed by choice. There will always be more destinations to visit than you have time to see. The list of places to visit will only get longer the more you travel, not shorter. Don’t fight it. Recognize it, but don’t let it control you.

Second, start with list of ten places you want to go right now. Come up with the destinations that are at the top of your mind. This year, now that we are taking fewer trips, you want your trips to be to places you have never been and are as culturally different as possible, so come  up with the list at the top of this blog.

Third, figure out when you can go and how long you have.

Fourth, think of the time of year. Which country has the weather you want to enjoy the most?

Fifth, make the length of your travels proportional to the size of the country.

Finally, look up flights. 

 

Overcoming choice overload in travel is about first realizing that there will always be more places to visit than you have time, then figuring out what destinations fit what you can do right now. Once you start with your list of destinations, getting down to the perfect one becomes a process of elimination.

I know many of you suffer from the same problem , and I hope you use this advice to overcome choice overload.

Because there will always be too many destinations to choose from and too little time to see them in.

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TIPS FOR BETTER FAMILY TRAVEL

No matter how well traveled you are, traveling with young kids is a very different experience than solo backpacking or couples travel.  You can have so many questions and cant  know where to begin. How do we get a passport for a baby? Do we need to get clearance from a doctor before we travel? What do we need to pack? Will we get any sleep if we share the hotel room with our little one? How do we keep him entertained? What if something happens abroad?

With no experience as traveling parents, you may default to the way you traveled as a couple. That strategy is  a good starting point, but you will learn a few valuable lessons the hard way and make a few mistakes.  I want to share some of the most relevant travel tips so you can avoid our mistakes and travel easier:

Book accommodations with separate sleeping areas

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Choose accommodations that offer one- or two-bedroom suites instead of the standard hotel room with two beds. You’ll pay a little more for this convenience, but a good night’s sleep is the key ingredient to a successful family trip.

Consider this: if everyone is piled into one room, you’ll likely have to go to sleep when your kids do. Now, if it’s been a long travel day and sleep is what you’re after, this won’t be an issue. However, if you want to have a drink, read a book, watch a movie, or have a conversation, it’s best to book accommodations that will give you and your kids separate sleeping areas.

 

Play it safe, make reservations

Part of the adventure is arriving without a plan and allowing the moment to guide you, right? The problem with this travel style is that when you have kids you need to consider their threshold for being uncomfortable.

Do yourself and your kids a favor: make hotel and transportation reservations ahead of time to avoid unnecessary frustrations. Wandering the streets for hours in search of a hotel room or waiting an extra six hours at a train station is not fun at the best of times, let alone when you add a cranky child to the situation. Not pretty.

Lighten your load, rent equipment

Did you know that most popular travel destinations have services available for families to rent strollers, cribs, car seats, high chairs, playpens, and bikes?

Availability depends on location, time of year and length of time you need to use the item. So it’s best to research online and use a local business that has good reviews. When in doubt, ask the almighty Google.

Protect yourself — get proper travel insurance


This one is self-explanatory. Travel insurance can feel like an annoying, unnecessary expense, but it’s always best to play it safe, especially with young children.

Infants have alot of food allergies may be accident prone, so a trip to the hospital is not out of the question. This is not the time to cut corners to save a buck, so get the right plan that protects everyone. When in doubt, pick up the phone and talk to someone about your specific questions and concerns.

 

 

Choose your destination wisely

Birding safaris
Choosing the right destination can make or break your family trip. It’s important to consider your children’s needs, but it’s equally important to visit a place that interests you. Most destinations have some form of amusement park or family-friendly attraction, so when you make your short list, look for destinations that have some adult fun for you, too.

 

Treats and surprises are always a good idea


Bring small presents and/or treats and reward your little ones for good behavior. When on a long flight or train ride, give your children a small present like a toy car, puzzle, or coloring book. Not only does it encourage good behavior, it keeps them entertained.

 

Check your ego with your bags

Most parents fear the dreaded meltdown while on a flight.

But the reality is that even the calmest of children have a breaking point. Crying and misbehaving will happen, so it’s up to you to roll with the punches. How you react will set the tone for future flights. If you freak out too, there’s a good chance your children will associate air travel with daddy and mommy being angry.

Stay cool. Smile. Ask for help. It will be over before you know it.

Slow down

Don’t try to replicate the way you used to travel before kids. Things are different now, so try not to squeeze too many activities or sightseeing into one day. Enjoy your big activity or adventure in the morning when everyone is fresh and recharged. Break up the day and spend some quiet time back at the hotel before you venture out again.

Remember, travel is supposed to be fun. So make it fun!