Project personal planner
It has always been believed that traveling is one of the best ways to expand one’s horizon. You see an entirely new world, meet new people, experience a new culture and live a new life, even if it is vicariously. And when one gets to travel in the company of one’s loved ones, what can be but better? But I have my own ideas to make this trip even more happier! Let me call my ambitious and unique project as “Project personal planner” or PPP. It is so called because of the following reasons:
- Just how no two people are alike, neither are there travel preferences
- Most adults have a defined way in which they like or dislike things and if the same can be extended to their travel itinerary, they will love the customization. A little effort in tweaking the travel to suit their taste will go a long way in enhancing their overall traveling experience!
- Even if the traveling budget involved is very less, people truly appreciate little gestures like individualized welcome cards and importance given to personal preference in food or stay.
- Most people would never mind paying a little extra if they feel that there is a face behind their travel preparation and not just a portal or an agency. Getting a call a few days before the journey, an individual reminder about packing something, somebody who knows their language or anything similar that gives a human touch and exclusivity to the travel is very endearing and heart warming.
So here is my list of To Do’s before I embark on a journey with my family or friends under PPP, and I am sure that a little effort from my side will go a long way in putting a precious smile on their faces!
1. PerProf: I will make PerProf’s or Personal Profiles for each member in the traveling party. The PerProf will help me plan each stage of the trip. This will include basic details like:
- Food preference (veg / non-veg)
Along with other relevant details like:
- Preferred holiday (Adventure / mountains / beach / shopping / luxury / road trip)
- Preferred mode of travel
- Preferred budget
Based on the PerProf of each traveler, I will select a list of venues within the location (I am assuming that the location is pre-decided based on common consensus at the stage where the trip was first planned) where each of them will go and activities that each of them will do. Of course, I can’t possibly design individualized trips for each of them for various reasons. Firstly, the idea is to take a group trip along with each friends or family or perhaps even both together. Secondly, that may turn out to be quite expensive. Thirdly, it will be very time consuming to design personalized trips for each and every person.
Hence will split the traveling team into around 4 broad categories:
Hence will split the traveling team into around 4 broad categories:
- The sight-see’ers (SS): these people will want to see all the ‘it’ places in the location, e.g. significant monuments, peaks, buildings, plazas, lakes, parks etc
- The adventure / sport lovers (AS) ): these people will want to do everything that gives them an adrenalin rush in the new place, e.g. any obvious choice of outdoor sports like para-gliding, bungee-jumping, para-sailing, water sports, hiking, climbing etc. And even if it is not just about the obvious adventure options, they will generally have a very active outlook and want to indulge in a lot of activities, rather than just shop of sight-see.
- The culture freaks (CF): ): these people will want to see all the museums, galleries, houses of dead poets and writers, sometimes even their graves or mausoleums. They would want to soak in the life of the new place by meeting the local people, learning about their food, clothes, rituals, family life etc
- Others (OT): This includes pretty much everybody else, e.g. a small variety of people who just want to shop, others who just want to eat, some who just want to laze around and do nothing, while a few others who want to do everything etc
2. Periodic-calls: I will make sure that I call each person personally at least twice before the journey and once after the journey. The calls before will be about any questions that people have, especially first time travelers and / or to give information / to remind about something / to check or clarify something. The calls afterwards would be to talk about their experience.
3. Greet-cards: The moment the travelers reach the chosen mode (air / train / bus / car – depending on the chosen location), they will be greeted by personalized message cards that will wait for them on their seats. These cards will have good luck / bon voyage messages along with brief details on what lies in store for each of them!
4. Info-note: Very concise and brief information notes will await them next. These will have short notes on things they should know about the place they are visiting, of course based on which category they fall in. e.g. if they are the food lovers from OT visiting Rome, the note will probably say Rome has some of the most delicious anti-pasti. On the other hand, for the CFs in Delhi, it may say The Red Fort is said to have a hidden tunnel that leads all the way to Agra.
5. Party-splits: Once everyone reaches the venue, they will be split into the 4 groups (as you saw earlier, they are based on most similar interests and preferences). The budgets etc may not be strictly adhered to as we will have to broadly follow a standard, but these things will obviously be discussed even before the trip is planned so everybody knows roughly how much they can expect to spend. Each party will spend some days exclusively doing things of their interest, only for everyone to meet in the evening for dinner and share amazing stories with each other; but there will surely be days when everybody will get together and indulge in activities they will definitely find common love across. This could be a visit to an amusement park, a famous restaurant or a city bus tour where CF, OT, SS and AS all will enjoy.
6. Any-others: There are little things that can make each of us jump with excitement / make our day. If there is any such thing associated with the place that we have visited, then I have another chance to make the trip the happiest for my loved ones. E.g. if we visit Mumbai and one person in the group is a die-hard Amitabh Bacchhan fan, then my activity list for the category in which the person falls will definitely include a trip to his bungalow(s). Of course I don’t have the time or resources to arrange a personal visit but I am sure just a peak at the place where the superstar lives can be a blessing for his hardcore fans.
7. To-remember: I will have individual mementos made for each person in the group which will remind them of the happy memories forever. E.g. since this is a group of my family or friends, I will probably take a picture of all of them together one day at dinner and then get in engraved on any significant item from that place like at the bottom of the miniature Eiffel Tower if we are in Paris and the bottom of the miniature Big Ben if we are in London. I may even get individual mementos if I am able to sneak away and list things that each person will appreciate. These will be given to my family and friends once we are all back and reliving our nostalgia.
With all these steps, I feel that I can be almost a perfect holiday planner for my loved ones and ensure that their travel becomes the happiest one ever!
p.s. thanks Yatra for creating happy travelers and inspiring me to write this post!