Guildwood Park Walkway, Canada

Guildwood Park Walkway, Canada. Photo by Grace Grogan

Whenever my husband and I plan a vacation one of the first things I do after we book a reservation is start reading about things to see and do in the area.  I lay out a day-by-day itinerary so we know each day where we are going and as a result we see and do lots of things in the course of a week.    Over the years I have had friends and co-workers laugh at my intense planning, and was recently told that we are on vacation and need to relax.  Of course those same people tend to say when we get back “wow, you guys see a lot when you go somewhere.”   Absolutely, the planning insures that.

Pointe Benzie Light Station.  Photo by Grace Grogan

Pointe Benzie Light Station. Photo by Grace Grogan

What type of vacationer are you?  Do you go somewhere, lay around the pool or at the beach reading, or do you fill your days taking in the sights and sounds of the area you are visiting?  For years we stayed in hotels when we traveled, but about three years ago we purchased a motor home and now stay at campgrounds, using the RV as our own mobile hotel room.   We aren’t “campers” though.  We get up in the morning, have breakfast and then head out for the day to see the sights and take pictures.   We usually get back to the campground and fix a late dinner and then set up our laptops to download and view the photos taken that day.  We were recently informed that we are missing the fun of hanging out at the campgrounds all day and then around a campfire socializing.  We aren’t unfriendly, we chat with our neighboring campers, especially those that are there for the same length of time we are.

Rock Glen Falls - Ontario, Canada.  Photo by Grace Grogan

Rock Glen Falls – Ontario, Canada. Photo by Grace Grogan

People have different views on relaxing and enjoying a vacation.  Ron and I are not they type of people to hand around a campground all day.  To us travel is for the purpose of seeing and doing as many things in the area we are visiting as possible.  The planning of our daily itinerary guarantees that will happen.  Our vacation this summer is to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  We are photographers, and the possibilities are endless.  The UP has 300+ waterfalls, 40 lighthouses and numerous nature preserves, historical sites and more.  So far I have five different counties on our itinerary to do in that many days.   While we won’t come close to seeing and doing all the UP has to offer, we will definitely see and do a large number of things and will each take several thousand photographs in the nine days we are there (seven days if you disregard the day we travel up and the day we travel home).

Comment Request:

Have you traveled to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and have a suggested “must see” location?  Please share what it is. 

What type of vacationer are you , itinerary planner or sit by the pool and relax?  Why do you feel that is the best way to vacation?



Filed under Family, friendship, Life is a Melting Pot, memoir, Photography, travel

16 responses to “VACATION PLANNING


  2. Excellent tips on Vacation planning. I love it and will use the next time I am on vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have recently moved to Kenya, so I’m going to call this my grand vacation, and given the culture, it’s a very much relaxed state we have going on. As far as planning vacations outside of here, we have yet to do that. Can’t afford it. lol. One day we’ll go to Mombasa though. I would probably enjoy an itinerary, but my husband would just play it by ear. [Inspiring Women Bloggers]


  4. Vacation planning is an impossibility with my family. My son gets migraines when overly excited. My husband has a tendency to back out of plans. We are more of a unstructured take-it-as-it goes by-the-seat-of-your-pants family. We are planning to go to Mammoth this summer, though. No doubt there will be adventures aplenty (including injuries since my husband and son will be racing the slopes on downhill mountain bicycles).

    Enjoy Michigan. I understand that the Upper Peninsula is quite wild and beautiful.


    • I am sorry to hear your son suffers such severe migraines. Obviously people have to make adjustments as needed to accommodate everyone’s needs and that is certainly a valid reason not to over plan. I have never been to Mammoth but have heard it is spectacular. Enjoy your vacation.


      • Thank you. We went on a fishing trip to Mammoth a few years ago and enjoyed it. Back then my son was obsessed with fishing. We ate many, many very fresh and delicious trout. Now, my son is obsessed with downhill mountain biking. Hopefully we make it through the week without any major injuries.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m very much like you, Grace. I love to take in the sights, see what people rave about when they recommend this or that place. I can be very spontaneous though, which isn’t always a good thing.

    I’ve never been the ‘lay-in-the-sun-on-the-beach’ person. Fair-skinned, I burn easy so it wouldn’t do me any good anyway!

    So nice to see the places you visited in Canada. I’m on the Atlantic coast and though I’ve seen a lot of this country, from Alberta to Newfoundland, I’ve never seen the three places you mention. I should make note of them for our next vacation.

    Thanks for sharing. Blessings! Renee-Ann <


    • I think photographs are a great visual to inspire travel to new places. The lighthouse is in Michigan, the other two photographs are Canada. We also throw in a few unexpected, spontaneous things when vacationing, because it is impossible to know all a location has to offer and genuine gems can be found at the last minute.


  6. When we vacation as a family we tend to do a great deal. Our last big vacation included horseback riding, ATV’s, hikes and a 20 + mile bike ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like to see everything I can but to keep in mind that relaxation and refreshment is the overall point. So if I’ve planned something and it doesn’t work out, no stress. When my daughter and I went to Rome we literally walked 12 hours a day, on cobblestones! Of course, we got lost a lot. And discovered things we hadn’t known about. My feet hurt every night. Totally worth it.


  8. Thanks for the post, Grace. I was especially interested in your approach to RV camping, as that is a kind of fantasy of mine. For now, planning vacations with my family is a bit challenging. Luckily, I did a lot of traveling before I got married. My favorite way to travel is to be involved in the culture that I am visiting – ideally, to be lucky enough to be involved in some type of work, conference, course, etc. I love being on the ‘inside’ of the culture in that way, rather than only ‘sightseeing, per se, though that can be terrific, too.


    • I know what you mean Reba. Tourist attractions are nice but they don’t give you a real “feel” for the area. Even when dining out, it is good to ask where the locals go to eat. You can find some great spots that way. We purchased the motor home thinking we would sell our home and become full time RV’ers but unfortunately various things have impacted our ability to do that at this point.


  9. Pingback: Pinback Paradise | Grace Grogan--Writer, Photographer LIFE IS A MELTING POT

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