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Waiting for take-off: When nervousness rises

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

The flight is booked. The date for the start of the trip is fixed. After deciding where to go, this is the second big step in the planning process. From this moment on it is fixed. We are flying away again! It is at this point that our family excitement grows from day to day. Only our daughter, who is currently seven years old, is completely unconcerned. As long as she has something to eat on the table, it's no reason for a fuss. Semolina, sausage sandwiches and spinach with fried eggs are pretty important. For our son (12), my wife and me, the phase before the start of the trip is the purest rollercoaster ride. We are standing in the starting blocks and eagerly await the beginning. It's just that we don't count to three, but mostly to 200. That's how many days it usually takes for us from booking to take-off.

200 days of stress. Positive stress

After the booking confirmation of our flights is carefully filed in our inbox, it's time to plan - I already hinted at this in my first blog. Planning is already part of the journey for us. It's just part of it, browsing through guidebooks and scouring the internet for good itineraries and appealing accommodation. For us, it has become a family event that we enjoy with all our senses. We send each other links to nice hotels, photos of places we want to visit and screenshots from our travel countdown app almost every day. When we get together in the evening, we discuss the information we have gathered. We are already in the middle of the trip before departure. Anticipation is not called the best joy for nothing.

In English: Travelling is best together

We love travel from the beginning

My wonderful wife and I discovered through our love for travel the glue that sustains our relationship. I couldn't imagine a trip without her. We met in 1999 and booked our first holiday together after just a few months. We went to Egypt together, a destination we visited again a year later. During these trips, we got a taste for it. Others would probably say: addicted! If we don't get our kick every few months, we get impatient.

Good planning makes the trip easier

What we have learned on our trips together is not only the understanding of foreign cultures, expressions in other languages and the courage to try new things. No, it's the travelling itself. Anyone who has been on the road before will know. In a foreign country, things don't always go like clockwork. On the road you have to leave your comfort zone, put your foot in your mouth more often or have to deal with problems you wouldn't have at home on the couch. And how could you? We can not only sing a song about it, we can warble a whole songbook. I'll be working through our travel hoppalas in one of my upcoming blogs - schadenfreude preprogrammed. Why do they always have to go so far away? Because we love it! We are not immune to nasty surprises, but we are much better prepared for them. Our miracle weapon is: the travel folder!

We love our travel folder

A printed travel guide is a fine thing. But the tomes with the colourful pictures and the quickly torn folding maps available in specialist shops or online have one disadvantage: they are anything but individual. Our trips, however, are completely tailored to us - after all, they were planned by us. They are our babies! For this reason, at some point we started to create a detailed and individual travel folder for ourselves before every trip. This is not only a lot of fun for us, it is also a great help when we are on the road. We can only recommend it to you. But what exactly is in such a travel folder? That's up to you, but we can tell you what information we take with us.

Our travel folder contains:

  • Printouts of our travel dates: Flights, domestic flights, train journeys, transfers. It also makes sense to print out payment confirmations, if applicable.

  • Copies of identification: Passports, driving licences (including international ones if necessary).

  • Printouts of insurance details, e.g. of travel insurance

  • since COVID19: convalescence or vaccination certificates

  • Information on all accommodation booked or envisaged: Name, address, website, email, phone number. Sometimes it makes sense to print out the email correspondence with the respective accommodation (we have experienced the funniest things).

  • Map excerpts of the individual route sections (especially with excerpts of the directions to the accommodations or sights)

  • an overall route plan with a table of when, where and for how long we will be staying

  • possibly the most important sentences translated into the local language

  • addresses for postcards or contacts in the home country

  • and of course a piece of paper with your own contact details.

As you can see, a portfolio like this can add up to quite a lot. It also makes sense to send the folder digitally by email or to store it in your own cloud storage - you never know what will happen. These folders have helped us a lot on the road, especially because there is often no internet reception and the mobile phone or tablet simply doesn't work.

So time flies

This intertitle is actually not to be taken seriously, because I can only shake my head at the saying "Time flies". Firstly, despite my love of travelling, I have a fear of flying, and secondly, time probably never flies slower than when I'm squeezed between two rows of planes on a long-haul flight. At the latest after the third blockbuster with tomato juice and the fifth turbulence in a row, you become uncomfortably aware of this. Nevertheless, if you throw yourself into the preparations intensively and with great joy, as we do, the time until take-off passes faster than you think. Right now there are 98 days left until our next trip. We always celebrate the moment when the countdown reaches double digits with particular euphoria. How much longer do you have to wait?

We look forward to your feedback and are open to a lively exchange. You also want to travel, like to travel often and have a question, just write us and comment.

Kind regards,

Steffi, Max and the kids

(Author of this blog: Max)


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