Let me let you in on a secret, My name is Ashley and I am a planner. Pretty much everyone that knows me, knows that I am a planner. I’m usually the one that has everything someone else is missing or forgot to pack and I know what is happening and when. While this can be a great trait to possess in some situations it can make travel planning a nightmare if you take it too far. When you plan everything you sometimes end up missing out on awesome activities or places that you never came across during your initial research. Not being able to take advantage of an opportunity because you already planned and paid for something else is the worst feeling. Has this happened to you before? Because it has happened to me on more than one occasion.
In the original planning stages the Dubai trip I had every single thing planned out. My youngest brother & I have birthdays less than a month apart so he was supposed to be joining me and we would celebrate our birthdays together. This would have been one of his first long-haul trips as an adult and I wanted to make sure we made the most of our time in Dubai. So I planned things that would be interesting to both of us, activities he wanted to do and things I wanted to see. In the end plans changed and he could no longer join me. So all of my original planning went down the drain, but I didnt let that spoil the trip. I went with the flow and made it work. I was tempted to try and plan out all of my days. But just before leaving I changed my mind, I booked 3 tours that I knew I really wanted to do because I was traveling during peak season and left the rest of my days open. NO PLANS 😱. Before going I did a lot of research on things to do, restaurants, must see places and kind of became overwhelmed by it all. There is just so much to do in Dubai and the UAE you would need months to do it all. I’m glad that I didn’t plan everything out though; otherwise I may not have seen any of the other Emirates. I had only planned to spend time in Dubai & Abu Dhabi and on my trip I ended up going to Sharjah & Ras Al Khaimah as well.
When it comes to your travel style it is largely up to you and your personal preferences as a traveler if you choose to plan or to go with the flow. People travel in different ways, some people plan everything down to a tee while others fly by the seat of their pants. I think you have to figure out what works best for you and it may change with each trip or stay the same your entire life. I’ll talk a little bit about my experience planning my Dubai trip and why planning everything out wouldn’t have worked for me. The main problem with planning a trip to a place with so much to do is that you end up trying to see too many things in too short a time. This in turn, creates stress and makes your trip exhausting when it should be a fun and relaxing experience. At least that’s how I would like my travels to be. Over the years I’ve worked on trying to manage my urge to plan everything and gotten to a point where I will still plan but try not be obsessive about it.
The UAE is made up of seven emirates and each one has something a little different to offer. While everyone loves Dubai and most travelers go there, Abu Dhabi is actually the capital of the UAE.
Related: 10 Things I Learned About Dubai
I travelled to Dubai thinking I would mostly only see two Emirates – Dubai & Abu Dhabi – but through kind people I met and the awesome staff at my hotel I was able to see so much more of the U.A.E. I visited The Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque & Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi, Dubai Mall, Deira, Dubai Creek, Dubai Marina, the souks & the desert, The tallest mountain in U.A.E Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, did a lot of sight-seeing and ate traditional Emirati food in Sharjah. I really wanted to make it to Al Ain but that just didn’t happen as I ran out of time. 4 of 7 Emirates is fine with me though, I will be back to explore the other 3 Emirates for sure. All of this happened because I chose to just go with the flow. I think after traveling so far without planning all of my days and everything working out I’m more open now to just planning the big things like hotel and transportation and just figuring the rest out as I go on future trips.
What is your travel style? Let me know in the comments below.