The Beauty of Backroads: Leave Trip Planning Behind

Liz Hale meets a local woman in Ecaudor

Who in your family is "The Planner?" The one who manages the schedule and makes sure everything runs according to plan? In our family, that's me. And while I embrace my role voluntarily and with love, I don't always enjoy being the one in charge on vacations. (Is anyone with me on this?) Long before I met Tom, I traveled all over the world, so I certainly appreciate all the research and planning required to ensure a fabulous vacation. I still go through the time-consuming process of securing hotels, researching and booking tours, and reserving restaurants in gateway cities before and after our Backroads trips.

Tom and Liz Hale

But the minute I'm in Backroads' hands, a sense of relief washes over me and I just say "aaahhh." I don't have a care in the world, as Backroads takes over all that responsibility. On these trips, I get to simply show up, have fun and participate alongside my family without being cluttered by what's next, how it's all going to work and whether everyone is having fun. When I travel with Backroads, I'm as carefree as my kids ever see me. And it's not just for them. It's for me too. That's my definition of a win-win.

How often do we get to truly live in the moment?

Liz Hale Mountain biking

I'm never as fully present as I am on Backroads trips because I'm not the planner, the cook, the executor nor the "go to" person. It's pure decadence. I don't care about the weather or the terrain. I'm always delighted by the food, scenery, ambiance, and extensive research and planning that has obviously gone into making each trip seamless. And I'm never, ever in a hurry! Even after 27 years of taking Backroads trips, they still blow me away. I never grow weary of the Backroads model because I'm always encountering some unique experience that will stick with me forever. Of course, I see the same happening for my family, and I love watching my kids' curiosity, enthusiasm and energy levels increase as our journeys unfold. We walk away enriched in every way. If you're also "The Planner" like I am, I encourage you to find a trip--Backroads or not--that enables you to return home feeling like you got a vacation too. Leave all the work to the experts and simply enjoy every minute of the experience.

Liz Hale hiking in the Dolomites

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