The Beauty of Backroads: Leave Trip Planning Behind

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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 bikingI’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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Liz Hale

Liz Hale

It's no surprise that Liz's path crossed with Backroads' founder, Tom Hale, 28 years ago. She spent her early years in Brazil and Costa Rica and was a seasoned traveler and dedicated runner by the time she met and married Tom in 1991. Three kids, 35 countries and countless Backroads trips later, she is still an avid globetrotter. With a passion for documentary photography, you may find her behind the lens capturing post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, in Vietnam and Cambodia documenting the work of Room to Read, or in Ethiopia shooting for We Care Solar. With her interest in non-profits, she's a natural fit as the head of the Backroads Community Partnerships program. Liz is often found immersed in volunteering at her kids' schools. In her spare time she loves to run, ski, hike and cook—and she bakes a mean coconut cake!
Liz Hale

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