Social media has delivered some of the great travel debates of our time. Early airport arrivers vs. last-minute travelers. Those who put their seat back on the plane vs. those who would never. Team bare feet vs. … well, most of the world.
The latest discourse — should one carefully plan their vacation or go with the flow? — comes courtesy of a viral tweet featuring a Jamaica trip itinerary with 7 a.m. breakfasts, scheduled morning activities and strict warnings to show up on time. Because this is 2021, it also includes a reminder to schedule a coronavirus test 72 hours before returning to the United States.
“We are meeting promptly in the lobby,” the itinerary says for events including a weed tour, beach club outing, sunset cruise and river excursion. “If you are not present, you will be left.”
One side of the debate appreciated the structure of a good itinerary, noting that it is the best way to make sure a vacation isn’t spent idly searching for things to do. A couple of commenters even asked for the itinerary template.
“I really need a schedule,” one user wrote. “Free styling with TripAdvisor or something like that can mess up a whole day.”
Another user said: “This is my love language.”
Some, puzzlingly, found the plans underwhelming: “Who has this few things scheduled a day on vacation?” asked Andrei Cherny, an author, CEO of financial firm Aspiration and, apparently, vacation overachiever.
Another camp was not interested in the regimented planning — and certainly not if 7 a.m. breakfasts were involved.
“Vacations are the LAST place I want a schedule,” wrote football blogger and former NFL player Stephen White. “We can agree on some stuff we would like to do there, but if I don’t feel like it in real time, it ain’t happening.”
Still others preferred a happy medium: A few set plans, maybe some meal reservations and plenty of time to explore. One user had a very specific ideal scenario: one midday group activity, zero activities on the first or last day, breakfast on your own, and dinner and going out as a group.
Though it was reposted, the original itinerary came from a 28-year-old style adviser from Brooklyn who gave her name only as Adel G. She said in a direct message on Twitter that she made a soft itinerary that her friend helped put in a template.
The itinerary was from an actual recent trip to Jamaica, she said — and noted that her traveling party made it work.
“We did actually follow everything through plus more that spontaneously happened,” she wrote.