I fully believe this is true! I keep my life simple and I splurge on travel. People tell me I'm "lucky" when they hear that I'm going here or there, but actually luck has nothing to do with it! I have very consciously disciplined myself to not be dependent on expensive luxuries and to be very frugal. I would so much rather spend my money on a vacation to a foreign land or far away island, rather than a new cell phone or fancy car. To me, it's simple. It can be for you too--just decide what you want more.
Our upcoming trip is less than a week away and I have been in full research mode. I am such a Type A planner--I have to know what to expect and what the schedule is. I loved our guided tour in Italy in 2008 because I knew exactly what each day would hold. For this trip we are traveling on our own, and so far I am the only one doing the planning. I feel a little more stressed because of that since our experience will now depend on what I have picked out.
I have done the best I can to pick day trips from 3 of the 4 cities we are visiting while factoring in cost, distance, time, and number of things to see that are included. What Nick and I usually do is spend some time walking around and checking out our immediate surrounding, then later spending a day getting out into the countryside away from the city and really seeing what that country is about. We have such a short time in each city (2 days) that we really have to condense our sightseeing into things we really want to do without wasting much time looking at a map or wondering around lost. Of course, sometimes wondering around lost can be fun!
Paris is the only city where I am not planning a day trip to get out of the city. I feel like there is so much big stuff to see and do in Paris that 2 days is not enough to leave it behind for something else. We are going to venture around the city and just see what we can in the time we are there.
The hard part of the planning is pretty much done, now I just have to figure out what outfits I'm going to pack!