After years of planning many holidays and trips, I felt I had the whole efficient planning technique down pat – until I had to plan my recent trip to Italy. Due to work commitments I had no spare time to do the usual trip planning research of speaking with others, browsing the internet and reading guide books. Instead all my main booking decisions of where to go, where to stay and what to do were made using my intuition.

My friend I was going on the trip with was also in the same boat so used the same strategy of making decisions based on her intuition and trusting mine. After doing minimal research and setting our intentions for each place,  I feel totally satisfied and excited about the decisions and bookings we made just as much as I would if I made plans in my former and more logical way.

1. Set Your Intention

Before embarking on any trip I always set my intention of what I want to get out the trip, what I want to experience, and how I will grow, give back and nurture the planet. This can be as general or specific as you wish. Before Hawaii my intention was to cycle, run, increase my fitness, make local friends, and attend spiritual events. By being clear I ended up achieving each of those goals in the most fulfilling way possible. For Italy I wanted to spend the first week on a nice relaxing beach where I could cycle, relax and have good internet coverage to work.

2. Listen to your gut

When deciding what location to visit and where to stay, go on your gut feeling. Instead of relying on pure logic and advice others give you who probably had a different intention anyway, go on what your gut is telling you. Really feel and listen to it. Tapping into that power can allow you to make the most transformative decisions of your life.

It allowed me to pick Sardinia as my beach destination where I could cycle. Even though other cycling recommended busier places in Italy, I knew I needed somewhere more peaceful and quiet.

3. Pay attention to the signs

Is the same information coming to you in a different or repetitive ways through feelings, what others are saying and research? Are the same places and activities popping up? These are not coincidences, they are signs directing you where to go. They are answers to your intentions and questions so listen.

When picking a location in Sardinia to stay in I knew I had to stay in more quiet south. With limited time to book or research where to go, I narrowed it down to two places and looked at pictures. One place appealed to me more instantly. As soon as I emailed the bike hire shop and asked where to stay based on what I wanted, he confirmed the exact place that was appealing to me. So I found a villa in that town for a week.

4. Let go of control and allow others to make decisions

When you are traveling with someone with similar trip intentions it can very powerful to let go, trust and allow them to do part of the planning and make decisions. Have full faith their choice will be as beneficial to you as it will be for them.

I had a vision of somewhere in Italy by the sea with old buildings on cliffs I wanted to visit and could not find it through research. After my friend agreed to go along with my Sardinia and Rome plan I told her she can decide the last place we go together. Once she suggested Cinque Terre, I researched it and it matched exactly what I was envisioning. It was important for me to have faith and let go so she could bring me that final information and suggestion.

5. Don’t over plan – stay open to receive

It can be important to have a rough plan and for short holidays (under 2 weeks) and even book all your accommodation and flights in advance. Leaving what you actually do when you arrive there is not only liberating, it also allows you to be more present, go with the flow and be more open to receive opportunities. Let go of controlling and planning everything on your trip as you are probably in a different state of mind now then you will be when on your trip.

I’m excited that I have a rough plan to cycle in sardinia, see some sights and shop in Rome and hike in Cinque Terre and the rest is open to receive, enjoy, grow and expand.