A Delicate Balance

Water world

Water world

Being the family travel agent is not very easy, even with a small family. Finding dates, location and accommodations that fit everyone from age 23 to age 80, in various stages of employment and retirement requires juggling and finesse. I don’t claim to have either of those skills nailed, but I can get the job done.

This trip started as a plan to take my dad on a trip to do and see something he’s always wanted to do, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. When asked, he didn’t hesitate: barracuda fishing. I did not inherit the fishing gene so obviously expressed in my dad and brother, so I turned to my husband, who also has the dominant version of the fishing gene.

We researched fishing options, considered travel locations and options, and settled on the Florida Keys. My husband, my brother and I did our research on fishing outfitters, locations, rentals, airfares, etc. We settled on traveling during shoulder season, escaping the hurricanes and the summer heat, and taking advantage of the lower rental rates.

We booked our rental house and fishing guides back in February, so once we got a little closer, we started booking flights and arranging ground transportation. Compiling all the reservations resulted in a small 5-tabbed folder with flight, housing, vehicle and fishing confirmations, covered by a seven-column day-by-day spreadsheet that summarizes all the comings and goings of various family members.

Just to further complicate travel, Steve and I decided to do a bit of add-on travel at the beginning and end of the trip, so we added on a day in the Everglades at the beginning, and a day of flyfishing at the end. This also meant another rental car, more housing arrangements, and another fishing reservation.

After all is said and done, I’m hoping that we did just enough planning that the basics are covered, and all that’s left to do is the packing and the relaxing. Everyone is really looking forward to a week of sunshine, shorts and flipflops. We’re anticipating a lovely trip, even if my dad doesn’t catch one fish.

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