How Satisficers and Maximizers Plan Trips

So James and I have a travel planning system.  (And I don’t just mean the system where he wishes I would do more travel planning.  I’m working on it!)

Usually, I’m the big picture person.  I think about what general location would be good and when we should go.  Then James drills down into the details like flight, hotel, restaurants, and what to see, etc.

If it sounds like James does more, that’s probably accurate.  In my defense, I do a lot more planning on our local adventures.  Although not in my defense, I just tell James “I want to go to X” and then he stares at maps and figures out how to get there.  So I guess it’s exactly the same.  #sorrynotsorry

This is why I was so proud of myself when I planned an upcoming trip.  The whole thing!  But it didn’t quite work out that way . . .

So I didn’t actually book anything, but I thought I was in good shape on an upcoming trip to Penang.  I looked at the flight I wanted.  I picked an AirBnB for some of the nights.  I picked a resort hotel for the other night.  I looked at a few hawker centers for food and got a general sense of the sights.  Ta da!  Trip planned.  The end.

Then James came home.  He looked at my proposal, and he immediately started to dig in deeper.  He compared more AirBnBs.  He started looking at hotels.  Then he looked at EVEN more hotels.  Then he had a bunch of tabs opened, and I got completely confused on which hotel was in which location.  Eventually, we got it all booked.  (A new hotel instead of the AirBnB.  But yes to my resort hotel pick.)

I am crazy incredibly grateful for all that James does on trip planning, but I couldn’t help being a little frustrated.  I had already planned the trip.  We could have planned an entire OTHER trip in the time he spent looking at stuff.  Why was he spending SO MUCH TIME on this?

Then I realized that we have a classic satisficer vs. maximizer split.  (This is an idea I first heard from Gretchen Rubin that she explains much better here.)

I am a total satisficer.  When I find something that meets my criteria, I stop looking.  I’m done.  That doesn’t mean my standards are low.  It just means that when I find something that works, I don’t see the need to look any more.

James is a maximizer.  To him, yes that place would work, but is there something better out there?  He’d rather keep checking options to ensure that we have the maximal experience.  (He’s also a Questioner so he generally always likes to collect more information.)

Ah ha.

This explained so much about why we couldn’t see eye to eye on travel planning.  Yes, I should do more on travel planning, but I will never plan the way James does because that’s just not my way.

For my part, I should just work on appreciating everything he does, including his need for information.  Or I could just start booking stuff without consulting him.  (Winking angel halo face emoji)  (I love you, James!)

Are you a satisficer or maximizer?  Have you noticed it on your travel planning?  Has it caused any dust ups with significant others?

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