How I planned my family trip to Japan

過了三個月我再繼續講我的Toastmaster C3演講,這次要練習的主旨是Get to the Point,所以我就把最近規劃日本自由行的心得拿出來說。

Yes, my dream was to travel around the world but now I am focusing on traveling to Japan. This is a children friendly country and it only takes 2 to 3 hours of flight time from Taiwan to Japan.

I have planned 3 family trips to Japan, including the Hokkaido, Tateyama and this year I am going to Kyushu this year. Today I am going to share 5 steps how to plan my family trip to Japan.

The first step is to decide when to go and the number of days. My daughter now is an elementary school student and I don't want her to skip too many days from the school. The best time to travel is during the summer holidays. My husband and me would take 5 days off from work. Plus the 2 weekends, there is 9 days in total. We would travel for 8 days and the last final day will take a rest at home and get ready to work on next day of Monday.

The 2nd step is to identify where to visit. I would go to a bookshop and buy a travel guide book like this and check where I want to visit. I would find some interesting places for kids, like the Kumamon. Another place I would like to visit in Kumamoto is the historical spot, for example, the Natsume Shouseki's house and the school where he was the English teacher. Who is Natsume Shouseki? He is the novelist on the older version of one thousand en note. There is no such group travel would take you to see these kinds of historical spots.

The 3rd step is to identify the travel route. This step is very critical. This depends on the distance and the types of transportation. My husband and me prefer to travel by public transportation, particularly the Japan government encourages foreign tourists go to Japan and they issue some bargain travel pass, like this one. This is very convenient - you don't need to buy the tickets every time. Just show this to the bus driver and you can hop on the bus.

I would check the schedule first and see how many hours of travelling to next city. If it is within 1 hour, I would stay at the same hotel and do one-day trip which would avoid taking luggage to check-in and check-out. Remember this, kids are luggages too.

If the travel time is over 2 hours, I would stay over at the city. The kids would get bored on the train if over 2 hours.

When planning the route, I would need to give up some places. For example, my initial plan is to travel in this direction in a big circle. But when I checked the train schedule, I found out that the train is not operated in this section. This is because the track has not been fully repaired after the earthquake since last April. So I need to replan it and may go there next time.

The 4th step is to book flights and accommodations. Even there are some budgeted flights to Japan, the flight to Kyushu departs at 6:30 in the morning. I don't even wake up that early when I go to work. So I booked the regular flight to have enough sleep. Remember this, when kids are happy, parents are happy.

For the accommodations, I usually do it at for the hotels within 500 meters around the main train station because kids can't walk too far.

The 5th final step is to compile all everything together. Personally I prefer to use a notebook with all the hotel maps, train/bus schedules and have the stamps at the back. This would become one of my memory. Another advantage of using this is to avoid power shortage of the electronic devices.

These are the 5 steps I planned my family trip to Japan. It is very easy - just need to decide when, where, how to travel around, book tickets, and put everything together.

Probably next time I might share my trip to Kyushu in my next prepared speech.

Thank you.


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