When we travel, we always prepare our trip prior to departure day. But how much preparing should you do? Of course, a lot depends on your destination. Do you need a visa, do you need any other special arrangements to enter a country? But how much is too much. Nowadays, you could see your whole itinerary without having to set a single foot in the country you are going to visit. There is google maps, 1000's of pictures,... which will all show you everything there is to see and know.
We are firm believers that most trips require minimal preparation. Traveling is all about the unexpected encounters and discoveries. For example, one of the best evenings we ever had was in Gran Canaria where we met a retired couple from Norway. We chatted the whole night while drinking a few glasses of wine, and although the couple only had a few words of English, we managed to chat and have the banter for a couple of hours.
Or the old lady in Alvor, Portugal who chatted to us for an hour in Portuguese. And although we didn't have any Portuguese, we still managed to get great tips from her regarding the surrounding area.
The same goes for the local food. Try it, embrace it, sometimes it might disappoint, but most of the time it results in a great meal, sometimes shared with the locals.
But back to preparation time, we tend to book our flights and our first night or two of accommodation, but after that, we just see what happens. That being said, sometimes we rent or housesit for a longer period. In regard to tourist attractions, we always have a good idea what to expect and see, but we just go with the flow.
So next time you book a holiday, go with the flow and immerce yourself in the local culture, food, festivals,... and discover a country like it should be discovered.