I'm different than most here. I ALWAYS start a trip, big or small, with a plan. Then I NEVER do what I planned! I'll start out, then see a road to take, or a coffee house to waste an hour or so, or a nice nature walk, or whatever. I get real aimless out there. And it works for me! If I ever stuck to my plans, I'd miss a ton of stuff!
You have to understand, I guess, that in a lot of ways I'm still like an 8 year old boy. I pick up shiny rocks and study them. OOhhh, shiny!!!!
One example. In '07 I started up the coast, with a goal of getting up PCH until I hit the Canadian border. Well, I found a campsite the first night in Big Sur, so stopped for the night. Then, when I got to Monterey the next day I thought "hey, I haven's walked around Canery Row for a long time" and stopped to hang out for a couple hours. Got some seafood and found a nice coffee house. Talking with a couple locals, I found out that the 40th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival was going on that weekend! I got a hotel for 3 days, and that's as far as I ever made it! Got to see some great music (what was left of Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, and several members of the Dead to name but a few). Good music, friendly people, good cheap booze and a weekend I'll never forget. Just because plans, in the long run, mean not a whole lot to this aimless wandering ex-hippie when I'm on vacation!