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2019 Camino Guides

What time of year do people do their planning?

BrienC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, July 2015
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés, Oct/Nov 2016
#1
I'm assuming that Spring is the high season for most non-Spanish pilgrims. But my question is when do these people do their planning, what time of year, how early or late leading up to their Camino?

Thanks Much,
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#3
Actually the statistics show September is a very busy month, you can see that on the statistics on the bottom right hand side of this page. I found it much busier than spring.
As for planning, I dont know many actual (as opposed to online pilgrims), but the planning can take years, or very little. For me not much, for others a year or more.
My planning consisted of working out what to bring, and working out how to get to SJPDP, others plan everything.
I think it depends on your comfort level for winging it.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Zwolle, Netherlands to Rome) 2013
Camino Vienna to Santiago de Compostela 2018
#8
About an hour before my train left, that was my preparation time for my last camino..
For the other longer ones, about 3 or 4 months before. It never works out the way you planned it so I just don't see the point.
 

BrienC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, July 2015
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés, Oct/Nov 2016
#10
Actually the statistics show September is a very busy month, you can see that on the statistics on the bottom right hand side of this page. I found it much busier than spring.
As for planning, I dont know many actual (as opposed to online pilgrims), but the planning can take years, or very little. For me not much, for others a year or more.
My planning consisted of working out what to bring, and working out how to get to SJPDP, others plan everything.
I think it depends on your comfort level for winging it.
I prefer the fall myself.
 

BrienC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, July 2015
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés, Oct/Nov 2016
#12
Not a day goes by that I am not looking online or thinking about my next long walk.
I usually buy plane tickets about 6 months out, then “wing it” once I get to Spain.
I'm always recommending the "wing it" approach, but it seems that many people are too scared to do that.
 

BrienC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, July 2015
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés, Oct/Nov 2016
#13
About an hour before my train left, that was my preparation time for my last camino..
For the other longer ones, about 3 or 4 months before. It never works out the way you planned it so I just don't see the point.
I used to be a project manager. We had this saying, "Plan, plan, plan, and then throw it out the window the first day of the project—'cause nothing goes according to plan." So, now I do as little planning as I have to. I was just asking in general, as a curiosity more than anything.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#15
I'm assuming that Spring is the high season for most non-Spanish pilgrims. But my question is when do these people do their planning, what time of year, how early or late leading up to their Camino?

Thanks Much,
It's a very important DAILY task if you are serious about walking the Camino! :eek:

Jeez, you don't seem to be taking this seriously at all. It's almost like you think you'll spend a couple of evenings at the dining table and have your planning done and dusted! You'll just head on over there and start walking and it will just fall into place and life will be beautiful.

There are SO many things to plan, it's a never ending task.

Where will you start?
How many kms per day do you plan to walk
What type of accommodation you'll use
Pondering over the route and looking at places you might like visit along the way
Endlessly reading this forum and blog posts, to find out if that font is still working or where the best lunch in that village of if that albergue has a washing machine

It's endless!

And clothing and equipment!
What the best footwear, poncho, do I need Poles........

These are all things to be constantly reviewed, refined, discussed..........

When to do your planning??

Man it's almost a full time job in itself!! :oops::oops:

And then of course when you get there, finally, and you start walking.

Plan? What Plan?

It all goes out the window anyway.

But it passes the time between Caminos ;);)
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#16
I used to be a project manager. We had this saying, "Plan, plan, plan, and then throw it out the window the first day of the project—'cause nothing goes according to plan." So, now I do as little planning as I have to. I was just asking in general, as a curiosity more than anything.
I tend to agree.
I read and research quite a bit, but more out of curiosity and to get a 'feel' for what the route or the weather will be like.
Once the boots are on the ground, I go with the flow as much as I can.

The planning that I do, is just to establish the 'shape'of my Camino.
Route. (my expected kms / day = rough # of days to allow)
Time of year. (weather = packing list)
Likely accommodation use (= packing list & budget to allow)

That's about it really. Oh, and I tend to book the first couple of night accommodation, just to get me started.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2016)
SJ to Santa Domingo (2017)
Santa Domingo to Fromista (2018)
#17
I'm always recommending the "wing it" approach, but it seems that many people are too scared to do that.
On my first Camino (with my 19 year old daughter) I tried to plan every day. I think I was scared for her. After Roncesvalles I gave up on my plan and we just walked. It was so good to let go and let things “unfold”.
It is true that the Camino gives you what you need.
Best trip I have ever had.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
#18
I've have planned how to get from my home in UK to SJDPP, I have to because that uses public transport, after that the I plan is to follow the path. No need to plan after that because I am in charge of the vehicle.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago planned for May 2020
#19
I enjoy the planning almost as much as the walking. We are looking to start our Camino in April 2020. but that won't stop me spending hours looking at routes, checking out accommodation etc. all part of the fun as far as i'm concerned. Makes the whole thing last longer. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#20
I view doing annual Caminos as a form of process improvement. I am the process seeking improvement. The Camino is my parallel process that creates opportunities for self-improvement.

I am constantly trying to get more from the experience. As a result, each Camino provides immediate feedback to the planning process for the next Camino. It is a continuous cycle...

In this regard, planning for the next Camino never really ends. However, each new year, after the winter holidays, my logistical research and planning kicks into high gear. I plan in January and February, buy air tickets in March, start making advance housing reservations in early April, and typically fly over in the second half of April.

I prefer to walk my Caminos during the time from late April to early June. That avoids MOST of the snow and ice, and gets me off the Camino before the summer crush. However, I do, increasingly have to contend with competition for finite commercial housing with increased university class groups, and organized commercial tour groups. It happens. I simply adjust and overcome, or avoid the problems as they crop up.

Also, once I have visited my friends and colleagues at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago, I have reconfirmed my summer volunteer dates. As soon as I return home in May or June, I make the necessary air reservations for this, next trip over. This is usually around mid-July.

It works for me...

Hope this helps.
 

BrienC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, July 2015
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés, Oct/Nov 2016
#21
It's a very important DAILY task if you are serious about walking the Camino! :eek:

Jeez, you don't seem to be taking this seriously at all. It's almost like you think you'll spend a couple of evenings at the dining table and have your planning done and dusted! You'll just head on over there and start walking and it will just fall into place and life will be beautiful.

There are SO many things to plan, it's a never ending task.

Where will you start?
How many kms per day do you plan to walk
What type of accommodation you'll use
Pondering over the route and looking at places you might like visit along the way
Endlessly reading this forum and blog posts, to find out if that font is still working or where the best lunch in that village of if that albergue has a washing machine

It's endless!

And clothing and equipment!
What the best footwear, poncho, do I need Poles........

These are all things to be constantly reviewed, refined, discussed..........

When to do your planning??

Man it's almost a full time job in itself!! :oops::oops:

And then of course when you get there, finally, and you start walking.

Plan? What Plan?

It all goes out the window anyway.

But it passes the time between Caminos ;);)
I think we're a bit off subject, but I think—after two Caminos and many other long-distance adventures—I'm tired of taking it all too seriously. And thanks for your thoughts, Robo.
 

BrienC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, July 2015
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés, Oct/Nov 2016
#22
I view doing annual Caminos as a form of process improvement. I am the process seeking improvement. The Camino is my parallel process that creates opportunities for self-improvement.

I am constantly trying to get more from the experience. As a result, each Camino provides immediate feedback to the planning process for the next Camino. It is a continuous cycle...

In this regard, planning for the next Camino never really ends. However, each new year, after the winter holidays, my logistical research and planning kicks into high gear. I plan in January and February, buy air tickets in March, start making advance housing reservations in early April, and typically fly over in the second half of April.

I prefer to walk my Caminos during the time from late April to early June. That avoids MOST of the snow and ice, and gets me off the Camino before the summer crush. However, I do, increasingly have to contend with competition for finite commercial housing with increased university class groups, and organized commercial tour groups. It happens. I simply adjust and overcome, or avoid the problems as they crop up.

Also, once I have visited my friends and colleagues at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago, I have reconfirmed my summer volunteer dates. As soon as I return home in May or June, I make the necessary air reservations for this, next trip over. This is usually around mid-July.

It works for me...

Hope this helps.
Thank you for your thoughts, Tom. Planning after the holidays seems to be the most common answer to my question. In 2016, I walked the Via de la Plata during the fall season. You just don't do that route in summer. The heat is too dangerous. And springtime, as you've noted is very busy. Walking the VDLP in fall was awesome. The weather was about perfect. I started in Seville with temps in the 80s, and finished in Santiago in a light rain with temps in the 60s. I saw a little frost some mornings and snow on mountain peaks, but all in all, that season is magical. There was never pressure for a bed and though villages are generally farther apart on that route, it was no problem. Thanks again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP – SdC (2017)
Waiting for an opportunity to walk again...
#23
I have this folder on the desktop of my computer, labeled "next Camino". And whenever I come across some interesting piece of information during my daily scroll through "Yesterday's new topics", I take a screen shot and label it accordingly. It may be info on an especially nice albergue, an interesting piece of equipment, a recommended alternate route or anything else that catches my attention.
There is no "next Camino" on my immediate horizon at this pont in time, but I am sure that day will come. Meanwhile, I am constantly on Camino vicariously through all you fellow forum members.
The actual planning last time was limited to establishing my time frame, booking my outbound flight and the first three nights' accommodation. And getting my gear together, of course. But that will be almost a non-issue next time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
#24
I'm assuming that Spring is the high season for most non-Spanish pilgrims. But my question is when do these people do their planning, what time of year, how early or late leading up to their Camino?

Thanks Much,
end of one Camino to the start of the next
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#25
I'm assuming that Spring is the high season for most non-Spanish pilgrims. But my question is when do these people do their planning, what time of year, how early or late leading up to their ;););)Camino?

Thanks Much,
I am planning right now and I have been since I came back end of August :oops:;)
And that is for a July start Camino! :D
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#26
I have 6 Camino Combos already prepared in my files with all the logistics, info on infrastructure and accommodation, description of the route, GPS tracks downloaded etc. Not to mention the "whole" Caminos that I haven't walked. What that makes me? ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese, sections of Northern, Portuguese, Mozarabic.
#27
I'm always planning (thinking about it and reading) , but it usually is last moment when I can get a good price plane ticket. The rest of the planning is usually a couple of days before I leave, reading relevant threads in this blog, printing pages from Gronze, open albergue lists, and checking ways to get from airport to Camino. Packing usually happens the night before I go. I'm not too keen on stacks of preparation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#28
It's a very important DAILY task if you are serious about walking the Camino! :eek:

Jeez, you don't seem to be taking this seriously at all. It's almost like you think you'll spend a couple of evenings at the dining table and have your planning done and dusted! You'll just head on over there and start walking and it will just fall into place and life will be beautiful.

There are SO many things to plan, it's a never ending task.

Where will you start?
How many kms per day do you plan to walk
What type of accommodation you'll use
Pondering over the route and looking at places you might like visit along the way
Endlessly reading this forum and blog posts, to find out if that font is still working or where the best lunch in that village of if that albergue has a washing machine

It's endless!

And clothing and equipment!
What the best footwear, poncho, do I need Poles........

These are all things to be constantly reviewed, refined, discussed..........

When to do your planning??

Man it's almost a full time job in itself!! :oops::oops:

And then of course when you get there, finally, and you start walking.

Plan? What Plan?

It all goes out the window anyway.

But it passes the time between Caminos ;);)
Robo, don't forget to add in the question of "how do I fit that rice cooker into my backpack with everything else taking up space?" :p:eek::eek::D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#29
Robo, you mentioned the other day on another thread that you work all the time and have no free time for fun...now I know why! :)
 

hotelmedicis

Commercial Interests
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2001 (+more)
VDLP 2013, 2018
#30
No planning whatsoever. I focus all my pre-Camino attention on keeping my pack weight down to a minimum. Other than that, I just hit the trail and start walking. While I'm out walking I keep a list of towns, albergues, services and distances so that I'll know more or less where I'll sleep that night and perhaps the next night but all that often changes once I'm out walking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#31
Every time I hear about a route we haven't walked yet, I make a spreadsheet with possible places to eat/sleep, and add comments from this forum about places that someone particularly liked.

I have caminos planned that I will never walk, and that's fine. But if I DO walk them, I will know that in 2017, it was possible to sleep in the village refugio in the next village, called X, and Pilar has the key...
 

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