Journey planning ain’t what it was

All of my childhood holidays were taken without the aid of the world wide web. There was no google maps to get you there, no trip advisor to tell you what was there once you arrived, and no Amazon to deliver replacements for all the things you left on the hall table.
Our holiday planning consisted of dad spending half an hour ransacking the car, convinced that the foot square brick, otherwise known as the A-To-Z, had slipped down one of the gaps between the seats. Once he finally accepted that it wasn’t there, he’d stomp in demanding to know where mum had put it.
She would emerge red-faced from inside one of the capacious suitcases, a bedraggled item of clothing in each hand, and deny any knowledge of the thing. I suspect dad would have argued, but feared being allocated one of those many domestic task to which he was allergic. He’d go off, search the house, then reappear, triumphant, with a capacious handbag in which nestled the dog-eared destination finder.
They would then spend the evening round the kitchen table with pencils, rulers, and armfuls of dogeared tourist guides acquired from the library that were at least twenty years old and gave estimated prices in shillings and pence. Dad would faithfully plan a route, apparently forgetting that the same exercise last year had lead us to attractions that no longer existed down roads that had long since fallen into disuse.
We still own an A-To-Z, and on the odd occasion we even look at it. But if we actually want to go somewhere we ask google, Siri, or the car itself. The maps are now so advanced that you can even see real pictures of what you will find when you arrive.
It certainly makes for an easier life, but my most treasured childhood memories are not the ones where things went right. What I really remember is the stuff that didn’t turn out the way we’d hoped. Like the time we got confused about the train, ended up in the next town, and paid for a taxi, only to find that the two towns were joined together and our hotel was two streets away. Or the time we tried to reach the sea on a beech that turned out to be about a mile wide. Then there was all the fun me and my siblings had while we drove in circles round some destination that we could see but couldn’t get too.
Soon enough we will have AR and VR glasses to test out every tourist hotspot prior to our visit, just to make sure we won’t be disappointed. The thing is that once I can get a taste of all these places from the comfort of my living room, I’m honestly not sure I’ll ever manage to whip up the necessary energy to go and actually see them in person. Much easier to holiday from the sofa.