I really don't like traveling that much. For me it becomes all about the logistics--how am I going to get there, where am I going to eat, where can I use the bathroom, etc. rather than enjoying what's actually there. I do think if we had Star Trek transporters that could instantly beam me from home to the final destination it would be great and take away a lot of my stress, but still not all of it. It's just not that big a thing to me. I wouldn't say reading a book about a place is "as good as" going, but to be honest it's good enough for me in most cases, and that really seems to bother some people that I know. Um, why? Am I somehow infringing on your ability to travel? No. I am happy to hear about your trip, see photos, etc.. Just stop yourself before saying the words, "Next time you should come with me!" because that's just going to lead to awkwardness all around.
It's definitely important to find people you are travel/vacation compatible with. If I were going away from home, my ideal vacation would be to travel for no more than a couple hours total and end up at a nice hotel. There should be restaurants I can walk to, preferably a Cheesecake Factory, and a fridge/microwave in my room. A shopping mall in easy walking distance would be great, too. Mostly I would stay in my nice room, reading and writing in peace and quiet, not getting distracted by the nagging feeling that I should be doing laundry or paying a bill or something like that. Occasionally I would go out to eat and walk around the mall, to stretch my legs and give housekeeping a chance to straighten up the room. Because of the fridge in the room I could order whatever I wanted at Cheesecake Factory and bring the leftovers back for later. Get up when I want, go to bed when I want. Maybe I would watch a movie on TV sometime. All this could be done alone, and maybe that would be preferable.
This would be so fantastic to me. And I cannot even describe the looks of horror some people get when I describe it. Hey, we each have our own preferences, you know? My mom hates sitting around and wants to get out and do things, although she's not really a scheduler; my dad and I wanted to sleep late, so family vacations as a kid were always stressful. Plus my family has communication issues and a lot of the time there was stress about the logistics--people not letting other people know when they needed to stop or when we should get up in the morning or how far we were driving today, etc..
My friend Amy is VERY go-go-go, scheduling everything. We traveled together for fun ONCE and I was completely zonked at the end of each day. I remember being on our last tour of the day and every time the guide stopped walking, I would just lean against something and zone out because I was so exhausted. Now in retrospect it was good to have gone because we saw a lot of cool things, but at the time it was just not very much fun. She loves to travel and that's how she likes to do things, because she wants to get the most out of her trip. Fine, you do that. She keeps making noises about how "we" should travel again soon and I'm like, mmm, noooooooo... She has another friend who seems more compatible--they went down to Harry Potter Land and got up at 6am every day to be at the gates when they opened and beat the crowds. They had a blast. That's cool. Not gonna work for me, though.