Your dis-ease of following phone directions is similar to my dis-ease on bike rides of following a cue sheet versus following a map - cue sheet: too tedious, no context, lessened flexibility, one glitch and I'm lost. For me, Google Maps provides a nice balance -- let GM first choose route (car or bike) then drag dots to modify the route.
My day-to-day planning of our last 3 trips [Malaysia, Maritime Provinces, and CA in June] yielded low-stress vacations but finding campgrounds or Air BnB's for every night was tedious and lessened feasibility of on-trip flexibility. I'm ready to try a 'mostly' planned trip. Sierra Club trips (and probably most others) are quite careful to describe the rigor of the trip and its flexible options. Also, joining a planned trip and then "staying after" a while has appeal - haven't tried it.
The need for detailed planning varies significantly based on locale and season -- but pre-judging that is not easy.
A perk of planning ahead is you get to "experience" the trip over longer time. The anticipation and knowing about where you are going lessens anxiety, and increases the amount of time you "experiencing" the trip.
And, yeah, hate those directions with no map context, hard for someone who likes to see where they are going and make a plan.
On the other hand, they can save you butt when you alone and trying to read a map ,especially online, while driving.
True - definitely helpful when driving alone and too much detail to memorize!
Agree - I think the planning process would be way more fun when it's looking forward to what you want to do rather than figuring out what is still possible.