As magnetic resonance studies (fMRI) evolve, we will learn more about how the brain operates during consumer decision making. Until that time, social science research can assist with understanding consumers’ thought processes, as in the case of this report, which focuses on consumer decision making in connection with travel planning. This paper examines the application of a cognitive framework that is currently used in education to better understand, address, and improve thinking skills, which appears to apply to hospitality consumers’ decision making. Two pilot studies of trip planning, by graduate and undergraduate students, demonstrate the potential usefulness of this cognitive framework. Since so much of the cognitive processing involved in trip planning appears to occur unconsciously, bringing the thinking involved to our conscious awareness may improve the process for consumers. Using the pilot studies and personal experience, this report explains the framework’s use for consumer decision-making and suggests ways that may help us better understand and address the cognition that happens as consumers make complex travel decisions.