The Advantages of Traveling Without A Plan By Guest Blogger Jaime Goodman
For someone with endless wanderlust, researching travel destinations is the same as digesting calories for energy: necessary for survival. In those down laden times when you find yourself stationary with too many familiar surroundings, it’s the travel dream that sustains you until the next adventure. Travel inspiration is a beautiful thing. This, however, is a cautionary tale about excessive travel planning.
The worst trip I ever took was to Iceland, but it wasn’t Iceland’s fault - it was entirely my own. I was in a rut, and all I had to look forward to was my upcoming 10 day trip to Iceland. It became an obsession. I started following Iceland related accounts on Instagram and reading as many blog entries related to Iceland on the internet as I could find. I created a Google map starred with all the stops I intended to visit along Iceland’s Ring Road. In doing all this, I had completely destroyed any sense of wonder when I arrived in the country. I knew exactly what to expect, and the problem with expectations is that they are either met or not. Rarely, are they ever exceeded. My trip to geologically wondrous Iceland was doomed before my plane ever even touched down in Reykjavik.
1. Lightly research a place to get an understanding if you will like it or not (breathtaking beaches, unique wildlife, scalable mountains, historic cities, remote rainforests)
2. Plan basics such as:
- What to bring (travel guidebook, power adapters, binoculars, flashlight, sunscreen, insect repellant, trekking poles, beach towel, camera, mosquito net)
- What to wear (hiking boots, waterproof gear, sunhat, bathing suit
- Travel insurance and any necessary immunizations (yellow fever, hepatitis A & B, typhoid, rabies, malaria pills)
- Any necessary tourist visas for entry into the country
3. Book airport transfer upon arrival and accommodation for your first night
4. Book any excursions you think may sell out if you otherwise decide to wait (protected sites with limited tourist entry, camping sites for a multi-day trek)
I promise you that having a flexible itinerary will reward you to the fullest. You’ll be able to listen and accept recommendations from locals or other travelers you meet along the way. You may even choose to join forces with a fellow traveler for some days. If your mood changes during the trip, you can modify your schedule without making any cancellations. For example, if you decide you want another day at the beach, you can easily make it happen. If you’ve been staying in hotels alone, you may want to switch to a hostel in an attempt to meet more people. Conversely, you may want to change from a hostel to a hotel if you’d like more privacy.
The best adventure I ever took started with a flight to Bali and an airport transfer to a guesthouse. It ended 10 countries and 7 months later. It was completely dictated by recommendations from other backpackers I met along the way and my feelings at any given moment. I had no expectations.
Let us @thirdhalfsoccer plan your trip for you and let your expectations be met!
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