Tuesdays Travel Tip: Plan Loosely, Stress Less
While this may relate to my last post I felt a further mention was needed in Tuesdays Travel Tip to really hammer home the benefits of keeping your plans to a minimum. While you may feel a prick of panic knowing you have 30 days to explore a new country or re-visit one you’ve been before, and you want to completely maximize the valuable time you have there, it’s best to simply let things fall into place.
Let’s face it, time is our most valuable currency and generally we spend it without blinking an eye. We go through much of our work life stuck in auto-pilot and when we’re graced with small amounts of vacation time we worry about how each hour will be spent. We tend to panic when plans are loose, and feel as though we won’t know what to do once we get on the ground if nothing is booked. But the truth is, until you’re in a new place and have a chance to chat with locals and travellers, you won’t really know exactly what you want. Maybe one week you feel like lounging on the beach feeling the jetlag slip away, and another you want to work those relaxed muscles and climb a volcano, and the next you’d like to spend simply island hopping with a few new friends. The point is that when you begin with a loose idea of places you’d like to visit, but no set plans, you open yourself up to a world of possibility where you can meet a complete stranger in the morning, and head north to the mountains with them by the afternoon – or decide that the border town you meant to spend a night in has really caught your intrigue and you’d like to spend a few more days.
When backpacking almost anywhere it’s important that a few things are planned in advance:
- Visas: Very important to see the visa requirements when entering any country to make sure you won’t be stuck at the border
- Visa Allowance: How many days you’re actually allowed to be in the country, and how you plan on entering/exiting the country
- Cost: It’s nice to not to stranded and broke in an unfamiliar place. It’s important to know the average nightly cost at hostels, food, and transportation costs. Keeping a daily budget is a great way to keep yourself in check when abroad.
Outside these main things even flights can be booked on whim, albeit more expensive that a few weeks or months ahead. Not only will you find yourself having a much more immersive trip, but you’ll actually find you’re more relaxed with nothing to create a countdown towards. You’re completely in control of your travel and where you are at that moment – thus, you generally feel more confident of the choices you decide to make on impulse. Do your research, show up, be gracious, and you’ll find yourself on an adventure you could have never planned.