Planning – good for your comfort and security. Two things that are not compatible with travelling.
Planning out every detail of your trip is something I would not recommend. If there is one lesson not only traveling has taught me but life too, is that, things don’t always go accordingly.
If you’re going on a two-week trip or a two-month trip, try to not plan out every day. It’s a pretty cool feeling to wake up (whenever you want) and say to yourself, “hmmm, what do I feel like doing today?”
Definitely check out what there is to do in each city you’ll be headed to.
But do not book any activities online, unless its a massive event. Like the World Cup.
There are a couple different major reasons why you shouldn’t plan ahead.
Before my friends and I went to Bali we literally looked up everything we could do. We booked a couple activities (online) and once we got there we realized two things. 1. We could have done a majority of the activities for cheaper if we booked it in person and 2. We could buy “packages” that included 2-3 activities for the same price we paid online.
And if you get to your destination and realize that in fact maybe a particular activity is cheaper to buy online, then buy it online when you’re there.
At least you know for a fact that you are getting the best bang for your buck (or Peso or Rupiah).
A lot of places you can get activities significantly cheaper if you purchase them in person versus online.
That has to do a little bit with the human interaction, bartering.
This is the best opportunity to practice your negotiation skills, even if you save $7. In some countries, $7 is a full meal plus an ice cold beer.
Another reason that is just as important as saving money are the experiences you may miss out on.
What if there is a special celebration or a sporting event, you’ve never heard of before. It only happens once a year and you just so happen to be there for it. By keeping your availability open, you keep the control in your possesion.
Perfect example of that is when I went to Budapest.
I booked an event (before I got there) that coincided on the same day as a “sparty”. If you’ve ever heard of a sparty in Budapest, you know it is an absolute MUST do.
They only happen on Saturdays during the summer season. A sparty is a wild rager that takes place at the thermal baths and spas. Check it out.
But do you see my point? Before going to Budapest, I had NEVER heard of a sparty before in my life. I booked an activity on a summer Saturday night in Budapest, without any knowledge of it being a HUGE mistake.
I still managed to do both activities but I had to roll up to the sparty 2 hours later, play catch up drinking (which is never fun) and try to find my friends who I met at the hostel.
This next part I cannot stress enough. It is definitely a little intimidating but makes sense.
Every time I get off a plane in a new country, I have no idea where I’ll be staying.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have an idea of what hostels are available but I never book a hostel ahead of time.
If you’re traveling in a group or with someone else, it won’t be as intimidating. But for solo travelers, TRUST ME, this is your best option to meet people.
Lets set the scene.
You’re waiting for your flight in the airport.
Looking through Hostelworld, you find a solid accommodation for $10/night and book it at $70 for the week and pay the balance, then hop on your flight.
You’re feeling good because you know where you’re staying, then all of the sudden......
Two German twins sit down right next to you.
You start a conversation and find out they are staying at a completely different hostel on the other side of the city.
Congratulations, you have successfully handicapped yourself from traveling with the only two people (who happen to be German twins) you know in that country.
Since you already committed yourself to an accommodation (hostel), you really limit yourself to traveling with people as you meet them. For tight budget travelers, $70 might as well be $700. So, you really can't skip out on the hostel and go with the twins.
Look, definitely scope out what hostels are available in the area and how much they are going to be so you have an idea how much you’ll be paying. But, use every bit of courage you have to not book your accommodation.
By not booking your accommodation ahead of time, you keep your options as open as possible.
And if you don’t happen to meet the German twins on your flight, then, when you get to the city, go to Hostelworld and book your accommodation, it’s that simple.
Once you get to your accommodation, you’ll think, “wow, that actually wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be”.
I’m constantly looking for other travelers to hang with while I’m out there.
One time I was in Croatia, I had no idea where I was going to stay. It was about 1 o'clock in the morning and I was on the shuttle bus headed to Split.
I still hadn’t met anyone.
I’m not going to lie I was definitely intimidated. But I had to rise above and find someone.
I turned around and sitting three rows behind me were two girls from Oregon. As the conversation progressed, I told them (a little exaggerated, of course) that I had no idea where I was staying and asked where their accommodation was.
They were headed to some hostel I had never heard of before or seen on Hostelworld.
Then, boom. The magic words:
“You can come with us if you want”.
Well, turns out when we got to the hostel they had no open beds but the hostel directed me to another one within walking distance.
I met up with the girls a couple times but the moral of the story is, to take a chance.
Live life on the edge. You’ll never know how far you can go unless you push yourself to those limits.
That is what traveling is all about.
Living life as it comes and not worrying about the next day. Live in the moment, that’s all we can do.
Our biggest enemy is in between our ears. Trust yourself and more importantly, trust your gut.
So, beware of planning ahead because you may miss the love of your life, ancient celebrations or even the chance to grow as a person.
Thanks for checking us out! Have any questions? Hit us up!