You finally want to break free and travel around the world again? Meet new cultures, swim in turquoise water, climb the top of a mountain or just relax? Just book your ticket and go! Or… would you rather have everything planned out first? If you’re still undecided, whether you should plan your trip all the way or better get going without a plan, this article will help you to find a resolution.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
A journey is always supposed to be something positive, new and exciting. It should catapult you out of your everyday life and expand your horizon. Not everything will always go as expected, but you will grow on the challenges of your journey. Whether your trip is fully planned out or you let yourself get inspired along the way, it is about you and your adventure. Don’t forget about that.
THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS
Once you made the decision to go travel, there are some fundamental questions you need to ask yourself: Where do I want to travel? How do I get there? How long do I want to stay? What is my budget?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a planning person or an unorganized backpacker – these questions should be given some thought.
Furthermore, you need to take care of some basics: Do I need a visa and if yes, which one? Do I need any vaccination? Which travel insurance fits best for me? How long is my passport valid? Do I have the right credit card(s)? What medications do I need to bring?
Once you’ve taken care of these things, you should be good to go!
WHY SHOULD I PLAN MY TRIP?
Simple: It saves time!
Doing your research on what to expect at your destination can majorly help you to think of a route, book accommodations and tours, and plan how to get from A to B. This way you don’t waste precious holiday time with worrying about it. You can estimate the time you will need in different places and will avoid unnecessary tedious times.
And that brings us onto the next point: Early birding pays off! When you book your accommodations, tours and transportation in advance to your trip, you’re safe. Nothing is more frustrating than being stuck in one place when you are short on time, because your transportation of choice is already fully booked. Especially during high season this can be an issue in popular places.
The planning ahead of your journey also helps you to stay within your budget. Hotels, tours and transportation are already booked? Perfect, now you just need to set your budget on food and souvenirs and you’re safe.
WHY SHOULD I JUST GO WITH THE FLOW?
The most important thing for most long-term travellers is flexibility. To wake up where you want to, to stay where you like it most and to continue travels when new adventures are calling. Traveling is freedom, and that’s why a lot of people feel restricted when there is too much of a plan.
To wander around the world as a backpacker also means to run a very minimalistic lifestyle; all your belongings can essentially be carried on your back. Why not keep the traveling itself and the planning minimalistic as well?
It is a very carefree way of travel if you go with the flow. You barely have any duties and don’t have to go anywhere you don’t really want to be. You travel more consciously and slower, and you will discover the little wonders of our world.
A journey is usually just as good as your company. There is nothing more fulfilling than finding your perfect travel buddy and to explore this world together as you like. Even better when none of you got a fixed plan and you can let yourselves drift around!
Through your stay in different hostels this is a possibility that opens up for you: new friendships and the exchange of experiences. Your route can be changed whenever without a fixed schedule. Therefore, you can go after recommendations of your new made friends and who knows – you might find yourself in a crazy adventure?
SO, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TRAVEL NOW?
In the end everything is up to you.
You aren’t an experienced traveller yet, got a restricted period of time or are simply more relaxed when everything is sorted? In this case the booking of flights, accommodations and tours can be beneficial.
Always try to stay realistic. Many destinations seem a bit overwhelming in the beginning. You’d love to see and do everything. But trust me, if you don’t take breaks and time to relax during your travels, it will get harder to enjoy your trip one day at a time. Think about what you’d like to prioritize and cut what’s too much. Eventually you will come back anyways!
Also keep in mind: No matter how perfectly you believe you planned your trip, there will always be things that go wrong. Try to make the best of every situation, because there will be a solution for everything.
I know an unplanned journey seems scary at first. It will still always be worth a try! You will become braver, make new friends and experience unexpected adventures. And when you find yourself having a hard time and are uncomfortable with this way of traveling, you are still able to plan as you go.
If you have no concerns at all and traveling is simply in your blood: Go with the flow! You’ve got all the time you need, nothing to lose and you will find countless places that make your heart beat faster.
How ever you decide in the end, make sure you enjoy it to the fullest!
So, how are you going to decide for your next adventure? We are curious and would love to know whether you decide to plan everything or jump into the unknown. Let us know in the comments!