There are two types of traveller, those who like to have everything planed out for them in advance with little left to surprise and those who like to wing it. I’ve travelled in both styles and both are great but there are different things you need to be ready for with each.
When you have things planned down to the minute things tend to go wrong. One delay means that everything for that day can be thrown off. When things are so planned it’s hard to do anything spontaneous. You may arrive at your destination and find all these wonderful things that weren’t in the travel guide or that your travel agent didn’t know of. Always plan a little but of leeway and free time to make things go smooth.
When I go on a diving trip I tend to have all my dives planned nice and orderly but I leave myself afternoons free in case the dive takes too long and also so I can check out recommendations from people at the dive shop. I also plan to stay a few days after the dive because for safety sake you can’t fly for at least 24 hours after you dive. This leaves me time to plan other shore activities or tours.
I also have trips planned when I travel with my Mom and Dad. I meet them in London July 9th and we travel to Belfast. Cars are rented, hotels have been booked since November, all of the hopper flights are booked. Routes have been planned and drive times have been calculated. It’s been done partly because I think it would stress my family to death to not know what they are doing and partly because they are so eager to go. Mom is always letting me know she found new places to see or wants to drive by this place. I will make a world traveller out of her yet. My dad need more work.
Spontaneous trips run into a whole other set of problems. First if you don’t have things planned out it can get expensive as people try to take advantage of you. Many taxi drivers will take you to a “friends” place, where they get a commission, if you don’t have any where else booked. Try to look online the night before if you plan to travel the next day. You can also find that day tours or other things are booked full, especially in the summer. Also some places have days when they close, be sure to look that up before you travel.
There are many great things about travelling spontaneously too. You don’t have to work about a schedule so you can come and go as you please. You usually meet some pretty interesting people at hostel and if you don’t have plans you can tag along with them on their interesting adventure.
Hostels usually have a good idea of what’s going on in the area to go and see or do. Most people working in hostels are travellers themselves and can tell you some pretty great places to travel towards.
If you have the time (like during a Gap Year) you can travel to places where the hostels need workers. Usually when you work at a hostel you get a bed and breakfast in return for 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week. I went from Scotland in a hostel, to Germany on a goat far, to Bulgaria in a hostel and then to the Netherlands to work in a hostel.
However you travel remember to be safe and have fun.