Spontaneous travel, a good idea?

If you talked to me four years ago and asked if I wanted to go on a trip, I would have planned out every last detail before actually making a purchase.  I would research flights, hotels, hostels, things to do, and make full itineraries.

Now, that seems too hard and takes the fun out of planning trips.  For whatever reason, doing the planning now makes me unhappy rather than excited for the trip. I’ve developed this need to decide that I want to go somewhere and buy the ticket immediately.  I can figure out everything later.

As I’ve shared previously, I am bad about remembering to book hotels and plan out things to do.  I bought my ticket to Europe weeks before I realized I needed a place to stay.  I booked all my hotels and transportation about two weeks before when I realized train tickets in France were super expensive (Note: buy train tickets earlier rather than later.  The price differences are definitely noticeable).

After I started my crazy travel adventures of 2015, I knew that I was addicted to the unknown and the excitement of flying by the seat of my pants.  One hour before I got picked up to go to the airport for my Asia adventure, I bought a ticket to New Zealand.  A month later, I tacked on a 3 day trip to Australia.  We booked Airbnb’s 3 weeks before and did no research whatsoever on where we were going and what we were going to do.

I love the idea of spontaneous travel.  I love the idea of not being 100% what your trip has in store for you.  I wouldn’t have traded these experiences for the world. Here are just a few things I do to keep myself sane through all the craziness of a spontaneous trip:

  • Music (and a good pair of headphones) – this is a staple of my life.  Spotify Premium has become my best friend and I love the playlists that are available.  These are great to help one get through the pre-journey jitters and help ground you back into reality just enough that you don’t throw up out of fear before your flight.  I get the pre-flight jitters every time.  You’d think that after all the flights that I’ve taken they would stop, but I get butterflies in my stomach every time and it is definitely rough.
  • Medicine – spontaneous travel does not mean that you should forget about your medicine or the regular precautionary medicine like ibuprofen or Benadryl. Knowing that I have that with me at all times for my trips really helps me. I really appreciate the sense of security that I have some of the medicine that I need should anything happen and I won’t have to go on a mad hunt for its equivalent in another country.
  • Walking shoes – No matter where you go, you will need to walk.  Be prepared with good walking shoes.  My Tieks and Keds have become staples for me.  If I’m going somewhere during the winter or fall months, I have a pair of Steve Madden flat ankle boots that are light weight and perfect for holding all my underwear in my backpack.  Those are great for the rainy days or even short stints in the snow.
  • Books – I love to read. But if I’m getting nervous about anything, it’s nice to escape from that reality for just a little bit and pretend to be a part of another storyline.  My Kindle is key.
  • Deep breaths – Yes.  Cliche.  But honestly, deep breaths has become a key thing in my life for more reasons than one.  When I get nervous, I have a tendency to psych myself out and that usually results in some brief moments where I forget to breath.  So remember, please remember, to breath.
  • Protein bars (breakfast bars, etc) – Maybe I should say snacks.  In all reality, it’s just making sure you have food available at all times because when you’re doing spontaneous travel, you don’t know where your next meal is going to come from and if you’re traveling during a time that stores are closed… protein bars are key.  Trust me.  I know from experience.

These are the things that help me through all my spontaneous travels.  Do you do anything that helps you?  Do you have any tips to help with dealing with the unknown?


3 thoughts on “Spontaneous travel, a good idea?

  1. Samantha Faloon says:

    I would love to book a ticket to Europe and just free-style as a solo traveler from there; deciding on where to go depending on how I feel and who I meet! BUT then theres the risk that accommodations and transportation will be SO much more expensive, and also that the better (more social) hostels and potentially tours will already be booked. Lol maybe I’m just not a spontaneous person!


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