When it comes to traveling, there are two kinds of people. Those that take the time to work out where they want to go, how they’re going to get there, what they want to see, how much it will cost, how they are going to raise the money, and what they would do if anything happened. Then, there are those who are spontaneous. These people go with the flow, and don’t worry or plan about any of these things – and many seem to have the times of their lives. But which one is best? Is being a spontaneous traveler overrated?
Pros of being a spontaneous traveler:
1) It’s less stressful. Planning a trip months in advance can often come with added stress before you go – and while you’re there. Nothing can go wrong if you didn’t have a set plan or schedule in the first place. A University of Alabama research study has found that taking shorter, spontaneous trips actually de-stresses people because you are not focusing on the ins and outs of what you should be doing, where you should be going next, and how to get there.
2) Sometimes the best discoveries are unplanned. If you leave your travels unplanned, you can often unearth some of the best-hidden gems around the world. Rather than sticking to a schedule, you follow your nose and have a flexibility that you wouldn’t have as a strategic traveler.
3) It keeps the excitement alive. One of the main emotions spontaneous travelers report during their trips is exhilaration. Leaving your fate in the hands of the unknown can often be perfect for thrill-seekers.
Cons of being a spontaneous traveler:
1) There is always a risk. Without proper planning, you never know where you will end up. The glorified image of rocking up at a hotel or hostel last minute might not be the case. Especially if it’s in the heat of summer, and everywhere in the area is packed with other travelers who had planned in advance! This will always leave you with the risk of sleeping rough in an unknown country or city.
2) It will be more expensive. When it comes to traveling, and vacations, there is one universal rule – book in advance to save money. The earlier you book your hotels, flights, and attractions, the cheaper they will be. If you leave it to the last minute, you will often be faced with bumped up prices that may cut your spontaneous trip short because you’ve run out of money.
3) You waste time. One of the benefits of having your travels all planned and mapped out is that you know where you’re going to next, and you can plan out what you want to see and schedule that into your itinerary. Without this, you may waste time to figure out your next move – time that could be spent exploring.
4) The fear of the unknown. If you’re a spontaneous traveler, you don’t know where you’re going to be one day to the next – and for many people, this can be incredibly disconcerting and knock their confidence, and this might hinder your travels. If you plan your trip, you will feel confident in your traveling and will be able to get the most out of your experiences.