How to Stop Overthinking Travel and Embrace Spontaneity

By on August 25, 2016

There are certain elements of every trip that must be planned for, such as visa requirements, potential inclement weather and cost. It isn’t, however, necessary to spend hours behind your computer or tablet planning and obsessing over your next adventure. Here are four tips on how to stop overthinking travel and embrace spontaneity.

Get in With the Locals

As a spontaneous traveler, befriending locals should be a top priority. Locals will have the inside scoop on the best restaurants to frequent, cheapest watering holes and off-the-beaten-path destinations that won’t be full of tourists and selfie sticks. Once you’re in with the locals, adopt their lifestyle as you travel. If the locals like to sleep in and casually head to their morning coffee shop around 11 a.m., follow in their footsteps. Don’t feel pressured to constantly fill your days with tourist activities from dawn to dusk. Instead, do like the locals do.

To stay in touch with your new friends, travel with a smartphone that has a removable SIM card and long-lasting battery life like the LG G5. With a removable SIM, you will be able to purchase a pay as you go SIM card from your destination country that provides you with a local phone number to connect and stay in touch with all the locals you’ve met along the way.

How to Stop Overthinking Travel

Don’t Obsess Over Review Sites

The internet has changed travel for the better. It’s easier to do your research, prepare for your trip, overcome language barriers and so much more. However, the internet has also made it easy to obsess over other people’s reviews on websites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and VirtualTourist. With in-detail reviews, photographs, videos and even live feeds, you know exactly what to expect when traveling to your destination, which removes the surprise and discovery from travel. Reading other people’s reviews is a great way to get a general idea of the pros and cons of a hotel, restaurant or tour company, but reviews are subjective and in certain cases, it’s better to skip the review and experience everything firsthand.

Plan on the Go

Spontaneous travel requires a lot of on-the-go planning. This includes booking hostels last minute or finding a same-day flight to your next destination. Be prepared for last-minute planning with helpful smartphone apps for stress-free spontaneity. Skyscanner is the perfect on-the-go flight purchasing app that helps you find the best deal on flights, rental cars and hotels. Perhaps you’ll be headed to a destination that speaks a completely different language. The Google Translate app will assist you in any language barriers when you’re ordering at a restaurant or asking for directions.

The Journey is More Important than Your Destination

Spontaneous travel is all about the journey. Spontaneity might have you taking a 16-hour scenic bus ride from one country to the next or joining a road trip with some locals to new horizons. And although you’re anticipating your new destination, it’s the sites you see along the way, the new people that become part of your life and the lessons you learn in challenging situations (like a 16-hour bus ride) that are more valuable than your final stop.

During your journey, be open to changes that come along the way. Your reaction to an extended pit stop on your road trip or an unplanned stay with a local family should be positive, open and welcoming. After all, when you’re embracing spontaneous travel, always expect the unexpected.

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