Even the most experienced travelers can find themselves bored from time to time. Standing and staring at an important monument or spending your whole trip in museums isn’t the most rewarding way to experience a new destination. If you feel like your itinerary is too mundane to be thrilling, the best solution is to inject a little more spontaneity into your journeys. Put the map down and let some of your inhibitions go – the world is waiting.
Limit Yourself to One Planned Activity
If every day of your trip is arranged according to a schedule, you might as well have gone on a guided tour or taken a group package. This is great for tame travelers who aren’t looking for much excitement, but it’s dull and boring for people who have a thirst for adventure.
Try planning one or two major activities every day, and fill the rest of your time with things you find along the way. Give yourself enough room to explore.
Pack a Backpack
Take a few days out of your journey to go backpacking. Just pack your backpack, set off on foot, and see where the day takes you. If you find that you aren’t the kind of person who was meant to go backpacking, you can always call for a ride back to the area you started in. If you enjoy the adventure, you can keep on going until you find a place to stay for the night. Bring a buddy and make sure your phone stays charged, and avoid walking down dark roads at night. Stay safe and have fun.
Let Your Phone Guide You
When you use your smartphone to look for a destination, it usually shows you a few major locations along the way. Stand on the sidewalk and use your phone to look for places nearby. Everything will come up. You can read about restaurants, shops, historical sites, arts, and entertainment and choose where to go next. Go to that place, experience it, and do the same thing again on the way out. Your phone can lead you on a journey you might have never taken if you hadn’t realized all the cool stuff that was right around the corner.
No matter where you go, hotels are the same. What’s different is the people and their regular way of life. Rather than jumping from major hotel to major hotel on every step of your journey, rent a room from a local. If you get along well with your host, you might even make a new friend. This person can give you recommendations that will lead you to a more authentic experience. Where do they like to go to eat? How do they spend their days off? Follow their advice and make the most of the local culture.
Avoid Every Tourist Trap
How amazing would it be to see Paris and entirely avoid the Eiffel Tower? To see every part of Italy except the Leaning Tower? Tourist traps are crowded and often take a long time to navigate. The most upsetting part of the experience is that you often can’t do more than snap a photo and be on your way. These monuments don’t make a place. If you set a goal to avoid tourist traps and only enrich yourself with the things that truly make a place fascinating, you’re bound to have a more fulfilling journey.
Don’t Let Reviews Dictate Your Experience
If you’re only visiting four-star and five-star locations, you’re going to miss out on a lot of the quirks that make a place so unique. Don’t limit yourself. You might enjoy a three-star place ten times more than you’d enjoy a five-star place because the ambiance makes you feel at home. If a place is safe and plenty of people have had a good time there, don’t let pretentious and wordy travel reviews dissuade you from doing something you really want to do.
You Can’t Let Money Stop You
You don’t need to be rich to bring some spontaneity into your travels. There are plenty of places in the world you can experience on a modest budget and plenty of inexpensive ways to travel in places that aren’t necessarily cheap to see. In fact, many people find that traveling Thailand is cheaper than day to day expenses at home. Most of the locals in a place aren’t rich, and they still manage to live their day to day lives. Being frugal can help you keep your adventure going for longer without hitting the bottom of your bank account.
A little imagination is all it takes to turn a trip into an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime. Steer clear of the beaten path and make memories on an adventure that’s unique to you.
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About the Author
Sienna Walker is an avid traveler and a blogger, currently supporting Brighter Finance, experts in the area of finance.