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Spontaneous Travel: Making the Unplanned Happen

This blog post was updated on October 25, 2018.

One minute you’re at home cleaning the kitchen; the next, you’re exiting a plane in Lima, on your way to ordering up a nice pisco sour and ceviche with a couple of locals.


Wouldn’t that make for an interesting story to tell at your next dinner party?


There’s a certain draw to being spontaneous and finding yourself on random adventures in other cities, but you know what:  spontaneous travel probably won’t happen until you make it happen.  I know this doesn’t liken itself to the definition of spontaneous; still, I believe there is a certain level of preparation that may be needed before you are traipsing around the globe without a guidebook or a map.


Learn to say yes.  Don’t just learn how to say yes, but also learn how to say it quickly.  It’s when you start to think too much about your options that you second guess and go the other way.  So, the next time someone asks you if you want to join on a weekend away to Vegas, just say yes.  Or, when you’re being invited to a dinner party by locals, don’t decline:  say yes!


Drop the itinerary.  Creating an itinerary is great for when you have limited time and want to make sure you see those big items on your list.  If you have a bit of flexibility, however, drop the itinerary completely.

What an itinerary does is give a traveler tunnel vision.  They are only able to see the option at the end of the tunnel instead of the little nooks, crannies and offshoots that might flutter past the peripheral vision.  When you drop the itinerary, you have nothing holding you back from doing what you want on the fly.  In other words:  no itinerary gives you no excuses.


Ask the locals.  You can easily drop the travel guidebooks and rely on locals for your travel needs in most places (if you can communicate).  This helps to put you in touch with what the locals – not just the tourists – partake in both food and activity wise, and furthermore, it helps to give you are real insight into the culture.  You might also find that this method introduces you to locals who just might want to take you under their wing and show you around themselves.


Being spontaneous in your travels isn’t hard, but it does require a certain level of pre-programming to make it all happen.

Flickr: evoo73


Do you have a spontaneous travel story of your own to share?  Do so by leaving a comment.

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