Sometimes the best trips are those done at the spur-of-the-moment with the most spontaneous set of travel buddies. Live in the moment, but don’t get carried away by the hype and be left lost or inconvenienced rather than achieving a fun and memorable journey. Here are five important things to keep in mind before traveling and while you’re at it:
Have a basic checklist
No matter how unplanned your trip may be, a basic list is always a must. Forgetting to pack an extra pair of underwear, shirt, or a toothbrush isn’t a problem at all, but leaving your prescribed meds, ID’s, travel documents and the other must-haves when traveling can cause a lot of inconveniences. Before anything, have a clear mind and jot down on a sturdy notepad as clearly as you can the important things you cannot leave without. It’s easy to buy extra clothes while traveling; so make sure you list down the essentials first before moving on to your outfits.
When in doubt, ask
When traveling, “the unexpected” is a surprisingly common occurrence. And since unplanned trips often end up being some of the best ones you’ll have in life, why not make it even better by making the most of what’s out there? While you may have your guidebook or the tips you got online, plans can sometimes change in an instant. There’s nothing embarrassing about asking a bunch of questions. You might find out that the locals you ask directions or recommendations from could point you to some fun adventures off the beaten track. It’s always better to ask than to assume, especially when dealing with things at the last minute.
Take the commuter’s route
You planned to rent a car, but for some reason there isn’t one available. In times like that, there’s always the commuter’s option. Taking the bus, train or any other local transportation within the destination can offer you an even more authentic experience of your destination, whether you’re a first-timer or a returning traveler. Sure, it can be a little time consuming or inconvenient for some, but no matter how much you want to drive around and explore a town there are times when it’s just not possible. That said, it’s better to have an open mind and a backup plan rather than spoil what could be your best journey yet.
Always stay connected
Unplanned trips can be both fun and risky. Don’t forget to keep in touch with family or certain friends while on your little adventures. Let them know where you’ll stay, where you’re going, and maybe what activities you’ll try out. Give them your travel details — flight itinerary and hotel address, so that they can be assured they’ll know where you will be at certain points in time should anything unexpected arise. Sure, straying off the beaten path is a thrilling experience, but being responsible and smart about it is important as well.
Keep a cash stash ready
While you may have a couple of credit cards, not all countries use these as a primary mode of payment. If there is a problem encountered during the transaction, or you have forgotten to give a travel advisory to your bank prior the trip, the results can be a little worrisome. To avoid financial mishaps while on your unplanned adventure, it’s best to carry cash wherever you go. Simply keep sizeable amounts in multiple pockets or bags for security purposes and keep track of them in times of need when you need cash the most.
Remember that the secret to enjoying any adventure, spontaneous sprees or well-planned trips is living in the moment, having a composed and open mind, plus a wise backup plan!