How to Embrace Spontaneous Trips

Tips & Tricks

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Travel has the potential to refresh and recharge, but if you over-plan, it can become just as stressful as the situation you’re trying to leave behind. It’s true that some travel requires advanced flight and hotel reservations and some forethought to the timing of the trip. However, obsessing over planning the perfect trip can lead to stress and disappointment since it’s unlikely everything will go quite “as planned.”

Spontaneous travel eliminates this stress and presents opportunities for surprises and adventures. We know it can be hard to just pack up and go, so we’ve got some advice on how to embrace spontaneous trips.

Change Your Mindset

Map with pins in it
Credit: Capturing the human heart/ Unsplash

Booking a last-minute trip as opposed to planning one for months actually forces you to go with the flow. If you don’t have the time to plan, the whole trip becomes a spontaneous game of leapfrog as you jump from one place to the next. We understand if this sounds a bit extreme since it's a major adjustment, but you should open your mind to scheduling a free itinerary.


Two people exploring Trevellas Cove, Saint Agnes, United Kingdom
Credit: Matt Cannon/ Unsplash

This is an especially useful tool if you’re traveling with someone who’s not as into a well-mapped out trip as you. Work toward spontaneity by compromising with yourself and your partner. Satisfy the side of you that craves structure with a planned-out morning, then balance it out in the afternoon by letting loose and going wherever the wind blows (or your travel partner takes you).

Say Yes!

People kayaking in ravine
Credit: molchanovdmitry/ iStock

It takes the same amount of effort to say no as it does to say yes. So, the next time you’re on a trip and someone asks you if you want to do something that you’d usually turn down, push yourself to agree instead. Saying yes to something you’d usually never do gets you out of your comfort zone and alters your tried-and-true course of action. This is spontaneity at its best.

Veer Off

Woman hiking in valley with mountains in background
Credit: Photo by Holly Mandarich/ Unsplash

Have you ever seen a sign and thought, “I wonder what that’s all about?” or passed by a path and thought “I wonder where that goes?" and then carried on with your already-scheduled plans? Next time this happens, throw your original plans to the wind (or at least delay them) and take off on a spontaneous adventure instead. You never know where it might lead you.

Get Lost

Two people walking through a city
Credit: ferrantraite/ iStock

Turn off the phone and leave the map at home. The best way to discover a new city is to wander. The further you venture from the main strip, the more genuine experiences you’ll have. Cut through neighborhoods, browse the local shops instead of the touristy souvenir stalls, then later reward yourself with a cold drink at a hole-in-the-wall bar. If you find walking without a purpose too frustrating, pick a tourist attraction that you’d usually call an Uber for and walk instead! You’ll see a lot more of the city and still check something off your list.

Blaze Your Own Trail

Man looking at the Taj Mahal in India
Credit: swissmediavision/ iStock

That blog you’ve been following probably doesn’t highlight the quirky coffee shop on the corner or that locals-only, pop-up restaurant off the main drag, does it? Trying too hard to stick to other tourists' suggestions can get you into trouble. You’ll be too focused on finding a specific place and end up missing out on so many other places less-discovered and just as worthy of your time.

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