We call them smartphones, but if you’re like me, then phone doesn’t even make the list of Top 20 reasons I use the device. One thing that’s certain though: as savvy and versatile as they are, those damn phones have taken a lot of spontaneity out of life.
We’re never more then a few clicks away from anything and therefore, end up planning almost everything. I’m not saying to ditch the phone as you’ll want the camera, GPS and social media apps on the road. Some days though, you should let whim take control. There’s no better way to put spontaneity back into life than by traveling.
I get nostalgic looking back at a trip we took to South America in the late ‘90s with little money and even lower expectations. The plan was no plan; to leave a place when we were done with it, whether that was an hour, a day or a week. Sure, we did a little pre-trip homework, but booked absolutely nothing except the flight there. Our priority was to keep our ears wide open to what locals and fellow travelers recommended. A majority of the best days we had were the ones that weren’t planned.
Even in today’s world of short getaways, it’s much more rewarding to go with the flow rather than book too much before you go. Our lives are scheduled enough, why do that to yourself on vacation?
Let travel bring you back to the spontaneity we experienced as kids every summer: wake, brush, get on your bike and ride. Somewhere. Anywhere. You can still do that when you travel to any major city today with all the bicycle and scooter sharing options. Just go! Loaf in and out of java huts, funky shops, antiques malls and markets. Let long lines or great smells tell you what restaurants look good, not Yelp reviews.
When you’re on a road trip remember, interstates make time, not memories. No matter how many miles you need to drive, wing it and get a few clicks off the planned route to find a new café, see what the historic downtown looks like or follow the signs to a roadside attraction you’ve always passed but never seen.
Ironically, if you really want to be spontaneous, the best way might actually be to pull out that smartphone and go straight to the Kayak Explore App. Pick a price, choose one of the places you can fly to for that price or less, book it, pack and go. Find a hotel when you land and let the novelty overwhelm any inconvenience.
Check out the related blog post, "Reason to Travel #1: It Slows Down Time".