There are two types of travelers in this world, the organized freak and the spontaneous one. Although I would like to say that I am a little bit of both, I am leaning more towards being the organized freak.
There is nothing wrong with being one or the other. I think it’s just whatever works for you. There are pros and cons for both and no one can really say that one is better than the other.
Personally, as much as I want to be more spontaneous, I still find myself planning my trips way ahead of time. By being an organized freak, I mean buying all tickets and creating an itinerary before I jump on a plane, bus, train, or whatever floats my boat. Here are some of the reasons why I organize my trip beforehand.
1. More time spent enjoying than figuring things out on the road
The main reason why I plan how I am going to spend my days on my trip ahead of time is because I know that I do not have the luxury of time to go wander around a place looking for a hotel, figuring out what activity I want to do, or finding an attraction I want to see. Having a big girl job that requires me to be at the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and only get about two weeks of vacation every year, I obviously would not want to waste my precious time figuring those things out while on vacation. Once on vacation mode, all I want to do is enjoy my days before my time is up. It just makes sense to plan my vacation ahead of time. Otherwise, if I have more time to spend like months at a time or even a full year, why plan? I would just go and see where life takes me.
2. Less cash to carry, less cash to be stolen
When I plan my trip before I go, I obviously pay for tickets or book my hotels/transportations/etc. ahead of time. This means, I do not have to carry as much money as I would normally do if I decide to buy tickets at a venue/hotel/etc. itself. All I have to bring with me is my pocket money. Less money in my pocket means less money for the robber to take (if I am unlucky enough to encounter a thief during my travels). This also means that since I already have my tickets, I will no longer have to worry whether or not I will get to my destination or get to see the attraction I went there for even if a thief actually robs me (as long as they don’t steal my tickets, too!).
3. Say goodbye to money worries
Worrying about whether or not I could afford to go visit a museum or afford a train ticket to somewhere is no longer a problem. When everything is planned beforehand, I know that everything is paid for and that the cash I have on hand is just for miscellaneous things like food or shopping. Money for miscellaneous things is flexible, I can spend as much or as little of it as I want to on a certain day. When I do not plan ahead of time, sometimes I find myself overspending during the early part of my trip and running out of money by the end of it. Where am I going to get funds to pay for the rest of my trip then? By organizing my vacation and paying for everything before I go, I would no longer need to worry about running out of money!
4. No need to line up
Since I already have my tickets, all I have to do is show up! No need to line up at a place to buy a ticket. That could mean an extra few minutes of sleep for me or more time to enjoy an attraction like a theme park for example. It is super convenient.
5. Peace of mind
Like I said, I only get two weeks of vacation every year. I want to make sure that I get the most out of my vacation time. Having an organized trip, gives me the peace of mind that I will get to see and do what I came there for (assuming everything goes as planned). I will go back home, knowing that I did not waste any of my time and money.
With those being said, I do leave a little bit of time to be more spontaneous and give myself a chance to be more adventurous because I also know the importance of being more open to things when travelling. Technically though, I still “plan” on when my spontaneous days will be. Here’s what I mean, let’s say I have five vacation days, I try and plan four out of five days and leave one day out with no plans at all. That one day is open and I can do whatever I want. There are no schedules to follow so I can just wander around a city or stay in my hotel or whatever the hell I feel like doing on that day.
What about you? Do you also organize your trips before you go or do you just leave it up in the air and wait until you get there? Let me know!