You have a one week vacation and you want to make the most of it. You’ve spent all this year’s savings on this holiday – and it will be amazing. Everything is already booked. You’ll start off by taking the flight to Florence where you have booked a spectacular room in the city center. It was expensive, but it will be worth it when looking at the reviews.
The day you arrive a guy will come to pick you up and take you straight to a vineyard for wine tasting and a tour. The very best in Florence. The day after there is a culture trip booked, and so it continues for the whole week. Seven days of amazing experiences, expensive hotels and everything is already sorted. You have booked tables at the best restaurants in town – using the internet – and every day after breakfast there is a new adventure. All to get the most you possibly can out of your one week holiday.
But what if you suddenly feel the urge to relax with a book on the beach? You had to work really hard the week before your holiday to make everything ready for you to be away. And now you feel knackered. You could take the train to Rome and then the boat to Sardinia to relax. You would get there in a day. But that’s impossible, right? Everything is already booked. And it is pretty great stuff you have booked.
Or what if you suddenly get super hungry after an afternoon in town… You see a trattoria and it looks lovely and cosy. But you already booked a table at this other amazing restaurant. (Leonardo DiCaprio was there last year!) And you don’t even know what the reviews are of this trattoria? How would you dare to risk one of your dinners in the country of food at a place you don’t know anything about?
With today’s pressured time schedules and the Internet’s possibility to pre-book, find reviews and to basically travel before even seeing your destination for the first time, spontaneity is getting further and further away from our travel habits. It’s easier to arrange your travels with help of the Internet, but that means we also need less spontaneity when we visit a new country, city or destination. And it’s a tough challenge not to want to book amazing experiences, when you’re just a mouse click away.
The internet is both an advantage and a disadvantage when it comes to flexible travel. At the same time as it can make you realize you’ve managed to organize a too-tight one-week schedule from home – it can also help you find your own way around a country or a city.
So how should we use the internet in the best way in order to keep ourselves spontaneous and flexible when traveling?
1) Book as little as possible. Find inspiration, save links, images and travel ideas. But decide on nothing, or as little as possible.
2) If you book something – make sure it’s possible to cancel without expensive cancellation fees.
3) Get inspired – not tied down.
1) Book day by day depending on your mood. Even if it’s an amazing hotel – you might suddenly feel stuck and get the urge to move.
2) Use the internet to find options for your holiday. Trains, buses, different experiences. Internet is still the queen if you use her in the right way, and not too far in advance.
3) Dare to make choices without reading reviews. Obviously you can still use them; but sometimes you need to put away that phone and go with your guts. All places needs to be tried out a first time before anyone can write a review anyway.
Do you plan everything ahead, go with your gut, or a mix of the two? Tell us all about your travel planning style in the comments!
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