We all have different styles when it comes to travelling. As for me, I’m still trying to figure out what kind of traveller I am. Am I a follower, or a leader? An all-in traveller, or a budget warrior? Maybe somewhere in between? One thing’s for sure, though: No matter who I’m with, I always believe in travelling with a relaxed itinerary.
What do I mean by ‘travelling with a relaxed itinerary’, you might wonder? I simply mean that when on vacation, I veer away from having everything planned out — from breakfast until after dinner, all the way down to the minute. Instead, I come up with a list of places to go, play it by ear, and take it day by day. Having extra breathing room is key!
Also read: 5 Reasons Why Millennials Should Try Slow Travel
Of course, there are travellers who feel most comfortable having everything mapped out and scheduled. And there’s no problem with that at all! But if you’re interested in changing things up (or maybe you’re a relaxed traveller like me!), here are a few reasons why I think travelling with a relaxed itinerary is the way to go:
1. You can make room for last-minute changes
Call me dramatic, but I can get really upset when things don’t go according to plan. Consequently, this is the top reason why I prefer travelling without an activity-packed itinerary — especially one that’s meticulously planned.
Travelling with a relaxed itinerary makes way for changes in the weather (I’m sure we all know how a sudden downpour can really affect your itinerary!), spontaneous decisions to spend more time at a particular destination, and other unexpected things that may cause delays.
2. Downtime is just as important
A long lunch, followed by dessert? A coffee break (or two)? In my book, travelling means making time for downtime, too! Keeping a relaxed itinerary allows me to take a break in the middle of a busy day, and gives me the extra time I need to recharge. In addition, it also means getting to take the time to savour the local cuisine and unwind at different coffee shops (something I always look forward to!).
3. You can avoid getting burnt out
Start early in the morning, or end late at night? Most days, I just choose one! When vacationing, I always make it a point to avoid getting burnt out. Plus, with a strict day-to-night itinerary, travelling becomes more of a chore to me. And that’s not what we want, is it? The point, for me at least, is to learn about a new place, take a break from the stress of everyday life, and enjoy!
4. It gives you more time to get lost
Stumbling into unexpected places is one of my favourite things about visiting a new place. Travelling with a relaxed itinerary means having the leisure to walk around aimlessly, and possibly discovering places you might not always get to read about when planning out your trip! And if you get lost? No problem — it’s part of the experience, too!
5. You can take your time
To me, travelling with a relaxed itinerary means getting to explore at my own pace. While I do have an idea of where I’ll be headed for the day, I still have the freedom to spend a little or more time at a particular place. Without the pressure of having to move on to a different place at a very specific time, I’m able to savour every moment better!
6. The ‘chill’ moments are what make a new place feel like home
Worried that the time you don’t spend sightseeing is time wasted? That’s not the way I look at it! Lazing around at my favourite hangout spot, exploring the vicinity on foot, grabbing essentials at a nearby convenience store, having breakfast at a nearby cafe… These little, not-so-special activities are, ironically, what make my trips so special. Above all, they’re the moments I end up missing and wanting to come back to.
Also read: Travel Tips: 10 Tips Experienced Travellers Do Without
Does travelling with a relaxed itinerary sound a little better to you by now? Maybe one day, you’ll even get around to travelling without one at all!