Lantern Fish

A Poetry and Travel Blog

Why Spontaneous Trips are Sometimes Better than the Well-Planned Ones

We all know why it’s important to plan everything, especially our travels, months in advance. It prepares us for all possible scenarios, helps make the most of our time and get value for our money. Besides, it’s easier to get hotel reservations when you book early.

But there are times when you’re so tired with your daily routine and are simply looking for a break from the never-ending loop of your responsibilities, troubles and work. At times like these, it’s really better to take an unplanned trip to a nearby place with a few friends or just by yourself (because if you’re planning a schedule for your holiday, then what is even the point of going anywhere?).

For those of us who prefer everything in our lives all carefully planned out, a spontaneous trip may be a great opportunity for some character development, and it comes with a number of other benefits, too.

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Photo by Michael Shannon on Unsplash

1) Spontaeous plans rarely get cancelled

You know exactly how much time you have, when the time frame is closer to you. So you know exactly how many hours you can take for making a journey, and how much time you want to spend at your destination. The only person available to hear your excuses for not going would be you, so these short trips really depend on how badly you need them.

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Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

2) The level of stress is directly proportional to the planning required

When you know you only have a few hours to visit a place, you generally pick a few spots to visit, and a few places to eat (and sometimes shop), and you don’t need to make elaborate plans for those. You’re even okay with missing a few spots.

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Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

3) No need for heavy luggage

You don’t need to pack a lot of things to take with you on a trip that’ll only last a few hours or a day or two at most. You don’t have to carry a heavy baggage everywhere you go, and believe me, it’s really helpful if you tend to get cranky and irritable when you’re tired or hungry.

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Photo by Oliur on Unsplash

4) They can be cheaper than the more carefully planned travels

First of all, your local trips are over in a few hours or a couple of days. So you don’t have too much time to spend a lot of money (of course, you can stay at home and do nothing and save even more money, but then why am I even writing this?). Second, short trips mostly allow for local visits, where you don’t need to buy anything special as a souvenir. Most places with similar geographical and cultural characteristics sell the same kind of products. There’s also a smaller expense on transport on such trips, and you also have the option of driving yourself. But there’s a chance you could spend more than you planned on food, so you could consider packing something to eat when you leave home.

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin @belart84 on Unsplash

5) They show you the truth about life

When you know you don’t need to plan everything out for you to have a good time, you realize that life is really a lot easier to live than you think. And that is a lesson a spontaneous trip can teach you very well. Once you get used to taking some time to do something whose outcome you don’t know, you learn to recognize what things in life actually require your overthinking and self-criticism, and what things don’t.

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Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

6) They teach you the art of realistic optimism

You know you can’t cover 25 tourist attractions in under 6 hours. But you know the few that matter the most, even if it means skipping some other really “important” ones. Once you learn to be okay with this, you learn to be okay with a lot of other things in life. You learn to set realistic goals for yourself and do your best to achieve those, and you also learn that sometimes it is possible to reach for something extra, but you don’t have to beat yourself up for not achieving it. You learn to be patient and at peace with the inconsistencies of life.

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Photo by Samuel Austin on Unsplash

7) They’re great for friendships

Travelling anywhere with your friends is fun, even if you don’t do anything fancy when you reach your destination. It says a lot about your trust in each-other when you choose to accompany each-other in something that doesn’t have a specific outcome, or which needs to be planned on the way. It also shows that you value your time spent with your friends more than you value your secure, perfect plans.

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Photo by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash

8) You get to learn about the place from the locals

Spontaneous trips usually don’t leave us enough time to look up every detail of a place on the internet. Honestly, I feel doing too much research sometimes ends up dampening the charm of a place. If you only planned your trip a few hours ago or the previous night, you have the opportunity of asking the locals where the best places to eat, visit and shop are, and learn a little about the local conditions. This helps you develop respect for and an attachment to the place.

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Photo by Eddy Billard on Unsplash

-m.k.

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M.K.

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