We are on the road since one week now. That’s the very beginning of our trip. Our goal is to do a world tour but we didn’t plan anything. This post is the first one of a series of posts about traveling without planning.
Why did we not plan our trip ?
FLEXIBILITY. It is important for us to be as flexible as possible. You never know who you are going to meet, where you are going to be, what you are going to like. Having no plan allows you to make all decisions you want very easily. You like this place ? Then stay one more week. You just met someone who invites you for dinner or sleeping ? Then just follow him/her. Having no plan allows you to take opportunities along the way. But, did we really plan nothing ?
What about insurances ?
Of course, there is a minimum to organize for medical and money safety reasons. For instance, I had to make sure I would be insured during my trip. I actually had nothing to do since I have a VISA Premier. With this credit card, you benefit from travel insurance and public liability insurance abroad. The only condition is that I must pay at least a part of the trip with my VISA. Also, the insurance is valid 90 days from the departure date which means that if I don’t pass by my current address every 90 days, the insurance is not valid anymore after 90 days and I will have to subscribe to another one. I will see.
What about passport and visas ?
I just made sure my passport is still valid which takes one minute. For the visa, since we didn’t plan where we will go when, we didn’t apply for any visa. We will do it along the way. We know that we might skip one or two countries because of visa issues but that’s not a big deal. Also, I saw that you can actually get visas at the entrance of many countries.
What about the money ?
Going traveling has a cost. There are one thousand ways to finance your trips: save money beforehand, work while you travel, volunteering in exchange for food and a bed, selling all your stuff before you leave, staying at friends, etc. For my part, I kind of got sponsored by my previous employer, I sold all my stuff, I plan on doing Couchsurfing and volunteering as well as visiting countries that are not expensive. My budget is not enormous so I have to be careful. I created a budget sheet to keep track of my expenses. I can share my sheet with you.
This graph illustrates our state of minds. When taking a decision we try to find the option that allows us to optimize flexibility and freedom. For instance, carpooling is great because it allows us to be very flexible and at the same time spend much less money than taking a train or a plane.
What about transportation ?
We plan not to take flights too often since last minute tickets are often quite expensive. We travel by train or carpooling which offers a high flexibility at a low price. I looked at world tour flight tickets but that was a bit complicated. We would have to respect some conditions. It didn’t offer us the freedom we want. I am sure it can be a good deal but that was just not for us.
What about accommodations ?
It depends on opportunities we get. I think we’ll explore all possibilities: Airbnb, hotel, Couchsurfing, hostels, etc. We want to keep a certain level of comfort and we’ll not necessarily go for the cheapest options. So far we slept in an Airbnb, got invited by a friend of my boyfriend, tonight we sleep in a night train going to Slovenia and we are trying to couchsurf in Ljubljana tomorrow night. We still don’t know where we will sleep tomorrow but that’s fine. If we don’t find someone who can host us, we’ll just book an Airbnb at last minute and it’ll be fine.
To sum up, not planning means freedom and flexibility. My motto is to go with the flow and not always try to plan and control everything. It is a good practice for me not to always try to control everything… So we’ll see!