Why Independent Traveling is the Way to Go

Friday, January 26, 2018

In a word, freedom. When traveling independently, you are free to choose the who, what, when, where and how of your trip. The how mostly refers to how much money you spend, as many people know independent traveling can be possible on a strict budget. Keep reading to find out more about independent traveling and why it trumps package holidays.

Although travel agencies have stepped up their game and now offer a variety of travel packages tailored to your specific needs, it still can’t quite compare to the adventurous feeling of going it alone. Keep in mind; certain measures need to be taken before departure to make sure you travel without too much hassle and stay safe.

Gather as much information as you can about the place you are traveling to. Be sure to look up your government’s website to inform yourself about possible visa requirements, immunization or areas you should avoid. Second, get travel insurance. It’s just the smart thing to do, and when traveling independently, you must do it yourself.

Last, but not least, pack lightly, because you don’t want to be dragging a heavy suitcase or backpack around. When putting things in your suitcase, consider the necessity of every item. And don’t freak out if you forget some minor item. Remember, you can buy a new toothbrush as soon as you land. As long as you have all the necessary travel documents and money, you are good to go.

Independent Traveling Leads to Close Friendships and the Best Memories

Independent traveling will definitely connect you with amazing people

If you are traveling on your own, that doesn’t mean you will be on your own. On the contrary, you will most likely run into fellow backpackers who are doing the same thing as you. Or you might be staying with a friendly Couchsurfing host who will gladly show you around and introduce you to other locals. Not only do you have a better chance of seeing all the hidden nooks and crannies of your travel destination, but you get a better feel for this foreign culture by hanging out with its people.

When going on organized trips, people often stick with fellow tourists. That can be troublesome for many reasons, the first being that it limits the experience, while the risk of being stuck with a lousy group follows as a close second. With independent travel, you can have your pick of whom you share this amazing experience with.

After you have made some friends, you can enjoy fun activities together. You can try out a new sport that isn’t practiced in your native land, get a taste of an unfamiliar, exotic cuisine or you might just want to chill out with your new travel buddies. Travellers often say that independent travel is more about the journey itself, as opposed to just seeing as many sights as possible.

So, your journey will most likely include some spontaneous outings. Just see where the day (or night) takes you. Maybe you will end up enjoying a nice meal in someone’s cozy home. Or you might memorize the infrastructure of a new city because you arrived there in the wee hours of the night when nothing was open, and you had no choice but to walk along every street. Either way, you will get a great story out of it. If you decide that some sightseeing should be part of your adventure as well, go for it. Again, you have the choice of doing whatever you want.

Wander Off and Lose Track of Time for Stress-Free Journey 

Have a stress free journey

You also have your pick of where you want to go. If the road leads you to some hyped-up place, you are free to enjoy it without having to pay for a tour guide. Having no guide might seem like a downside because you won’t hear the story behind a certain magnificent landmark. Maybe you have a new local friend who will take you on tour in exchange for beer or maybe you can eavesdrop on other tour guides. It is almost impossible not to overhear their stories when you find yourself near a famous tourist attraction.

You are also free to go off the beaten path and explore a lesser advertised part of your chosen destination. That is where getting to know the locals will get you far. They can provide all the necessary information, so you don’t get in trouble or they can show you where you can get the best view of the city so that you can take a unique photo, like one without a million tourists cramming your shot. Wherever you find yourself, you can come and go as you please, because you don’t have to adhere to a strict schedule, which is another point in favor of independent traveling.

The best way to spend your time is by not thinking about it. You can wander off without constantly checking the time. Eliminating that stress allows you to relax and enjoy yourself even more. Don’t be irresponsible though. If you have agreed with someone to keep them updated on your safety, don’t forget to let them know you are okay. Sending a short message once a day won’t tarnish your stress-free experience.

Priceless Experience

Priceless experiences

By this point you know enough about the many advantages of independent traveling and just might do it. After you complete all the necessary preparations, you will feel proud of yourself and will enjoy your well-deserved adventure. An adventure that many take because it is less pricey than a package holiday, but in the end, realize you can’t put a price on exploring a new place on your own, turning travel acquaintances into friends and making lifelong memories with them.

Natasha Car freelance content writer at aSabbatical.com
Travelling is the best way to broaden your horizons. We all overestimate our knowledge about the world, until we start exploring it.