For those with a nomadic, work-and-travel lifestyle, independent travel goes part and parcel with the wonderful, unique and memorable experiences that they seek. For such travelers, package tours, holiday resorts, and en masse coach trips are far too structured, far too narrow. Instead, nomads seek independence of movement, thought and experience. In order to get to this beautifully free and easy place, you’ll need to make sure you’re planning your trips in the right way. This article offers five tips that’ll help you travel with total independence the next time you board your flight.
It might seem a precarious piece of advice, but booking yourself into hostels, hotels or guesthouses – and booking transport links between them – prevents you from improvising your itinerary. You’ll forever be dashing to the next booking in order to save money and see all you planned to see – even if you have a strong urge to settle in one place for longer than you’d expected. Refraining from booking might mean your itinerary is a little less perfect, but it gives you the wiggle room to accommodate niceties you encounter on the road.
Many people choose to travel with a guidebook or with the smartphone, on which they can access forums, blogs and popular advice sites such as TripAdvisor. The problem with all of these platforms is that you’ll be funnelled through the tourist experience in much the same way as everyone else. Instead, go in blind and work with the advice you receive on the road; it’ll lead you to serendipitous meetings and curious oddities that no one else has found.
Learn the Lingo
While a guidebook might not give you independence, a pocket language guide can certainly help you achieve a greater degree of independence while abroad. It’s especially useful to take a couple of language classes while you’re still at home, and then develop your language skills in whichever country you’re visiting. You’ll earn greater respect and develop better relationships speaking to people in their first language instead of always resorting to English to communicate.
Independence of movement is something that’ll open doors for you as you travel. While the hardcore often choose to cycle, hike or even walk through countries at their own pace, most independent travelers prefer the road-trip format of traveling. Simply search car rental near me online to find a provider anywhere in the world who’ll be able to get you into a vehicle in no time at all, allowing you to explore the country you’re visiting at your own pace.
Off the Beaten Track
The final item of advice is to always seek the unknown, the unvisited, and the under-appreciated. Yes, big sites are a must when you visit a country with famed attractions such as India’s Taj Mahal or Sydney’s Opera House, but finding yourself in smaller villages, roadside diners and untouched areas of natural beauty is the ultimate reward for independent travelers looking for a taste of the unique and the different.