What does Travelling Independently mean?
Travelling Independently is arranging your own trip and making your own informed decisions on where you go, where you stay, how you get around, what you eat and the activities you experience.
I believe that the best way to travel is the way that suits you as an individual, that makes you happy and is enjoyable.
However, if you have always travelled using tours, but would really love to give Independent Travelling a go, what is it that is stopping you taking that leap?
Let’s discuss some of the reasons that hold people back.
Reason 1 – Fear
Travelling somewhere new can be a daunting prospect. You will be in unknown territory, out of your comfort zone, and for some people this can be incredibly scary.
Add to this the reports you read about threats of terrorism, drug smuggling, dangerous animals, muggings, ebola, earthquakes, shootings and plane crashes, it is easy to convince yourself that you will succumb to at least one of these risks if travelling under your own steam.
The reality however, is that there is more chance of you being hit by a bus whilst crossing the road in your own hometown.
Travel is a huge industry and more people travel independently than ever before. Tour groups visit the same locations as independent travellers, stop at the same “must see” sights and you will meet travellers from different corners of the world who are travelling under their own plans. You will not be alone.
Fear feeds fear, and it is a natural instinct to feel apprehensive about being in a new place, wondering whether you may fall ill while away or how you will arrive at your accommodation from the airport.
These misgivings are normal, but they are manageable, within your capabilities and can be surmounted.
Reason 2 – Lack Of Confidence
Travelling independently can seem daring, challenging and hard work, but you only have to consider the numbers of older people travelling this way to realise one fact.
If they can do it, then so can you.
We have all been first timers travelling on our own following our own planned itinerary. We have lacked confidence, felt uncomfortable, out of our depth.
But we have learnt from our mistakes whilst being surrounded by like minded travellers.
Other countries have similar infra-structures of transport, food and accommodation to our own, and there is always someone to ask if you require a helping hand.
Each individual trip will see your confidence levels grow, add to your experiences and fuel your enthusiasm for travelling independently. With each new adventure you will feel able to move further outside your comfort zone and be able to tackle new obstacles.
Every travel experience adds value to you as a person, whether it pans out as expected or takes a different turn.
Reason 3 – Lack Of Time/ Too Difficult To Plan
Deciding on your own itinerary for your trip can appear mind boggling, time consuming and too much like hard work for a newbie.
You will have to do some preparation work and make decisions on aspects such as flights, accommodation, restaurants, things to see and do to name a few.
However, you would also have to make these decisions if you were booking a trip through a travel agent. The difference being that you would be in charge of ALL aspects of your trip, which can be liberating, fun and exciting.
You can make your own decisions and plan a trip that is tailor made just for you and not just a group of fellow tour group passengers.
You can choose the places you want to visit, stop where you want, for as long as you want and truly immerse yourself in local culture, enabling you to connect deeply with your destination.
Arranging and planning an Independent Trip takes some effort but is easy to do with all the resources at your disposal. Utilising the wealth of information available on the internet, coordinated planning and careful research, you are more than equipped to handle the task.
What Can You Gain Travelling Independently?
You Set Your Own Pace And Move At Your Own Chosen Speed
We have all been on holiday viewing particular must see sights and witnessed the arrival of the tour bus. The doors open, the passengers spill out, the obligatory photographs are snapped and then everyone is back on board within a certain allowed time. The bus then continues its journey to the next designated stop and the same thing happens. Not so when you are travelling independently. You can stay for however long you wish and actually relax and drink in the view and the surroundings, because you have done your research and allowed plenty of time for your chosen stop.
You Choose Your Own Travel Companion
Imagine saving up and looking forward to your trip only to find yourself sharing the tour and the transport with someone extremely loud or annoying or obnoxious. You will be not be able to avoid them, may have nothing whatsoever in common with them but will have to share your trip with them.
Now imagine the opposite of this equation. You can travel and spend all your time with whoever you choose.
You can leave the main tourist route and head off the beaten track to find somewhere different to explore. Mornings can begin when you decide, you can try the new local restaurant or bar and choose a funky hotel or maybe rent an apartment instead of designated tour options. Striking up a conversation with a local can ignite the chance to explore a neighbourhood you had not considered and you can visit the places you choose and leave off the ones you have no interest in seeing.
With only yourself to consider, you will have full control over your budget enabling you to breakdown costs in all areas. You will not be paying a premium for a driver to ferry you around with a coach load of fellow passengers which will often mean saving money.
With full control over your money, you can make savings in one area and splurge in another, whilst still coming in on budget. Once at your destination, day trips can be booked locally which is often cheaper meaning more money for additional activities.
Travel means different things to each of us, but the common denominator is that we want to travel in a manner that brings us enjoyment, offers authentic experiences and opens are minds to new cultures. If you feel that an organised tour offers you these things then great, that is what suits your method of travel.
However, if you would love to travel Independently, then take that leap and give it a try.
Take that first step and be confident in your own abilities, I do not think you will be disappointed.
Start carving your own adventure today!
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