Going with the flow and letting things take shape on their own can result in greater experiences, and usually beats attempting to control how things turn out. Here are some of the reasons why not planning every last detail of a holiday may result in you having the best vacation experiences ever:
You are less beholden to Murphy’s Law
Murphy’s Law insists that anything that can go wrong, will. In the world of travel, there are so many variables that can cause mishaps, that seeking to control them is a recipe for disaster. Some of the things that can take a wrong turn include a flight delay, being booked into a crappy hotel room, losing your luggage, and someone in your entourage getting sick among others. All these things are completely out of your control, so it’s best to take them in stride.
When you plan your trip to a tee, even the smallest adjustment to your schedule can throw everything into disarray. Leaving your itinerary open, and allowing yourself the chance to go with the flow, will allow you to respond well to any changes that might take place. If and when something does go wrong, you’ll just shrug it off and make corrections with new pieces of information.
You can cancel a crappy service any time
Travel is all about experiences. If you unknowingly book a crappy service provider, and the deal is tied to several other services in your itinerary, you leave yourself no option to bail out.
Those who aren’t as reliant on a single service provider or agency will be able to bail out without worrying as to how the decision will affect the rest of their trip. They can just choose the next available service provider who can fulfil their needs.
There’s no guarantee that your hotel, tour operator, cell provider, or tour guide will be world-class. You shouldn’t have to deal with bad service providers when on vacation. If you extensively plan your trip and book a series of services in advance while still at home, you’ll end up being tied to most of the decisions you’ve made. You’re likely to be better off allowing yourself the opportunity to shop around once you get to your destination.
You can live in the moment
Having a fixed itinerary will force you to constantly fret about getting to your next attraction, potentially missing your booked time slots, and the like. Having to constantly be mindful of the time you have left to spend at an attraction dampens the joy of experiencing the moment.
When you don’t have other commitments that immediately follow an activity, you can take as much time as you want doing that particular activity. Who knows? You might even change your mind about visiting other sites or attractions. Booking activities as you go along gives you flexibility without affecting your entire trip.
You can change accommodation mid-trip
One of the key things that determine how much fun you have during a vacation is where you stay. Staying at a bad hotel or resort will definitely kill that holiday vibe. You should have the freedom to change your accommodation options as you wish during the course of your trip. If you want to stay at a resort, find one with flexible packages that can be changed as you get new information pertaining to your vacation.
Just because you’re staying at a top-rated family resort doesn’t mean you can’t venture off to do other things. Though most resorts are all-inclusive, there might be something else you want to do nearby. So do your research too.
You will have unlimited solutions to problems
Not all things will go as planned during a trip. If you want to solve the problems that arise fast, having some leeway in your itinerary will give you a chance the consider several possible solutions to the problem(s). On the flipside, a stringent plan or itinerary will greatly limit the combination of solutions you can apply to the issues that arise without affecting the rest of your itinerary.
You’ll have a far calmer and happier vacation when you know that problems can be addressed fast. A bonus is that you won’t lose time or money due to missing out on the other things you’d earlier committed to.
You can join interesting groups
One of the best things about exploring a new part of the world is that you’ll meet a lot of interesting people when you travel. You might even find that you may want to join some of these people on their excursions if what they’re doing interests you. However, you can’t do this if every bit of your vacation is already mapped out.
The ability to make friends and form new connections during a vacation is extremely valuable. Don’t forego the chance to make new friends just because you want to know how every part of your vacation will play out.
It’s normal to want to go through your itinerary with a fine-toothed comb. It’s also natural to want to be in full control when it comes to things we’re heavily invested in. Even so, if you’re considering going on a trip in the near future, I encourage you to do only the minimal planning needed to make your trip a success.
By Erin Schollaert
This article originally appeared on Zafigo, a travel guide for women travellers in Asia and the Middle East, and is republished with permission.