Before I started my travels, I had meticulously planned out as much as I could from my bedroom in Exeter. This article, and accompanying video, delves into detail about how I planned my travels, and how not to plan travels.
Let me just start this off by explaining that this article is only a brief overview of my planning and if you want to know more about it, and see inside my notebook, please do watch the video below: How NOT To Plan Your Travels | & Tips On How To…
Before I started this journey, I sat down with housemates and mapped out a plan. As I had never done anything like this before, I thought I’d plan it like I planned everything before; lists. So, the very first thing was to write out as many countries that I had heard of, and that I might fancy visiting. From there, we searched online for cities and places to see in each of the countries I had listed. This was the very first step, and one I would highly recommend for any beginner or anyone just starting out as it can give you an idea of what kind of things you’d like to focus on; be it nature, be it historical sites, could even just be the best places to get good cuisine. The next step was to try and work out a reasonable route to accommodate as many of these as I could, this is not a step that I would recommend, it can hinder some parts of the trip, but if you are on a tight schedule, like if you have a plane or a boat or something that you need to be on at a specified place and specified time, this can be advisory
My first downfall was that I planned each individual city in too much detail, how long I would stay there, and even to the point that I knew which train I was going to board; this was before I even caught my first plane. The reason I would advise not to plan so much is that you can miss out on exciting new things, new places to go and see; another negative is that you can end up in a place for far too long, or on the other hand, for not long enough.
Since then, I have completely changed my travel arrangements; I now travel a lot slower, I’d highly advise for this one, do try to stay in one place for a little longer as you get to explore more in this place and sometimes even get to see the sordid underbelly of places, which is always a favourite of mine. After my first month of travel, I realised that I should probably be a little more flexible with my plans and this surprisingly made me a lot less stressed about it all. A great tip I have for long term travellers, or people looking at spending a while on the road is to speak with other travellers and listen to their recommendations, sometimes the best places are not on your map! For me, I’ve found that an initial stay of 3 nights can give a good impression of a place (unless others have advised on shorter stays) as if you don’t feel you’ve seen enough, it’s usually possible to extend your stay. I will discuss accommodation advice in another article/video.
Ultimately, how you travel is up to you. Those with a tight schedule, or a tight budget could benefit more from planning ahead, maybe not as regimented as I did; whereas those with more time on their hands, those with a few months available, can plan more openly.
As I stated at the beginning of this article, this is only a brief overview and if you wish to learn more, and even see inside my notebook, please do head over to my YouTube channel, and while you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe for more videos in which I’m going to be sharing a lot more of my own advice: from financial planning, methods of travel, and even how to get involved in volunteering.