The Pro’s And Cons Of Spontaneous Travel

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In case you missed it, I did a challenge recently where I just rocked up at Newcastle airport, not knowing where I was going until choosing my destination at the very last minute. My heart said Poland and I ended up travelling around Europe for just a few days shy of a month, having an awesome time and learning a lot about travel and myself.

Nothing at all was planned – it was pretty spontaneous! Spontaneous travel can make you smile and scream profanities within seconds, here’s an insight into the awesome and what makes you swear when you opt for this particular chosen method of travel:

The Awesome – Excitement

Spontaneity is just God damn sexy! The ethos of “what may be, will be” and dropping everything last minute is extremely exhilarating – perfect for life’s thrill-seekers. Welcome to the wonderful world of the unknown!

Things That Make You Swear: Risk Of Sleeping Rough

On my last-minute, not planning a thing at all adventure, I was extremely lucky to find accommodation even though it was the heart of summer (peak time)….but in Slovakia – my luck ran out!

Panic struck late at night after hours and hours of rejection from hostels and guest rooms, followed by an aggressive dick-grabbing prostitute who wouldn’t take “no,” or my favourite English swear words for an answer. ‘City hostel’ thankfully came to my rescue as the very last available place in Bratislava, during the early hours of the morning – this was stressful times!

The Awesome: Free From The Burden Of The “To Do List”

Don’t get me wrong, I have a huge bucket list. I also knew that I wanted to pay my respects to Auschwitz, but it was great to not have a rigid ‘to do’ list which can cause stress in itself when travelling – isn’t it just all about having fun?

Things That Make You Swear: Missing The Moment Because You’re Going Too Fast

My last-minute trip was nothing short of wonderful, but because I was speeding around Europe, I missed out on many things and the beauty of the moment. I missed out on visiting the salt mines in Krakow and I moved onto Prague when I was still pretty much in the honeymoon period with Krakow.

Against my will, I had to say goodbye to friends who I had forged a connection with and didn’t like it at all. I don’t like rushing about or having to cut good times short.

The Awesome: Upgrading Crap Hostels

If you book last minute, you should only book for a few days in case you don’t like where you end up staying. Take a look at this picture:

So many elements of wrong.

I personally found this ridiculous! I thought this was a hostel – not a nursing home! I have the utmost respect for my fellow travellers in a communal hostel and tip-toe around like a ninja stealth warrior, so I don’t wake up or annoy them. But the rules in this place were just plain stupid! I was out of there after a day. I upgraded to a hostel with attitude…oh and a sauna too 🙂

If you book last minute, you should only book for a few days in case you don’t like where you end up staying. You may prefer to upgrade to a better hostel or even a time share unit for more space and privacy. Hostels aren’t for everybody, and in many cases their rules, regulations and clientele can be a bit annoying

Things That Make You Swear: It’s More Expensive

No one likes to spend more than they need to and I can guarantee that if you go on an adventure like I did – you will overspend.

To Summarise

We are all different beasts. There are over 6 billion of us on the planet and our personalities are built for different things that make us tick. I know some people who would have freaked out, doing what I did and it’s not for everyone.

Whether you’re booking last-minute budget flights to New York, or even just going on a last-minute city getaway – you really need to take the points from above and weigh up the pros and cons to your taste. What is more important to you? Excitement, or looking after your bank balance? Do you get stressed easy? Are you a planner?

I’ll always be up for spontaneous travel, but when I start my next adventure in Asia this November – I’m definitely going to be travelling a lot slower than I did in Europe. The importance of enjoying and savouring the moments of travel is the most important thing to me.

How do you feel about spontaneous travel? Comments and opinions welcome



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11 comments

  1. Niall Doherty Reply

    Great stuff man. I experienced many of the same highs and lows on my recent hitchhiking adventure. The overspending caught me by surprise. Definitely would have been cheaper if I’d planned a bit more.

    Oh well, I had my compensations 🙂

    1. Anthony Reply

      Cheers Niall,
      As much as I don’t like planning and how unsexy it is – spending needless money really is a thing I can’t be doing too often right now. You’re right, it’s definitely not all bad 🙂

      1. Caroline Leon Reply

        Anthony, Anthony – planning can indeed be sexy – you’re obviously not doing it right 😉 I missed the ‘destination unknown’ challenge but I am totally in awe – good work, might have to go on my list bearing all your lessons learned in mind!

        1. Anthony Reply

          Caroline, Caroline – Really? REALLY? 😛 Haha maybe you’re right, I’m just a sucker for surprises – but surprises are costly, as stated above! I highly recommend it, it was definitely more good than bad by a long stretch! 🙂

  2. Jerick Reply

    Great stuff, I agree with the points you said!

    Doing it sometimes makes me feel bad at the end of it cause I haven’t done any research and missed out on some cool things I could have done. But spontaneous travel is still travel – so anything that will whisk me out of my work is fine for me!

    1. Anthony Reply

      Hey Jerick,
      How goes it!? I think the Pro’s outweigh the cons, but I do need to be more careful with my bank account 🙂

  3. Chris Reply

    I’m glad I stumbled across this article. I’ve got my heart set on a spontaneous bit of SE Asian travel just as soon as I can afford it.

    Some pretty useful tips in here. I now know to avoid hostels in Bratislava that demand complete silence :-p

    1. Anthony Reply

      Hey Chris,
      Hahaha mate – it was a Prague hostel who had them insane rules! The one in Slovakia was lovely – £9 per night for my own room 🙂

      Maybe our paths will cross in SE Asia, mate!

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  5. Hilary Reply

    What an awesome post! I love your quick wit and clever writing style.

    Looking forward to following your adventures!

    Safe travels,
    HB

    1. Anthony Reply

      Thanks Hilary 😀