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Give me an open road and no itinerary and I am happy.

Give me an open road and no itinerary and I am happy.

For me the best thing about travel is that I am free to do what I want. When I want. And because of that I try to plan as little in advance as possible.

I have many good friends who love to plan their travels. So do I. But we are often a little different in the way we plan it. I read up a lot on a place. Study the history, the society and check the road conditions (because I am often tour cycling the countries I visit). So I have a good idea about the country and what interests me there.

Cycling the world with no set plans is the best.

Cycling the world with no set plans is the best.

But I never book accommodation ahead. Or internal transport. Mostly I just book a plane ticket. That will mostly be a return ticket, as that is often required in order to enter a country. But I would actually rather go on a one way ticket. I might also book the first night or two in the city where my plane arrives. But I usually do that on the same day I arrive, while I am at the airport.

I work in the travel and tourism industry. And when I am at work, I always need to stick to a tight schedule, to make sure that the tour runs smooth. But when I am on my own, it’s a whole different story.

I book my accommodation while I am on the road. Never in advance.

I book my accommodation while I am on the road. Never in advance.

To me, having an itinerary with everything planned is claustrophobic (and that is not nice, even if my name is Claus 🙂 ). I’m not going to some foreign country to tick off various sights that I need to visit. I’m there to try and feel the vibe of the place, while meeting citizens of the country I visit. And with a fixed itinerary, I will often have to leave a place, just when I met someone interesting from one place. I have no problems missing out on a few old buildings when I visit a country. Even if some silly guide book tells me that it’s a “must see”. No bucket list and no itinerary for me please.

For me, travel is about freedom and about getting a little wiser about the world I live in. And you do not get that much wiser when you are running around between famous sights that you need to tick off, if you ask me. If I had let’s say two weeks to explore a country, then I would stay maximum in two locations. Even if it would technically be possible for me to visit 10 locations and see lot’s of sights. But in most cases I would not even chose that in advance. I would wait until I got to the place and then make up my mind.

Slow travel is good.

Slow travel is good.

I am aware that some people do not get anywhere unless they have a plan or an itinerary to follow. I’m the exact opposite. If I have a whole lot of things to do when I wake up, then I don’t really wanna get out of bed. But when I have nothing that I HAVE to do and no itinerary, then I am full of energy, as soon as I open my eyes in the morning. As you might understand here, I am not particularly keen on having a steady job either. I’m a freelancer and that suite my work life much better too.

As a freelancer I can holiday +200 days a year.

As a freelancer I can holiday +200 days a year.

I’m not writing this to stop people from planning trips. If this is what makes you tick, then go ahead with it. But I am writing this to say that you do not have to plan everything if you do not feel like it. Even if the world and various travel agents, travel writers tells you to book things in advance and to have a bucket list to tick off. If traveling with no itinerary works better for you, then do that.

I left home when I was 19 with 65$ in my pocket and no return ticket. And it took me 8 months before I returned back home, after having been to 12 countries around Europe and the Middle East. 30 years later, I am still on the road +300 days a year.  And i have never felt better and never felt more free. Even if I have no itinerary telling me what to see tomorrow 🙂

Happy travels everyone :-)

Happy travels everyone 🙂

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