The idea of travel, to most, seems anything but simple. There’s the planning phase which includes everything from research, passports, visas, tickets, reservations, packing, prepping to leave (work, home, pets, kids, etc). Then the actual trip can be complex – departure & arrival deadlines, check-ins, cultural mishaps, loss of items, and anything and everything else that could happen. But isn’t it all worth it? Travel can be extremely rewarding. It can be a time of immense personal growth, opening us up to next experiences and opportunities. I actually met my husband on my very first trip overseas!
So can this thing that is so incredibly awesome and yet pretty complex be made simple? I think so, and here’s some thoughts on keeping travel simple.
Some trips need to be planned in detail. Take for example the Tsh Oxenreider & family who (affiliate link) traveled around the world. A family of 5 visiting 30+ countries will need to do quite a bit of planning and booking. Other trips, not so much. Finding that sweet spot of not over planning, but also not making a huge error, as in not purchasing a visa prior to leaving, is something to think about and strive to find that balance. What’s important is to cover those absolutes such as travel info and legalities such as visas, registration requirements, etc.
As for the time in the location, I love to have an open schedule. I want to leave room for adapting to the culture, going with the flow, and seeing where the trip takes us. We may meet up with friends or family in a location or you may meet new people who take you in and show you the sights. Not having everyday booked completely leaves room for that spontaneity.
Many people go on a trip and come home claiming that they over packed. We often get nervous leading up to a trip. Subconsciously packing all our things is a way of comforting ourselves or compensating for the fact that we’re not entirely prepared by knowing what to expect with weather and cultural expectations. However, the entire trip we’re left dealing with all this stuff we’ve brought. In some cases it may not be a big deal if its left in the hotel room, etc. But you still have to keep up with it. Packing lighter and more strategically gives freedom from worrying, managing, and caring for the stuff. Its just better in general to be less dependent on material items and to be more adaptable to what may come.
Another big issue is how our expectations of a trip can make it not so simple. Being flexible and willing to do things differently or try new things, can add a depth to your trip that wouldn’t be experienced if we stay close minded or unwilling to be adventurous. Communication with those you are traveling with or going to visit is also key for setting better expectations for both yourself and for them.
Much more could be said about how to simplify travel. To attempt simplifying your next trip, look at how at each stage (before, during and after) the trip you can simplify and really savor the moments and culture you’re experiencing.
To see more in the Keep It Simple, click the picture below.