Over planning Your Gap Year is Overrated

Many people like to plan their Gap Year down to the smallest detail. Flights are booked ages ahead of time along with hostels, tours and pretty much everything else. This is efficient sure, but who said this kind of trip was about finding the quickest way to your destination? In fact, it can be precisely the opposite, and a Gap Year is your chance to explore, to leave things unplanned and go with the flow. So here’s to not planning too much! It’s fun, adventurous and can even save you money as sometimes deals come up offering big savings.

The main problem with over planning is that it prevents you from doing spontaneous things. Let’s say you are offered a random chance to climb a spectacular mountain, or get invited to an amazing Full Moon Party, you would want to say yes to these things. But if you have a tour booked for the next day, you’d be obliged to decline and give up the chance of a lifetime for a pre-booked introduction to local woven fabrics. Spontaneous adventures are the real reason so many of us travel, and you can’t afford to turn down a single one.

Not over planning can also save you a bit of money. Sometimes cheap travel deals pop up. This applies to tours, hostels and even flights, and by leaving your schedule relatively free, you can hop off to previously unthought-of destinations to take advantage of great prices and sites. You might find a cheap flight to Kathmandu at the absolute last minute, or get to stay in a luxurious hotel in Vietnam for a huge discount.

Of course it would be silly to completely forget about planning your Gap Year: if you do you might end up broke and lost in a country whose name you can’t quite remember. The key is to find the perfect balance between making good plans and leaving time for spontaneous fun. One good way to do this is to have a general idea of what countries you’re heading to, but with no specific plans for what you’ll do once you get there. This way you can be completely open to adventure but still have a general idea of where you want to go. Above all, make sure you say yes to the opportunities that come up: they are what travelling is truly about.

1 Comment

  • Chris - The Aussie Nomad

    December 26, 2010

    great post mate, I say pick the main things you want to see and then leave the rest to chance.

    Planning everything takes away the joy of travel, its meant to be fun and spontaneous. If you want planned to the minute travel then book a tour.

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