The days when travel was just about relaxing during a two-week vacation are a thing of the past. Today’s travelers are looking for something more that stretches you out of your comfort zone. The latest travel trend is experiential travel, according to Vogue. Today’s consumers are looking for transformative experiences that foster growth.
One way to tap into that deep growth transformation process is to slow down and embrace spontaneous travel. Whether you’re traveling around the world or across the country, here’s how you can capture that idea of spontaneous travel that delivers unforgettable experiences.
Prepare for the unexpected
It may sound counterintuitive, but there is an art to preparing for the unexpected when it comes to slow, spontaneous travel. You need to arm yourself with the right technology and resources to make quick decisions on the fly. Whether you want to take a day trip to hidden ruins in Mexico or stay in an Italian beach town for a few more weeks, you need the right resources to figure it all out as you go.
An unlimited data plan and reliable phone like a Samsung Galaxy S8 can help adjust your travel as you go. Coordinate a place to stay, snap photos and videos to upload to social media, and get in touch with friends and family remotely, all from one device. The Galaxy S8 is also water-and dust-resistant and it features a face scanner and Iris security scanner for added protection while you’re on the road.
Plan one thing
Not everyone is up for the carefree feeling of letting the world pull you along on a spontaneous journey. It’s okay to need a little predictability in your travel. Try planning one thing per day, or even per destination, and see where the trip takes you.
Remember to think about the experiential side of travel when planning your one thing. Consider an immersive Italian language course in the Italian countryside, a cooking class in France, or a scuba diving trip in Iceland. Once you’ve planned that one thing, let the rest of your time unfold around it. You’ll have an anchor point for your trip with plenty of room to allow for spontaneity.
Talk to the Locals
The easiest, most rewarding way to pack in the most value in your slow travels is to talk to the locals. Fire up your smartphone and open an app like Evernote to start taking notes and absorb everything you hear. Ask where some of the off-the-beaten-path attractions are, where the best hikes along the beach can be found, and find a great hole-in-the-wall restaurant for dinner. Locals love sharing their knowledge and are proud of where they live and will be happy to share more than you expected to walk away with.
Take the train
Hopping on an airplane may get you to your destination faster, but taking the train is often cheaper and forces you to slow down on your trip. Bring a good book and spend time gazing out the window at the countryside. And because the point of the trip is spontaneity, factor in time to explore a hidden beach town or spend the night in a mountaintop B&B to capture the essence of the unexpected.
Say “Yes” More
Slow, spontaneous travel is an incredible way to explore the world, and chances are you’ll never want to go back. But the real trick to getting slow travel right is saying “yes” more. Whether you’re staying for a few months in an artist’s retreat you’ve fallen in love with or changing the course of your travel to hit the road with a new friend, saying “yes” unlocks the possibilities to spontaneity.