Your Travel Style: On A Whim Or Meticulously Planned?

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware…

The above quote by Martin Buber is perhaps one of my favorite quotes that pertains not only to travel but to life in general… It just goes to support the argument that irrespective of the amount of planning that one puts into something there always is a degree of uncertainty and a very high probability of something unknown happening.

And this tends to take away the “fun” out of impromptu trips… Or for some this is exactly what brings in the “fun” element…

Ideally, I would love to simply wake up one fine morning and while having my breakfast simply decide to throw in a few clothes and other necessities in a backpack and just follow the road and see where it takes me… My husband (boy friend at that time) and I did a road trip on these lines to Murud on the Konkan Coast one weekend long ago… We decided over a cup of chai (Indian sweet tea) at a street chaiwalla (tea seller) to go lie on a beach and we made the 5 hours long trip on our Royal Enfield.

Of course if budget, time and life’s mundane responsibilities were not reining me then maybe this is exactly what I would do every time I felt myself getting stuck in a rut. Alas! That’s rarely the case and one is compelled to at least plan a little with respect to taking an off from work, looking for a sitter for one’s pets, someone to water your plants, you get the drift…

I am not complaining though…

Planning a holiday is my favorite way to unwind… The compulsive urge to plan meticulously is something I attribute to my dormant Virgo streak and while it is not as acute as requiring me to maintain scrapbooks after scrapbooks of clippings, cuttings, notes and pictures of my dream vacations but it is something that needs satiating that I constantly feed by browsing through travel blogs, forums and magazines…


There is something exhilarating about reading tripadvisor forums about Rajasthan, exploring Cinque Terre through Google Images, getting tempted by reading accounts of the yummy gastronomical experiences serial travelers had in Vietnam and being left open-mouthed in awe by going through bloggers’ account of living the nomadic life in Mongolia…  All this is how I research a place I want to travel to and it is an experience in itself!

But exploring a place is one thing and planning each and every hour of the day is another and that is where I think one needs to put a full-stop…


That said, having an Indian Passport does kind of require you to prepare a little lot. Unfortunately, India has a weak passport which essentially means that we need to obtain a visa for many countries prior to our travel dates and if that wasn’t enough Schengen Visa requirements state explicitly that we need to show not only return tickets but also accommodation and stay reservations. To top it all a detailed itinerary needs to accompany our Visa Application forms… All this really does kind of puts a spanner in the works when you are revving to simply hop on a flight and explore Prague as a backpacker.

Don’t even get me started on the bank paperwork and minimum bank balance that needs to be kept up to date for entering countries that offer Visa on Arrival for Indians…

However, looking at the brighter side of things, a little preparation never really hurt anyone and I am of the opinion that one’s vacation can be made more enjoyable and fruitful if a little research has been done beforehand. This is especially true if you are holidaying at a destination that is new to you. New cultures, varied food habits, different etiquette and norms requires a little groundwork and a little foresightedness is always recommended.

In summation I feel there isn’t really a “right” or a “wrong” where traveling is concerned and maintaining a balance between planning and diving head-on into something unknown is where the key lies…

What is your travel style?


  1. Kalnmh says:

    Very well written. Nice way to plan. I like to do all the research and then book hotels and travel tickets. The rest is organised on reaching. It is fun and cheap. Enjoy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 You have described the perfect combination…


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