How much planning in the travel plans?

I like to be as organised as possible and to be able to manage my time as an expert, especially when I am on the road. Before going somewhere, I like to carefully research my topic, to set up a list of the topics I want to cover and to find out through social media and direct discussions how much time I will need to do the proper documentation on the ground. Eventually, I keep in mind various safety and weather concerns that are very important. I also want to know when I go and when I return, where I do stay and what are the possibilities to use the Internet. As I am working online, my time and revenue when on the road depend on the wi-fi facilities. 

If I am on journalistic assignment, and I do have on the menu a specific topic, the most part of my travel time will be dedicated to properly cover my theme. Such trips are usually the easiest one but not necessarily the most rewarding – unless that I publish something which is already a great achievement -, as I know for sure what I should write and photograph about and find something else to do only if it is some time left. 

But there is still an element of surprise that I want to keep as the best piece of cake at the end of the lunch. I always like to walk for hours on the streets trying to feel how it is to live there. I am a big fan of architecture and I want to improve my knowledge about volumes and decorations, especially doors’. I like to see the parks and the shops and the products and fruits and vegetables sold, in order to get an idea about the culinary tastes and how the local people like to spend their time and raise their children. In case that I know the local language, I like to have little conversations with people on the street. This is especially a pleasure in France, where people are happy to interact spontaneously in their mother tongue with funny tourists. 

Very often, those unplanned encounters reveal the best insights into the place. What about a museum whose only disadvantage is of not being located on a central street? Or some streets with interesting stories painted on their walls? What about discovering a hidden episode of history that is well known though among the people living there? Maybe in some cases you may need to stay longer or you will feel the need to spend one day out of the city for finding out new connections and discovering different places. Especially when I am spending time in places close to the borders, I like to spontaneously go in the other country, comparing customs, nature and languages. Often, the cities near the borders are amazing examples of cultural diversity. This is the case with many German and Polish localities situated near the border, or with many villages close to the border between France and Spain. 

I am a traveller, not necessarily a tourist and I prefer to take any trip as a journey revealing more from the world. This is the reason why I promise to never stop travelling. 

Any questions and insights regarding travel and travel planning? Feel free to share them with me at:

ilanaontheroad (at) gmail (dot) com

Keep in touch!


2 thoughts on “How much planning in the travel plans?

  1. Lovely post! I agree…I think spontaneity is important when travelling – and definitely the ability to go with what you are seeing / feeling rather than to be on a rigid prescribed plan.

    I do like to put some planning into trips though, not a plan in any order, just lots and lots of reading to find things which we might otherwise overlook…so I think a mix of planning and spontaneity is perfect!

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