How to Discover a New City without an Itinerary

There’s such a thing as planning too much on a trip. Instead of relaxing, some people end up more stressed than ever because they want to schedule every minute of their trip. And when things don’t go their way, they end up upset or disappointed.


Instead of just checking out a list of places, how about being spontaneous and going on a trip with no itinerary! It can sound a bit scary, and some may even be worried that they won’t get the most out of their trip. But if done right, this can be an exciting way to experience a new city, and here’s what you need to do to make it happen.


Ask the locals

A pro trip to traveling is to always see what the locals have to say. They know which places are authentic and which ones are just tourist traps. There are a lot of benefits to going against the norm and asking locals. Most of the places they know are not always documented online or featured in travel guides. Planning an itinerary ahead of time means you could miss out on hidden gems from them.


For one, it will save you a lot of money as tourist areas tend to charge significantly more than regular places. They specifically target travelers who have no idea that they are expensive. Sometimes, it’s worth it, but other times, they end up being average. You can be sure that you will be getting your money’s worth in recommended places because they don’t rely on gimmicks.


If you’re a bit shy, then you always check online travel blogs and food websites. You have to be a bit pickier in choosing your blogs. Find ones made by locals rather than those by foreigners. Some create blogs to promote their country or a specific industry.


Explore the streets

One of the best things about not having an itinerary is you are not rushing to go to places. With this in mind, you can better appreciate the city and the environment around you. If you have nothing to do for a day, try letting yourself get lost in the streets. You can discover a lot of hidden gems, and it can feel almost like an adventure.


For those that are worried that they’ll be wasting a day, you can try making a rough plan but keep it flexible. What that means is that you have extra time to look at streets and places that pique your interest. There may even be a small event going on that you can check out. Part of the experience of traveling is basking in the culture and sights all around you.


Make sure you have accommodation

Although it has become a new trend to plan your accommodation, this is not ideal for several reasons. The people who do this either book last minute on hotels or end up couchsurfing. While this can be safe in most cases, there are times where it is dangerous to do this. Your host can cancel at the last minute, or you can end up getting scammed. This leaves you homeless in a new area with very few options.


This is why, for your peace of mind, it is better to book something ahead. In most cases, booking ahead is the cheaper and better option. If you somehow end up with no place to go and book a place on the same day, there is a high possibility that the prices are already at their most expensive. It also leaves you vulnerable to cancellations.


The top reason why it’s better to settle your accommodation is that you don’t have to worry about it once you get there. Naturally, you want to enjoy your vacation, and it is hard to do so if you have to stress over where to sleep. This way, you can focus solely on enjoying yourself and exploring the area.


Download apps

Before you leave, make sure you download some good local applications to help you. These will help you find interesting places to visit while you travel. It also usually has a review and rating system, where both locals and expats leave their remarks. This will help you find out what are the best places to go and at what time.


Some apps, if the GPS is on, will notify you of interesting places nearby. It would generally contain a combination of entertainment areas, natural sites, and restaurants. Download them on your phone, and make sure you have internet or data with you. Even something as simple as Google Maps can be an interesting way to find new spots.

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