How to Plan Your Driving Vacation, without Planning a Vacation

A driving vacation plan can be complicated, and can take work. But that's just what you want to get away from - work! Here's how your driving vacation plan can be made simple, and have it result in your vacation being adventurous and carefree. It can be really fun for couples vacations, and works great for last minute vacations too. But do you have the right personality?

So what are we talking about? We're talking about keeping planning simple, and your vacation spontaneous.

Here’s how to keep it simple. Use a 2 step planning process:

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  1. Pick a destination that is not at high season, or an area that is not popular. It can be anywhere, as long as you have some interest in going there, and it is within your means.
  2. Book one night at a more unique hotel at your chosen destination. This should not be a chain or budget hotel. It should look like it would be fun, or a little different.


That’s it! If you are flying to your destination, you can book your flights and car later. But if you are driving, it works just the same. At this point you don't have to think about anything more. Picking a destination and a place to stay for the first night automatically commits you and you can start looking forward to an adventure. It will be an adventure because you don't know what you really will be doing. But you're not sure you are the type to be spontaneous? Read on.


How To Be Spontaneous

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The first day of your vacation, you will be headed to your destination, but with no plans right? Exactly. Now is the time to start discovering things, even before you arrive. Here's how it can work.

If you're driving, as you get closer stop somewhere, perhaps at a visitor center. Mention where you are going and where you are staying. And, just ask "What's fun to do in the area." The conversation can go something like this.

Visitor center volunteer: "Oh, that's a nice town. Your hotel is great. Do you like to canoe?" You reply: "I don't know, but we're open to anything." Visitor center volunteer: "Oh, there are some wonderful places up the river not far from where you are staying that tourists don't know about at all. I'll show you exactly where to go. And you can stop at this little place for lunch, with your canoe. And then it is really fun to…"

You get the idea. Yes, it is likely that you won't get the interesting suggestions right off. So just ask someone else. Stop at a cafe, have lunch or coffee, and ask whoever you come in contact with. If you are flying, ask on the plane, at the airport, or when you rent your car. And of course ask at your hotel after you get there, but not only at the front desk.

Remember, you don’t have any plans, so you really are open to anything. No pressure. You can just go with it. If you like your hotel and the area, you can stay for you whole vacation. If you discover somewhere else down the road or in the next town that is more interesting, you can leave the next day. Just do what peaks your interest. Explore. Be spontaneous.

Warning! You must absolutely have the attitude that you are on vacation as a diversion from your normal routine. And you must be comfortable with not knowing what you will be doing in advance. Just understanding this from the beginning is the most important thing. You just need to put yourself in the right frame of mind. This is so important it should be said again. You need to put yourself in the right frame of mind of being spontaneous and carefree.

But the rewards are great. You will end up doing things you would never have done if you had planned them. You will meet more people, and learn more about the world. And you will come back from your vacation with a new perspective on your life. Give it try!