Travel planning, the way to enjoy your adventure

We need to stop freestyling each and every trip

In Summary

• Planning for a trip comes in handy because you get to learn much about people's way of life and know what to expect when visiting a new place.

• However, unplanned trips are also fun and come with surprises.

A section of the floating jetty at the Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve in Shimoni, Kwale county
A section of the floating jetty at the Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve in Shimoni, Kwale county

I take it that when you go on a trip, you make plans.

I know that there are some who don’t plan ahead and just up and go.

I have even seen online trends where people spin a globe structure and stop it using their index finger.

Wherever it lands, that is where they will be packing up and going.

Whether you do prior planning or not, that’s okay.

Whichever works for you is fine as long as you get to enjoy the adventure, connect, make memories and travel sustainably because we are trying to save our planet, of course.

For every trip I make, I always come up with an itinerary.

It allows me to organise my travel so that I get to venture to as many places and do as many things as I can within the set duration of my stay.

It also allows me to budget because who wouldn’t want to plan for their finances when they go out?

I have nothing against those who freestyle when travelling, but I sometimes think it displays ignorance to some extent.

People have their traditions and different cultures that they uphold.

As a newbie in such an environment, where you know little about a community, the best thing you can do is find out people’s way of life.

While on a trip, you are likely to visit a sacred place that requires you to give money, or say a certain prayer or just get quickly accustomed to some practices that require you to observe them.

When visiting a new place, you are most likely going to experience culture shock, and it is normal.

The planning bit of things saves you from numerous possible outcomes of a situation.

I remember when I first visited Tanzania, at one of the borders, my eldest sister had on a free sundress.

Some Tanzanian women at this border bought her a leso and wrapped it around her waist.

At first, we were all taken aback because we did not understand what was happening.

“Hatutaki mtunyakulie mabwana huku. Nyinyi warembo wa Kenya mnapenda kutuchukulia mabwana zetu mnarudi nao kwenu,” one woman said.

“Sasa uko sawa dada.”

After they went away, my mum and my eldest sister walked for a few metres and started laughing.

It was a funny and interesting moment, but we understood them.

There are places you might go to and you are offered food and you are unable to say no because it would sound rude.

A good example is the French people.

I learnt that when you are invited to a French household, it is better to let them know that you will not eat l’escargots (snails) in advance so that they don’t offer you the meal.

The French also love when you speak a little bit of the language, but let it not be forced or disrespectful.

Here in Kenya, different communities have different ways of welcoming people.

Doing your research and planning well helps you understand the places you are visiting and if there are things you will be required to do.

Sometimes it is not a must you partake, but it is important to be aware in case you might be touched and would want to get involved.

Travel planning also saves you time, helps you prioritise and maximise your venture, helps you not forget, and also helps you with planning for immigration emergencies in case you are travelling to a different state.

It also helps you have a hassle-free experience and get to check out eatouts and know the type of food they are serving to avoid getting health problems just in case you have allergies.

Travel planning will make your trip and stay memorable.

The communities you will likely visit will be more than ready to teach you about their cultures and traditions.

But unplanned trips are also fun and come with surprises.

On your next travel, try and make a plan, if you rarely don’t, and prepare for the unexpected.

Things don’t always go as planned, but hey, just make the plans.

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