The experience of going on a spontaneous adventure. Picture: Supplied
The experience of going on a spontaneous adventure. Picture: Supplied

Spontaneous travel around South Africa

By Mpho Rantao Time of article published Jul 25, 2018

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Getting the chance to travel is a great experience during one's life, but there is something about travelling spontaneously that is special.

Travelling around South Africa without an organized itinerary can be a fun adventure, where you as the traveller, learn about parts of the country that were unknown and exploring the tourist attractions of a location that is not as popular as the main city or town locations but are just as fun or interesting.
Spontaneous travel can happen in a number of ways, with the most popular being picking a random destination for the weekend, and ditching the travel itinerary and allowing the destination to be your guide. 

Although the lack of planning and fear of excessive spending looms at the back of one’s mind, it’s the idea of experiencing something different and surprisingly, travelling spontaneously can actually be friendly on your wallet.
The adventure of spontaneous travel begins with picking the location of your destination, which becomes the central location for your trip. 

Wherever you decide to go to should be the landmark, in terms of accommodation and activities to keep you busy. 

It also helps to decide on a location where everything is close by, so that you do not have any major fears about where you will be staying. Ideally, choosing a small town or a coastal city that you are not familiar with. 

There are a lot of locations across South Africa that have much to offer, away from the popular tourist locations.

Once in a while, you may get lucky as a traveller and encounter reasonably-priced tickets for flights that are domestic, which can allow you to spread your options in terms of picking a destination. 

Spontaneity is all about thinking out of the box and what better way than to pick destinations that is not in your usual frame of thought.
Your spontaneous adventure continues with accommodation in the location that you have chosen. Due to the spontaneous nature, booking at bed and breakfasts or perhaps an Airbnb is an ideal option as they are spontaneous and allow for you be spontaneous without hurting your wallet. 

Staying at bed and breakfasts allow for you to be closer to the locals rather than staying in a chain brand hotel that you may be familiar with.
Here is the fun part of the trip – planning your activities. 

Even though it is a spontaneous trip, there are some parts of the destination that you are visiting that cannot be ignored. 

A suggestion when planning your activities while on holiday is to use the dinner plate method – a method which involves picking one main tourist attraction for the day (the main dish), followed by two smaller tourist/cultural activities like visiting cultural markets or attending a small concert in the park (known as side dishes).

A helpful suggestion is to use tourist apps that have information about tourist attractions, and how to get tickets or book in advance. 

Apps such as Musement, Spotted by Locals and Instagram are great applications to give you an idea of places to visit. 

Finally (known as dessert in the dinner plate method), have a day when you have nothing planned on your itinerary, and take a stroll around the location, visiting parts that will get you more familiar with the locals and also exposed to parts of the destination that may not be seen as major tourist attractions. 

Sometimes, the beauty of a place is in the areas that are undiscovered.
Another suggestion for your spontaneous travel adventure is to include normal activities that you would do at home, into your itinerary while on your trip. Activities like yoga, running or taking a stroll around the block, are activities which may be enjoyed by the locals, and can be an activity that can provide a sense of normativity on your spontaneous trip.


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