A Case Against Hotel Reservations

My style of traveling is to play it by ear, just go without too much of plan. This leaves me open to opportunities that may present themselves that I would normally dismiss if I was sticking to a strict itinerary.

This, of course, has its drawbacks. Years ago in Paris, Emily and I almost had to sleep in a public park because we could not find an available hotel for hours. More than once, I have had to walk an extra mile with a huge pack on my back, fighting back tears and cursing myself for not being more prepared.

But I never understood how you could plan what to do in San Diego, while you are in Wisconsin, for example. Sure, the internet is full of information, but it doesn’t compare to the wisdom of the local people or allow you gauge how much you like a place when you arrive.

This trip was no exception. We had a hotel for Tuesday and Wednesday night, grace a Rotary, but Thursday – Saturday were wide open. We had a tentative plan to rent a car and drive inland to Death valley but hadn’t made any decisions.

Well, it all worked out. We liked San Diego enough to stay for the remainder of our trip, we found a beach front hostel that is not only cheap, but walking distance from everything we could want to do, and we have had a relaxing trip free of the stress that comes with trying to follow a plan too closely.

I think that the key of this type of traveling is to be fliexible, comfortable with uncertainty, open to opportunities that present themselves, and have faith that it will always work out in the end.

So far, on this trip, it has worked out for the best, and I am grateful for that.

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