Many of us dream of hitting the open road and not looking back, but what is the reality of doing this? Of course, to cross into a different country you will need your passport on you at all times; and you will probably need this regardless of your destination as proof of identification. Traveling completely without limits is of course, not possible; we all have jobs to return to and money to earn. When exploring the United States and the rest of the world, how can we minimize as many of the restrictions that are placed on us as possible?
Hotels have both set breakfast times (which are usually optional) and check-out times. By self-catering you are in control of both the time that you get up and when you eat. You will need to take a trip to the supermarket when you arrive, but this is one of the most flexible ways of living while on vacation. You will, of course, have a time that you need to arrive at the accommodation by, and a specific check-out time, but the intervening period is yours to spend as you wish. If you’re traveling with family in tow, this also means you won’t be living in each other’s pockets for the entire duration of the vacation.
Avoid package vacations
Package vacations are sometimes great for discounts, which will certainly help you to get out there and see the world. However, you will be relatively constrained in terms of where you stay, which flights you can get, and potentially even what will be on your itinerary. If you decide that you want to take a day trip out to a new and interesting town, for example, this might not be possible. If you want to travel according to your own plans and on your own timescale, then package vacations may not be the best way to travel the world without constraints.
RVs, and the vast array of other travel homes that you have to choose from, are a great option for experiencing the open road on your own terms, and you won’t have to spin the lottery on finding a free motel, or pre-book your accommodation. You may have to find places where it’s legal to pull-up and stay, but other than that, it’s an efficient way of traveling without having too many time constraints applied to you. Brand new RVs can be expensive, but finding a used RV for sale could save you plenty of dollars.
In a similar vein, road trips in general are a great way to travel without too many restrictions. Unless you decide to fly from your end point, back to your original destination, and use car rentals, you won’t be tied down by cross-state transport and flying times. You are in complete control of your travel destinations and your accommodation choices are. You will, of course, need to clean and check your car before traveling, and admittedly, some route planning will of course help. But when it comes to navigation and timescale, this is completely down to you.
If you want to combine a road trip with camping, this will give you an incredible amount of flexibility. However, it’s not a good idea to get misty-eyed about the idea of being able to set up shop wherever you go; it’s always best to find an official campsite when traveling.
Camping will also save you a bit more cash on your journey, as again, you have the option of self-catering. In order to maximize your freedom while staying out in the wild, you will need to make a list before you leave. This should include your first aid supplies, cooking utensils and equipment, as well as your camping gear. You should also be a little bit extra-cautious if you’re planning to travel abroad in an unfamiliar country. Be sure to take medicines and a flashlight, and try not to carry too much cash on you; using your debit card (if possible) is a far more preferable and safer option when you’re sleeping partially in the open.
Generate some cash
Of course, traveling without limits conjures the idea of no starting or end point, but “freedom” can also refer to economic freedom. If you opt for a working visa, you can prolong your time in a particular country or continent, and generate some income while you travel. Teaching English, getting bar work, or perhaps even becoming an au pair will ensure that you have regular money falling into your pocket. This also removes the need to save up a cash fund before you leave. Of course, saving a safety net before you travel is always incredibly important, and it’s highly recommended that you do so, but employment will give you just as big a nest egg to come back to as when you left.
If you are looking to stay for up to two years you will certainly need a working visa, which will require a bit of research before you leave. However, this research and preparation could grant you more freedom while abroad. Learning a second language might be quite challenging in the run-up to your departure, but it is the key to a different type of freedom. Being able to converse with locals and make specific requests will make you feel far more confident and comfortable in your new environment. It is also likely to be a requirement for more complex and demanding jobs.
When it comes to traveling without limits, sadly, we can’t just wander out into the night and explore the world without consequences. Traveling freely will inevitably require a bit of preparation; whether that’s searching for jobs or planning a road trip using a map. However, it’s this preparation that allows us to enjoy traveling at our own pace. Whether you choose an RV for your accommodation and transportation, or learn how to camp in order to save money and time, you are adopting the necessary and vital skills to becoming an independent and robust traveler.