The concept behind a self-guided walking or cycling trip may seem a bit daunting for some travellers since it doesn’t come with the typical services provided by travel agencies. After all, in self-guided tours, you are on your own to explore a place you have never visited before.
Fortunately, through proper planning, you can ensure that your trips will go as smoothly as possible. Below are a few essential tips to remember when planning a self-guided tour.
Ensuring Your Safety
Whenever you travel, it is always important to let other people know about your itinerary. Specifically, you should tell them the places you plan to visit, the people you will be travelling with and the various schedules you will be following throughout your trip.
Although this is already a necessary step whenever you go on a vacation, it becomes an even more vital tip when it comes to planning a trip on your own. After all, in self-guided tours, you won’t have the added safety measures provided by travel agencies in their vacation packages.
Training for the Trip
A common trend in self-guided trips is carrying out the entire trip either by walking or cycling through your destinations. Since these kinds of trips can be physically demanding, it is crucial to build your endurance by carrying out cardio exercises weeks or months before your tour. Aside from boosting your endurance, regularly exercising can also provide you with a good posture and reduce the strain on your back muscles as you go on your trip.
Whether you are planning on walking through Croatia’s Pearl of the Adriatic or embarking on various cycling holidays across the beautiful sites in Belgium, such as the Promenade Verte in Brussels and Bruges’ Castle Triangle, physically preparing for the tour beforehand will make the entire adventure more enjoyable.
Preparing Your Meals
In packaged tours offered by travel agencies, meals are usually pre-arranged and included in the itinerary. For self-guided trips, however, you’ll be on your own to arrange when and where your next meal should be. Depending on how flexible your tour schedule is, you can choose to dine in the restaurants in the nearby towns and cities.
But, if your schedule revolves around walking, cycling or driving through rural areas, which most likely don’t have restaurants and other establishments, you should stock up on your food supplies whenever you come across a local market. This way, you can have a picnic whenever and wherever you are on your trip.
Packing for the Trip
Whether your self-guided tour involves walking, trekking or cycling, there are additional items that you should also pack along with the essentials such as your passport, extra cash, and first aid kit. For example, if you’ll be walking for the duration of your trip, make sure to pack foldable trekking poles. These items are great for providing stability when walking on uneven ground and for reducing the stress in your lower body’s joints.
If you will be cycling throughout your tour, pack a small tool kit which you can use for emergency repairs on your bicycle. Just make sure that the tools you will be bringing comply with the local transportation rules and regulations.
Travelling off the beaten path may sound intimidating at first but through proper planning and preparation, going on your self-guided tour will undoubtedly become a fulfilling adventure. With these tips, you’ll be able to experience a safe yet exhilarating type of vacation.