Kate Approved: Independent Land Travel

Travel can be land, air and sea.  Lots of other subdivisions but for right now I’m talking about land travel.  For the moment, let’s set aside the trip you make to Aunt Minnie’s for the family reunion and focus on the trip you’ve wanted to take for years to the place you have never been.  This type of trip can be accomplished in one or two ways:  in an escorted group or independent.  There are good and not so good things to be said about both methods of travel.  Right now, let’s discuss independent travel.

Independent Pros:  you schedule your own time and move at your own pace; no keeping up with a group of others if you move slowly; greater flexibility; no other travelers, just the travelers you choose

Independent Cons:  generally is more costly than group travel; you would need to arrange your own transportation, handle you own luggage, schedule sightseeing, and accommodations.

About 15 years ago, one of our “independent” trips was to Hove, England to attend a special event.  Never having been to this part of England before, we elected to rent a car and drive from Gatwick Airport to the Brighton/Hove area; a trip that should have taken less than one hour.    Tony is an excellent driver but I’ll just say it took us more than three hours, we got lost numerous times and Tony has sworn that he will never drive in England again.  The small hotel was delightfully English but had a flight of steps to the front door, the room had a large bathtub with no shower but it did have an elevator which was the only question I asked when booking the hotel.

What did I learn? (1) I didn’t ask enough questions about the hotel; (2) I didn’t ask if the car had a GPS with updated maps and (3) never rent a car to drive on the opposite side of the road in a strange country after arriving on an overnight flight.

Travel should be about new experiences, new places and meeting new people.  Travel can be all that and more as long as you remember the devil is in the details and work with a travel professional who can sort out the important details.