If you are a traveler and you belong to groups online, or you are just simply scrolling your newsfeed, you have probably seen the same headline as what’s written above: “DIY Trip *insert destination* for only *low travel expenses*. Indeed, it is amazing and inspiring that some of our fellow travelers have maximized their trips and could independently travel, proving that traveling is for everyone. Awe-inspiring, check! Completely transparent, it depends.

The real story Behind every DIY trip

We DIY travel a lot and it is not, in any way, less fulfilling than traveling on a packaged tour and with an ideal budget in your pocket. But the moment you plan to do a DIY travel, there’s that one decision you have to make and commit to from day one to the last day of your trip. That is, no matter what happens, you will be practical.

Simple? Yeah. Easy? It depends on you.

You see, traveling offers us the best experiences beyond our comfort zones. It gives our minds refreshing new perspectives about how we see this world in more angles than one could possibly imagine. But like any learning experiences, there’s really more to it than meets the eye of social media and internet.

Zermatt-Switzerland
Our trip to Switzerland is still our best DIY trip to date. But behind every great photo is a story unexposed to the online audience.  

Empowered, Independent, and Resourceful

DIY travel empowers you to make decisions based on what your heart truly desires. Thus, achieving the independence one has always wanted far from his or her daily life. Not relying on anyone but to yourself or few individuals, planning and strategizing on how to get from point a to point b, using every ounce of effort to follow your checklist, all while having that self-fulfillment that you are, slowly but surely, able to unlock your dreams.

A lot of people hate doing everything on their own, but that’s the true essence of DIY traveling. You are nothing but an independent and empowered nomad who takes advantage of every available travel resource just to make sure you get the most out from every second and penny you spend on your trip.

Helix-Bridge-Singapore
Had a quick DIY trip in Singapore with the help of a good friend. We were able to explore the city in just 6 hours!

Got lost? Use Google maps to know where to go. No wifi? Check every public wifi within reach. No internet? Ask locals using some “sign language” and still get a decent answer. Yes, a DIY traveler must be ready for anything that could happen during the trip.

It also allows an individual to rid of all the unnecessary luxuries while being on the go, which brings appreciation to simpler things in life; things and experiences we are not as open and accepting to receive and encounter in our daily lives.

Speaking of resources, let’s talk about one of the most critical resources while traveling: pocket money.

The Unspoken Practices

DIY traveling gives you the power to control your pocket-money-cashflow, a task which brings you benefits while at the same time, assigns you a responsibility. Being in control of your budget can truly liberate you from overspending or at least from spending beyond your maximum limit. But being practical while traveling is not an easy task.

Being practical teaches travelers the importance of putting value in every experience out there. And in so doing, you are now capable of doing a process of elimination separating the must-dos from nice-to-dos and must-haves from nice-to-haves. It also allows an individual to rid of all the unnecessary luxuries while being on the go, which brings appreciation to simpler things in life; things and experiences we are not as open and accepting to receive and encounter in our daily lives.

However, mind that everything, even practicality, comes with a cost. In some cases, you must forgo of some experiences you think you may not enjoy that much. In extreme cases, you only visit what you really want or those places that will not cost you a huge percentage of your pocket money.

Hong-Kong-Disneyland
While in Hong Kong, we made sure that we visit Disneyland. The entrance fee and the food inside the theme park are a bit costly, but since we have never been to any Disneyland, we made sure to tick it off our list.

Traveling isn’t cheap, but it could be if you’re willing to sacrifice. It could be cheap if you are willing to eat street food for dinner to compensate for your 30 Euro al-fresco lunch. It could be possible to pay for a theme park entrance fee after you ate from convenience stores the day before. You may be able to balance your budget by sticking to dorms and hostels instead of choosing hotels. And the list continues.

No one also told you that DIY budgets don’t include shopping, not even gifts for your friends back home. Nobody told you that those DIY itineraries excluded some of the best destinations because entrance fees were quite expensive. No one told you that the DIY travels could also include few-to-countless expenses using credit cards.

But hey, nothing’s wrong with it after all.

DIY traveling is still one of the best ways to travel

Truth is, nothing wrong with practicality, or with a little sacrifice while ticking off every item on your bucket list. What matters is that you enjoy every single moment you spend on that trip. That you follow your passion and the things you love regardless of the sacrifice.

DIY traveling teaches you lessons you wouldn’t get from traveling in tours or traveling with so much budget to spare. DIY travels only mean that you are capable of being empowered, resourceful, independent, and most of all practical while embracing the flexibility to enjoy both the unknown and the harv experiences you have never imagined.

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Posted by:Harvey Perello

A blogger, photographer, traveller and foodie.

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