Do you remember what it was like to travel when you were a kid? No responsibilities, no planning, no worrying about itineraries or budgets – just a carefree nose for fun, a few refrains of “are we there yet?” and a lot of curiosity. As adults, we can sometimes lose sight of the true beauty of travel and get caught up in the details, limiting our experience of a new place. Recharge the way you travel by acting like a kid again. Here are seven ways to do just that.

Be more spontaneous

Kids do things on a whim. Something catches their attention and they immediately want to check it out despite the fact they were in the middle of doing something else. But who knows what they might discover by acting on impulse. We’re not suggesting you toss away your guidebook and scrap the itinerary, but there’s something to be said for injecting more spontaneity into your holiday. Here are a few ways to do that:

Don’t over-schedule yourself: Leave time to stumble upon interesting things and change course if you hear about something that interests you.

Get lost: Guidebooks and travel apps are always going to have a place, but it’s easier to be more spontaneous when you’re simply out exploring, with no plan. These are the times you’re most likely to have the most memorable experiences.

Follow your instincts: Go where your gut takes you rather than relying on pre-arranged plans to see and do certain things. Maybe you planned on seeking out a café or restaurant you’d read about, but if something else attracts your attention, go for it.


Kids live in the moment for the most part, something that makes everything more fun and ensures that nothing worth seeing or doing is missed. Adults are capable of living in the moment, but we’re so often attached to a gadget or think about responsibilities and consequences. Put down the phone, close the laptop and hide the iPad. If you absolutely need to check once in a while, don’t rely entirely on your guides and itineraries. Just unplug and relax.

Avoid review sites

It’s easy to get caught up in reading reviews of anything. We want to know what we’re getting into before we get there and we want to be as much in control of our holiday as possible. Relying on reviews limits our experience, and trying to control every possible outcome is actually pretty exhausting. Some of it won’t be what you expect – and that’s OK. Travel is more fun when you let go of expectations and simply experience things from a more laid-back perspective, just like kids.

Allow yourself to be distracted

We all know kids get distracted. Try and hold a conversation with a six-year-old and you’re bound to get cut off mid-sentence as they dash off to a toy that caught their attention. But distractions aren’t all bad. Distractions can often lead to something more fun than what you were doing in the first place. As adults we try to be diligent and commit to what we signed up for (a museum visit, a tour), but maybe what’s over there is better so why not just go for it?

Interact with others

Kids are usually more open to chatting with anyone who will listen than adults. Adults tend to be closed off whereas kids are open, they smile and laugh, which draws people in. One of the best ways to travel more like a kid is to take the walls down and talk to locals. You never know who you’re going to meet and what worthwhile things (food, hidden gem attractions) they can point you towards.

Less museums, more parks

Museums have their place and if you crave some culture with your vacation of course you’ll have a few on your itinerary. But try, not to overdo it with museums. Most kids would choose the great outdoors over a museum. Mix up museum visits with some good old-fashioned outdoors or outdoor related activities. Explore parks and green spaces, test out a swing set, build a sandcastle if you’re on a beach, have a race from one end the park to the other with your travel companion. Letting loose outside is a great way to let off steam and unleash the kid in you.

Hit up some attractions for kids

Who says theme parks, water parks and children’s museums are just for kids? Unless the rules state otherwise. Go to Disney World in Orlando, ride a roller coaster, slide down an epic water-slide or explore places that are meant to be for children. Not only these activities may make you feel younger, but also, it’s extreme fun.

Search flights to Orlando


Featured image: Nelson L., Run! via Flickr CC BY 2.0

About the author

Jessica PadykulaJessica Padykula is a Toronto-based writer and editor who regularly covers travel and lifestyle trends. When she’s not writing or researching a story she can be found planning trips to places near and far in a never-ending quest to travel the world.

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