That is the question.While many of us scoff at package tour groups and would rather stay home than follow an agenda, the question of exactly how much planning to do is still one of the great debates among career travellers.
Round Trip Ticket or One Way?
The Comfort Issue
There are two types of people. Those that would feel more comfortable having that second end of a round trip ticket home in their pocket and those that would feel less comfortable with it.
For the former, that ticket home is the security blanket that allows them the liberty to go and do and spend and experience with no strings attached. It’s a goal… an objective…. an accomplishment. No matter how difficult things get on the road–no matter how poor and cold and destitute they are–friends, family, warmth, stable electricity, and (maybe most importantly) their bed, is only a trip to the appropriate airline office away.
For the latter, that ticket home is a limiting leash of committment burning a hole in their spontaneous livelihood. It’s a beast of burden that holds them back from making an unexpected turn or from changing stale plans. Their trip is a journey, with blurred lines of conclusion and closure, and with every new day bringing a change in possibilities…. a new home, a new family, a new purpose, a new life. Defining an end to their journey before it is righfully concluded (or even begun) is like having them choose the date their grandmother dies.
The Money Issue
As far as I’m concerned, this is the real dilemma. You can save a few of your own respective monetary units by buying round trip, by trading a smidgen of spontaneity for a larger, big picture plan. Here, you come full circle, usually finishing where you begin. But full circle can also mean backtracking. And one must be careful not to spend the incurred savings from buying round trip on getting back to the destination of departure during the trip.
On the flip side, you will definitely incur higher initial costs from buying one way as you go, but for me, personally, buying one way was a cost saver. I had no idea where I’d end up, when I’d end up there, or (God forbid) when I’d go home. The probability of backtracking was too high, and my rough, round-the-world plan had enough overland built in to sustain only a few one way airline flights.
My advice is to figure out what type of person you are; think about your tendencies, your likes, dislikes, intuition or sensitivity; and buy accordingly.