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Un-Plan Your Greek Vacation

Here’s a conundrum for you.

How can the best-planned holiday consist of an unplanned stay?

Now isn’t that a secret worth disclosing?

I have always been in two minds about sharing travel secrets. Once they are out, the entire novelty value of it being a secret, shared between a few, is redundant.

But, being a travel blogger, I also feel it is my duty to share and let everyone experience the wonderful pleasures that the world has to offer.

Hotel bookings over the last decade have simplified down to a few clicks thanks to the availability of the internet. We have reviews, photos, and detailed information in front of us before we even leave the comfort of our homes.

While this has made traveling easy, it has also taken away the adventure of reaching a new destination without prior knowledge and finding a place to spend the night.

Ask any seasoned traveler, and their best stories would consist of hotel-related misadventures.

Be as that might, it is preferred to book in advance nowadays, except for when you are going island hopping in Greece.

My little secret is about the numerous islands of Greece whose inhabitants rely on tourism as one of their primary sources of income.

Besides the car rentals, the restaurants, the tours, running Bed & Breakfasts is another occupation taken up by many individuals, especially several young adults.

A search on the internet will eventually lead you to small websites with all the information about these family-run cozy habitats. The trick though is not to book online.

Island hopping in Greece should be done at a leisurely pace. Not having a pre-paid hotel booking gives you the flexibility of staying at an island for longer than planned.

Not only that, taking a ferry to the next island, not knowing where you will lay your head that evening, is the type of excitement that travel should conjure.

Here’s the secret; every time a ferry arrives, you will find some people standing at the port, waiting. They will be shouting, in a friendly manner, with picture books in their hands.

These are the local Bed & Breakfast owners calling out to you to have a look at rooms (in pictures) they have on offer, and strike a deal for your stay.

The wonderful part about booking a room on your arrival is that although it might seem haphazard, there is an order to all the chaos. Especially since it is done politely. There is no pushing or pulling, and everyone respects each other’s space.

It is also a great way to exercise your bargaining skills. As I found out the hard way, it was possible to get a room; bigger and better than the one I booked online, much cheaper.

Greece is one of the friendliest places I have been to in my travels. The people are incredibly welcoming and always eager to help.

The Bed & Breakfasts, almost like small hotels, are a beautiful way to not only help the local economy but also get a local perspective to everything from food and drink to finding out about hidden beaches and places to visit.

These “home-stays” give the guests an opportunity to experience the culture of Greece and its people from the inside.

Now, when you plan a Greek vacation, be adventurous, and don’t just book your stay.

Take it as it comes, and enjoy the hospitality that will leave you in awe, making you plan for your next trip even before you leave.


  • arv!
    Posted 6 September, 16 at 9:19 PM

    Excellent suggestion – not to plan and get some surprise on your trip. Great Raghav! Just shared your list of 5 travel book post with Jaipur book lovers club!

    • Raghav Modi
      Posted 6 September, 16 at 9:22 PM

      Awesome and thanks. Yeah Greece is amazing and sometimes not planning works better than planning. I’m actually going to be in Jaipur next week but it’s a rush-rush two day trip.

      • arv!
        Posted 7 September, 16 at 7:28 PM

        OH Great Raghav! work I suppose?

        • Raghav Modi
          Posted 7 September, 16 at 8:12 PM


          • arv!
            Posted 7 September, 16 at 8:24 PM

            Let me know if there’s an opportunity for us to catch up! 🙂

          • Raghav Modi
            Posted 7 September, 16 at 9:15 PM

            Sounds good. DM me your number on twitter please. If not this time then whenever I’m there next for sure.

          • arv!
            Posted 8 September, 16 at 2:35 PM

            Sure Raghav! Will do. 🙂

  • GeorgieMoon
    Posted 29 October, 16 at 11:05 PM

    I agree with all this, you definitely need to go with the flow in Greece. Much more fun to book rooms when you arrive.

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 30 October, 16 at 8:52 AM

      Exactly and I found that people can actually get better deals this way. Thanks

  • TravelingMel
    Posted 18 December, 16 at 11:29 AM

    I love that there are still places you can show up without a reservation. It seems like everything is so crowded lately — even campgrounds–that you are out of luck if you don’t plan ahead. I was more ok with spontaneity when I didn’t travel with a husband and two kids. 😂

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 18 December, 16 at 11:31 AM

      I agree. I was young, traveling only with friends at the time but saw quite a few families so the spontaneous thing while there. I personally, like you, would prefer booking when with kids.

  • Daisy Huntington- DaisLikeThese
    Posted 18 December, 16 at 2:07 PM

    I hadn’t heard of this before but it sounds wonderful! I’m not sure if it would work for us, what with us travelling with 3 kids, but definitely something I’d try travelling as a couple. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 18 December, 16 at 3:36 PM

      Totally get you and I wouldn’t try it with kids, at least small kids. Teenagers who can backpack I think I would try this out, can be adventurous for them too.

  • Dev
    Posted 18 December, 16 at 9:07 PM

    I totally agree with you here. Not to plan and getting unexpected surprises on your trip is the best way to enjoy and get the most our of your travels. Great tip Raghav! Totally convinced!

  • promisemaxwell
    Posted 18 December, 16 at 9:14 PM

    The name Bed & Breakfasts sounds funny but I’m sure it would be a great experience to have. This also is another good alternative for people at rush hour that didn’t get that time to book a hotel.

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 18 December, 16 at 10:50 PM

      Yeah and I think a lot of people change their plans last minute when hopping islands in Greece

  • Jen Morrow
    Posted 18 December, 16 at 10:56 PM

    I loved visiting Greece. Many customs agencies require a hotel to be pre-booked upon entering the country, but there were so many cool places that we found during our visit.

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 18 December, 16 at 11:13 PM

      You’re right they do and we had it booked for Athens when we first arrived. I think it works once you’re there and then go island hopping.

  • 100cobbledroads
    Posted 19 December, 16 at 9:55 AM

    Unplanning is a great way to relax. Just free-flow and take it as it comes. Have to learn that trick, it doesn’t come naturally to me 🙂

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 19 December, 16 at 10:31 AM

      Yeah and it’s not always easy as a number of times you can’t get a visa unless you have hotel reservations. Greece is a place where I would try it.

  • Neha Verma
    Posted 19 December, 16 at 2:45 PM

    Really great tips, particularly the ones around island hopping in Greece. I will keep those in mind when I visit here

  • leahshoup
    Posted 19 December, 16 at 9:34 PM

    I love the idea of being more spontaneous while traveling! Also, I think I’d be quite good at bargaining ;D Hope I get to try this one day!

  • Sydney Fashion Hunter
    Posted 27 December, 16 at 10:50 AM

    I simply love the Greek islands and the first time I went this is exactly how I did it. I still remember the chaos at the port well. It worked well on all but Santorini and our boat arrived very late at night and there was no one waiting at the port. Not only that after 4 hours of traipsing the streets we ended up sleeping in a roof in desperation. We were able to sort out something better the next day 😀

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 27 December, 16 at 1:25 PM

      That’s so cool and I can understand the issues of arriving late. Somehow, I’ve felt very safe in Greece so i’m sure sleeping on the roof would have been fun in it’s own weird way. I slept in the balcony for majority of the trip because our room had no AirCon. Thanks

  • Erin Leigh Ever After
    Posted 14 April, 17 at 5:11 AM

    Awesome post here. I’m heading to Greece in under a month and can’t contain my excitement. We have everything planned out, but you’ve convinced me to go un-planned for my next trip. I’m excited to learn this was one of your friendliest destinations!

    • Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 15 April, 17 at 4:05 PM

      So jealous. I can’t wait to go back again. Have fun and look forward to reading about your trip.

  • Lisa
    Posted 20 November, 17 at 10:26 PM

    You’re right about taking a chance, sometimes it can pay off! I did this on another Greek island and really made a good decision. I liked the way you describe everyone with a book, the classic tourist!

  • Bhushavali
    Posted 21 November, 17 at 3:32 AM

    Now, this is a very very useful post! Thanks for letting the secret out Raghav! I really hope to visit Greece in 2018. I missed Greece last time in Europe as the ticket prices were soaring. But Greece is a definite must-visit for me. Thanks for the wonderful tip. Lets see if I go without booking the stay.

  • Yukti
    Posted 21 November, 17 at 7:13 PM

    I totally agree with you on all valid points for planning Greek vacations. Greek islands are lovely and so are the people of Greece. They are very friendly and full of warmth. Also Greek food is great as I got lots of vegetarian varieties in it. Island hopping through ferries are great thing to do there and as you have not booked you hotels in advance which is also great for flexibility. I will surely visit again Greece as some of islands were left out during my first visit.

  • Soraya Nicholls
    Posted 22 November, 17 at 7:56 PM

    You know, I must agree with you! Sometimes overly planning your trip can take the fun and spontaneity away from a trip. And I am loving your suggestion about how to be a bit more spontaneous on a Greek trip – I think speaking to some of these B&B owners would be amazing and what are great way to support local businesses. And I am sure you could totally strike up a good deal. I am totally all about travelling at a leisurely pace so Greece is totally for me.

  • James
    Posted 23 November, 17 at 12:37 AM

    I am quite good at bargaining so I think this method would work for me. I would feel good when I had found a hotel and paid less than the online price. Your secret is out and I am planning to go to Greece soon so you could have influenced my trip!

  • Rosie
    Posted 23 November, 17 at 1:50 AM

    I love this – spontaneity is a great thing and unplanned trips are often the best! Love the idea of supporting local hotels and B&Bs too, will keep this in mind when I get to Greece!

  • lisa
    Posted 23 November, 17 at 9:15 AM

    I love Greece and love reading about other people adventures on the beautiful Islands as it is one of those places that you can visit time and time again. The Greeks are lovely people and very welcoming and I love your advice about getting out there and exploring.

  • Parnashree Devi
    Posted 24 November, 17 at 1:07 AM

    These are some really handy and practical tips. I am a big fan of Homestays and love the experience of living with the locals. Sometimes its great to travel unplan as it really gives u the real picture and some awesome experiences to take back home.

  • Manjulika P. Sehgal
    Posted 24 November, 17 at 9:16 PM

    I must say this is a great tip that I have read recently. I dint know it was so easy to bargain and find homestays in Greece.This makes it more friendlier than I thought. Sometimes, it becomes very difficult to decide where to stay before visiting a place. I am aiming Greece for sure for next year.

  • Mimi & Mitch
    Posted 29 January, 18 at 1:44 PM

    Totally remember this experience you are saying about these people at the port haha! We didn’t book in advance, just wandered around until we find what we like at the price we were ready to pay for! This makes us want to go back so badly to do some more island hopping in Greece!

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