Travel Roulette: A different way to travel

Travel roulette is one of my favourite things to do. It can be done locally, or internationally (It works really well in Europe for example).

What is Travel Roulette?

There are many different versions of Travel Roulette, this is my version. Very simply put:  you quite literally get up and go. If can be from your home, or you may already be at a destination with some free time on your hands.

Travel roulette can work on any budget, and with whichever transport options you have available to you (I cover public transport here, but works equally as well if you have a car).

Have you ever woken up in the morning with the urgent need to just go somewhere? Have you accidentally booked a one-way – ticket somewhere and have some extra time on your hands?? Did you ever want to just “go”? Are you new to an area, and want to explore it?

If you have said yes to any of these questions, travel roulette may just be for you.

Travel Roulette: The Rules

The rules are simple:

  1. Before you depart, decide how long you want to go for – Travel roulette is great for day trips or long weekends.
  2. Turn up to a bus station, train station, or airport and book a ticket for the next bus/train/plane (this is a little harder and more expensive) departing. NOTE: If you have transport restrictions in your area (especially during the current covid situation), simply leave your home, pick a direction and start walking.
  3. Arrive at your destination and get exploring.

Travel roulette  works wonderfully well in the UK, especially if you are sticking to buses or trains. This can really be done anywhere in whatever city you may be visiting.

The benefits of Travel Roulette

  • You’ll go to places, you may not have considered visiting.
  • You get to explore your local area
  • Discover hidden gems
  • Become open to a different way of travelling (and get rid of the spreadsheet)

When I’ve done Travel Roulette

  • Cleveland way: I woke up one morning, jumped on a train to Filey (on the Yorkshire Coast and kept walking)
  • Cinque Terre and Portofino, Italy: I jumped on the first flight of Amsterdam (to Genoa) and then took it from there.
  • Switzerland: I quite literally woke up from a dream about Switzerland, and booked a flight in the middle of the night – less than 24 hours later I arrived, and figured out my itinerary on the plane)
  • Amsterdam: I was departing Rotterdam, with all the time in the world, and jumped on the first train out of Rotterdam Central.
  • and countless other local trips near my home in Yorkshire, UK.

Frequently asked questions

Is it expensive?

Sometimes …… it does depend on where you are and how you are travelling, but generally travel roulette is quite budget friendly.

Is it dangerous?

No, however if you are travelling outside of the UK / Europe/ Australia, having some prior knowledge of areas to avoid is useful to keep to you safe. Or do some research when you’re on your way)

What can go wrong?

Not being able to find accommodation (or it’s super expensive) Travelling during school holidays or bank holiday weekends run the risk of having no accommodation available if you have travelled to a popular area on a multi-day trip.

Useful Apps for Travel Roulette

Here’s a handy list of useful apps to have on your phone, that will make your trip a little easier:

  • Google Maps
  • Trainline (or similar app for your country – covers trains, tickets can be booked and downloaded from your phone)
  • Rome2Rio (breaks down buses and other forms of transport)
  • Booking.com / Hostelworld / Hotel Tonight

Now you are armed with the rules of travel roulette, I hope this inspires you to leave the house and get exploring!

2 thoughts on “Travel Roulette: A different way to travel

  1. Larch says:

    Love the idea of this! I think I will introduce this for our next trip.

    • meetmeatthepyramidstage says:

      Thanks! It’s wonderful fun – especially if you are walking around a city (pick a direction and head off), I’ve always discovered the most things that have not been in the old guidebooks.

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