Feeling Adventurous? Let’s Zufall!

If you’ve been listening to our podcast at all you know we usually give a shout out to Zufall.  Zufall is a randomizing travel tool that we developed early in our relationships and was the bud of our blossoming affair with spontaneity. It’s lead us on many great date nights, taken us away for countless weekend road trips and has even help determine some travel destinations across the globe.

Zufalling is easy!  All you need to do is let go of expectations and let the dice direct you to your adventure.

If you are using the Zufall Adventures App, start by telling Zufall how you want to travel (foot, bike, car), what type of adventure you are looking for (coffee, dining, exploring, shopping, overnight) and then set your limits. Next, shake the dice and Zufall will identify your target zone on the map and alert you once you get there. Once in the Zufall Zone, you can ask the map to show you what’s in the vicinity for your specific type of adventure or you can discover it on your own. Then share your journey with your friends on Twitter and Facebook. Sound like you’re still making too many decisions? You can also set Zufall to the “I can’t decide” setting and let the dice do all the work.

In a hurry? Zufall Adventures also comes with a Quick Roll option. No selecting parameters – just shake the dice and go the selected number of blocks in the direction rolled. That’s all on the app but if you want to go ‘old school’ aka non-digital, you can use the Original Zufall Kit. Confession: we love to use the dice especially when we’re doing a road trip because it allows us to truly disconnect and experience the moment.

To use the original Zufall dice, there are three easy steps:

  1. Decide what type of Zufall adventure you want to have
  2. Set you base value and state your parameters (base value can be time or distance and should be found by taking the farthest or longest you’re willing to go and dividing by 1)
  3. Roll the dice and find your fun

First of all, decided what you want to “un-plan” because Zufall is all about letting chance direct you. So what will you Zufall today – a date, a day in the city or a weekend away? Will you be walking, driving, taking transit or cycling?


How far are you willing to go? Based on your time or travel limitations, determine the absolute furthest you are willing to walk, drive, bike, etc. This could be in distance or in travel time. Once you have that figure, divide it by 6. This will be your Base Value or what the 1 on the die equals.

For example, say you are looking to Zufall your way to dinner. If you are on foot and there are lots of restaurants around, you could decide the furthest you want to walk is 12 blocks. This means your Base Value = 2 blocks of walking. Say the furthest you want to drive is two hours then make 1 = 20 minutes driving.


Now, state your parameters. Parameters are simply put, the restrictions you are putting on the dice. Say for example, you live on the coast and since there are no restaurants on the water, you just can’t go west – well your parameters would be “nothing west”. Or if you are planning a week-long vacation and you know that you have to eventually be somewhere to the north, you could simply say “no south” – now this can mean just south is out or it could mean south, southwest, and southeast are out – just make sure you are clear before you roll.

Parameters can also be placed on the numbered die. This often happens when it makes the math easier. Say for example the furthest you are willing to drive is 50 minutes…well; it’s just easier to make your Base Value 10 and eliminate the 6 on the blue die. Hey, Zufall is supposed to be fun, you don’t have to make it difficult! But remember, always state your parameters before you roll because there are no re-rolls!


This one is simple. Find a flat surface and roll away. Take the number on the blue die, multiply it by your stated Base Value and that will tell you how far to go in the direction rolled on the green die.

If you roll one of the directions or numbers that were voided in your parameters – only re-roll the dice that turned up the void number. Say you’ve rolled a SW/3 but you stated ‘nothing south’ before the roll. Only re-roll the green dice. You already know that you are going 3 times your Base Value.

Traditional Zufall rolls are done at the moment of departure. If you can handle the suspense and you want to fully embrace spontaneity – don’t roll the dice until you in your car (already packed for the weekend) or until you are walking out the door for dinner. On a bike, roll the dice on the sidewalk seconds before the first pedal stroke. In a cab, wait until you are in the back and the door is shut – hey, why not let the cabbie roll for you?


Once you’ve rolled, off you go! The whole point of Zufall is to remove expectations and find spontaneous fun so head off and keep your eyes open. Just because you know there is a great restaurant directly east 10 minutes drive doesn’t mean you should head there. Because you always go there, you may have missed that there is a new restaurant just three doors down. Let the dice lead you as best you can and be open to new experiences.

A good rule of thumb when trying to find your Zufall location is to round up or down. If you roll south, you don’t have to be perfectly south just as long as you are more south than southwest. If you roll a 3 and your base value is 10 km, well once you are past 25 km and before you get you 35 km, you are in the range of your 30 km roll. It’s not a science, it’s just a guide.

THE (eh, hem) RULES

There are only two rules in Zufall:

1. Always state your parameters before you roll
2. NEVER re-roll

Other suggestions include – have fun, enjoy the journey and take on the challenge of making the most of what the dice lead you to. And of course, use your common sense.


If you find yourself at a fork in the road or the dice lead you to more decisions, you can keep the un-planning going by using the blue dice to make decisions. Roll the blue dice – if it comes up an odd number you take the left choice, if it’s even, go right. You can use Blue to make any decision – which side of the menu to order from, which path to take, which form of transportation you’ll use, which outfit to wear – the options are only limited by the imagination. Hey, you may never make another decision again!


Zufalling is all about having fun – so don’t let the process frustrate you. How you deal with the unknown is all part of the adventure (and getting to know yourself better). Don’t stress out about making it to your Zufall destination (sometimes life gets in the way – make the most of that roadblock or border line-up). Get creative! If you can’t go directly southwest then go south for half the distance and west for half the distance. Zufall is not meant to be exact, it’s not a science – so, have a laugh and live your adventure.

Now, who feels a spontaneous road trip coming on?


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