Sometimes, the stress of travel planning takes all the fun out of the real vacation. You can spend months of planning for a trip that only lasts a few days, so when the trip finally happens, it’s not as great as you thought it’d be. Say goodbye to the pressure of planning and try an impromptu getaway the next time you need a break.
Have Travel Funds Set Aside
Start a spur-of-the-moment travel fund and keep some money set aside for just this occasion. It’s not as easy to pinch pennies and stick to a strict budget when you’re taking an unplanned trip. When you have a comfortable chunk of cash available for just this purpose, you can splurge a little when a great museum, interesting restaurant, or fun festival catches your eye.
Choose a Destination and a Route
While it’s fun to wing it, there are some things you shouldn’t leave to chance. If you’re driving, map out a route that fits your itinerary, whether this means meandering through the mountains and hitting every picturesque outlook or getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Book a hotel in advance. It may seem romantic and adventurous to just walk up to the first B&B you spot and ask for a room, but the euphoria fades quickly when you find there’s no room at the inn and nothing else around.
Explore Local Deals
Sites like groupon offer a treasure trove of travel deals. Search the city you’re interested in and you’ll find everything from inexpensive dining to deeply discounted spa services. Groupon deals often expire quickly, so they’re perfect for last-minute travelers who are looking for a deal they can use right away. If you’re gone for several days, check groupon daily for new offerings and let the discounts guide your agenda.
Most of your agenda is probably up in the air when you take an impromptu trip, so you’ll need to pack versatile items so you’re ready for anything. Khakis and a polo or a casual dress thrown in your bag will come in handy if you decide to go to a nicer restaurant or museum. Always opt for comfortable shoes, since exploring a new town involves plenty of walking. If you like to jet off for unplanned trips, keep a bag of travel-size toiletries packed and ready so you can grab it quickly on your way out.
Prepare for Emergencies
The unexpected is even more likely on a spur-of-the-moment trip when you don’t really know what you’re expecting to begin with. Keep snacks and drinks on hand in the car so you’re not left starving and cranky when you realize you’ve hit a long stretch with no exits. Keep some basic medications on hand as well, such as Tylenol, antacids, and allergy medication. Have change handy for tolls if you’re driving.
A last-minute trip is an exhilarating experience that can leave you with lots of great memories when you make just the right amount of preparations. Follow these tips for an unforgettable trip.