A last minute trip is never a bad idea. Unless of course, you’re completely unprepared.
I recently booked a last-minute flight to Iceland after I saw a deal for round-trip tickets that were $200. Only catch? The flight left the next day!
If you’re planning a hasty trip via long distance bus trip, plane or train, here’s what to know.
Keep an eye set out for affordable airfare. Some of our favorite tools to do this include Hopper, which lets you set a price alert on your phone, as well as Travel Pirates, Scott’s Cheap Flights and The Points Guy.
When you see a flight dip down quickly — buy it. It won’t be long before the price shoots back up.
Research Your Destination(s)
Again, spontaneity is awesome, but you don’t want to arrive in a city with no ideas for things to do. Look into what the city has to offer and maybe even find some locals or travelers to meet up with.
Having vague plans will guarantee you get at least a couple things done while you are there.
Don’t Over Pack
Packing is always hard.
My last trip, I decided that for 2 weeks I would only bring a small back pack (not a traveling one, just a normal school-type back pack with a laptop sleeve) and a mini backpack for day trips.
I basically packed about 6 days worth of clothing along with toiletries and other small items. I threw in a roll of heavy string so I can hand wash and hang dry clothes while I’m on the road.
Get Your Finances in Order
You do not want to be on the road and have to wait on an account transfer or realize you didn’t bring your ATM card.
Before you book a last minute trip, consider your bank account. Can you really afford this?
There’s no sense in booking a last minute vacation just for the sake of doing it. If you get there and you have no money to really experience a place, then there’s no point in going.
I went to India with a group of girls once last minute. It was awesome, but each town we went to we never went into the main attractions because they didn’t want to pay the entrance fee. What the heck is the point of that? Travel is for experiences.
Also, make sure you have enough local currency on you as well as cards for back up.
Write Things Down
No matter how great of a memory you think you have, do not rely on it when it comes to your departure.
The act of writing down “don’t forget camera battery charger” will drill it into your mind, you may not even need the note, but you have it just in case.
Departures are always a scramble and it’s so easy to forget your flip flops are under the bed or your toothbrush is in the bathroom- write it down and you will have a smooth departure before your last minute flight.
Plan the Basics
You won’t likely have time to plan out the entire length of your trip on a last minute trip, but you should at least know the basics before you board a plane. Book your first night of accommodation before you land, so you know where you’re staying when you get to a new town.
This is also a great safety tip and will save you so much time and energy (not to mention physical pain) that comes from walking around from hotel to hotel hoping for an open room.
Establish Your Objective
When I went to Iceland I knew my mission: I wanted to see the northern lights and travel the famous Ring Road. Oh, and I also wanted to see the Blue Lagoon, and also have time to just relax.
You can never see and do it all on a last minute trip. You have to pick your passions.
What’s the most important activity you want to do? What’s the most important destination you want to hit?
Ask yourself these questions so you can get the most out of your last minute trip.