How to Take a Last-Minute Getaway
As it turns out, spontaneity requires some planning.
Spontaneous travel always sounds glamourous in theory, but is actually pretty stressful in practice. You end up at your destination, but you forgot all your toiletries, or you have to pay insane last-minute airfares. With some preparation and research, you can be ready to skip town at a moment’s notice, without forgetting something essential (ahem, your passport) or breaking the bank.
1. Keep your three-fluid-ounce products handy
Have a clear plastic pouch stocked with your TSA-friendly essentials and ready to go at all times. When you get home from a trip and you’ve run out of shampoo, replace it right away. That way you won’t be running around town looking for cheap, sample-sized bottles the day you’re supposed to leave.
2. Put your travel gear in one place
Keep your suitcase and carry-on together in one closet, along with your passport and an international outlet adaptor. Is there anything worse than settling in for a red-eye, only to realize you forgot your comfy neck pillow? Keep a packing list in there, too, to remind you of anything you might be forgetting.
3. Fly in the middle of the week
If you happen to have a day off, or you’re planning far enough in advance to request PTO, book your flights for a weekday. Fares tend to be significantly lower than they are on weekends.
4. Sign up for Hitlist
Tell the app the destinations you’re dying to visit, and it’ll send you weekly emails with last-minute deals on flights to those places. See you in two weeks, Cartagena!
5. Follow your favorite airlines on Twitter
@JetBlueCheeps lets you in on upcoming JetBlue airfare sales, and United gives exclusive discounts to their Twitter followers. TripAdvisor’s @airfarewatchdog covers every airline and tons of destinations, so check their feed often.
6. Take advantage of empty hotel rooms
Use HotelTonight to score last-minute hotel deals. The app is a spontaneous traveler's dream—it lets you search hotel openings no further than seven days in the future.