Planning a trip at the last minute can be stressful. There are the challenges of finding transportation and lodging, planning activities, and packing…just to name a few. But, while preparing for a spur-of-the-moment getaway has the potential to be exasperating, it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to help alleviate your anxiety.
Be Flexible with Flights
The price of airfare can vary drastically from one week – or even one day – to the next. Don’t book the first flight you find. Keep checking back to see if the price drops. You can also save on air travel by being flexible with your departure and return dates. The less picky you are, the more you stand to save. Also note that you’ll usually get the lowest fare by booking on Sunday or Tuesday for a departure later that same week.
Negotiate Your Lodging
Instead of booking a place online, reach out to the hotel or Airbnb host directly. Travel sites place a huge markup on their internet rates and often charge exorbitant fees. Going straight to the source gives you the opportunity to work out a more favorable agreement. Owners are especially likely to negotiate when the dates are fast approaching and the room is still vacant. So use your last-minute predicament to your advantage! While you have their attention, ask about potential upgrades, early or late check in/out, and any other extras they might be willing to throw in.
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Stay Open to Possibilities
When planning a last-minute trip, it doesn’t pay to be too Type A. Sure, there will be some must-do activities and attractions that you won’t want to miss. Schedule or book those ahead of time to make sure you get what you came for. But for the most part it’s best to keep your agenda as open as possible. You never know what might come up (e.g. delays, weather, etc.), so don’t set yourself up for disappointment if or when things don’t go exactly according to your minute-by-minute plan. Not to mention, sometimes the best travel experiences are the ones you just stumble upon.
If you’re planning an impromptu vacation, don’t let it get you stressed. Take a deep breath. Loosen your grip ever so slightly on your expectations. And just go with it. The memories you make will more than outweigh the temporary insanity.