It’s Thursday at 5PM. You have the next 3 days off but haven’t planned a thing. What are you going to do? Yardwork? Watch Netflix or… take a trip! Planning an ultimate last-minute weekend getaway can be fun! Last-minute trips are sometimes inevitable, whether we’re procrastinating on planning (raises hand) or a flight deal pops up that you just have to jump on.
With less time on your hands, bargain-hunting for your fun vacation and creating the ultimate itinerary can be a challenge. However, that doesn’t mean a last-minute trip has to be expensive or stressful.
Here are some tips to help your last-minute trip planning, from planning hotel stays to making an itinerary. With a little research and the right resources, you can get the most value for money in the best vacation spots.
Here are my 5 tips for last-minute travel planning:
1. Know what Tickets to Book
In most cases, including a Saturday-night stay secures the lowest plane ticket prices. Buying individual one-way tickets on separate airlines could also be a cheaper deal than buying a round-trip ticket, so check on comparison sites.
If you’re purchasing tickets for 2 or more people, booking airline tickets individually can lower the ticket prices. Flying internationally? You’ll need to provide evidence of your return flight at check-in and border control, so keep printouts of both destinations and receipts with you!
When booking last-minute tickets, dates and times can make a significant price difference, so play around with dates and times if you can. Less common flying times, such as early in the morning, can typically cost less.
2. Avoid Traveling During Peak Season
It comes as no surprise, but booking last-minute travel during peak season is almost certainly going to be costly. Try to avoid it if possible. Keep in mind that prices will almost always be higher given that the demand leaves little space for discounts.
However, if you do have to travel during peak season, traveling on the holidays themselves can be less costly if you don’t mind flying on Thanksgiving and Christmas, for example.
3. Go with an open mind
Remember, this is a vacation, so above all, enjoy it! Begin your trip with a clean slate, free of high expectations. Ever heard that the comparison is the thief of joy? Comparing it to your last vacation (or someone else’s) will only lead to disappointment.
So enjoy the moment! Too much research and making a long agenda during your last minute trip can prevent you from taking in the experiences that casual travel will bring. Often it’s the last-minute trips with little to no prep that turn out to be the greatest, so don’t get too caught up in planning every minute.
4. Be Open to Different Modes of Transportation
Although they take longer, trains and buses can be a great way to see various landscapes on the way to your destination. You can read your favorite book or just relax and enjoy the ride.
Buses and trains can be less costly than flying from one location to another. It might not be as quick but it can save you a lot of money if flights are running too close to the departure date. Many buses and trains offer comfortable seating and wifi during the journey.
5. Stay Flexible
When arranging a last-minute vacation, the most crucial thing to consider is flexibility. When you get there, have an open mind to new ideas, and don’t expect everything you’ve planned to work out exactly as you hoped.
The best thing to remember is to always have an optimistic attitude because the joy of casual travel is that you never know exactly what to expect… and if you’re open to it, you can only have an amazing time.
So make the most of that 3 day weekend and enjoy your spontaneous, last-minute vacation!