Carefully planned, long-anticipated vacations are great, but there’s something special and unusual about a last minute weekend getaway. You know, the kind where you pick a spot on the map, book a flight, and pack your bags without thinking twice. The kind where one day you’re sitting at your desk looking at flights and the next you’re somewhere entirely new and different.
Once you make the mental leap, an impulsive vacation can be a refreshing and much needed escape from everyday life. But how do you turn your dreams into reality? Here are some tips for planning your own last-minute weekend getaway, without spending a fortune.
Be Flexible About the Destination for Your Last Minute Weekend Getaway
When deciding where you want to go, it’s best to keep an open mind. Sometimes the best inspiration can come from somewhere completely random: a friend’s Facebook post, a sign on the subway, or even better, a really great airline deal. Let serendipity be your guide and you might discover somewhere completely unexpected.
If you don’t have a big budget or a lot of time, look for a destination close to home. There’s no point in spending your entire weekend in transit for just a few golden hours somewhere new. Instead, research exciting locations in your own backyard–somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t had time. You might even consider taking a “staycation” to explore your own city. With the right attitude, nearly anywhere can be an adventure.
Find the Best Deals
You may be excited about your trip but don’t just book the first flight or hotel deal that you see. With a little research you can save a lot of money, which means more cash for fancy nights out or poolside drinks. Take an hour or so to comparison shop and you could save hundreds of dollars.
Sometimes, last-minute planning can even put you at an advantage when it comes to finding a hot deal. Websites like Expedia and Orbitz often list last-minute deals for accommodation, car rentals, and more. Hotels in particular often offer fantastic last-minute deals to try and fill up their inventory. If you’re flexible, you can have a premium getaway for a budget price tag.
Take a 3-Day Weekend
It’s not always feasible, but if you can, try to nab an extra day off of work. Use your vacation time or even call in sick if you have to. Taking an extra day transforms your weekend getaway into a real vacation. It’s much easier to relax when you have a full day without having to travel. Plus, you can do significantly more with 3 days away than you can with only 2.
Keep it Simple
Remember that a spur of the moment getaway is all about the easy, simple kind of enjoyment. If you find yourself getting too bogged down with logistics, itineraries, and price comparisons, wipe the slate and start over. Ideally, your trip should be simple enough to organize in the span of a single afternoon.
Follow these tips and you’ll be miles away from your desk in no time at all. Remember, the really hard part is coming back home from your last-minute getaway afterward.
Editor-in-Chief and owner of Twenty-Something Travel, Stephanie Yoder, is a contributor for TripIt’s blog. In 2010, Stephanie left her office job to become a freelance writer and blogger. Stephanie has spent time living in China, Argentina and Mexico. Married to a fellow travel blogger, Stephanie’s life is full of adventure and new places. With a natural itch to be on the move, she had dedicated her life to traveling and sharing her adventures with the world.