I often dreamed of a last-minute wanderlust-inspired trip, but I was always concerned about the stress that would cause. However once I learned how to have stress-free last-minute trips, I've gone on so many fun adventures both with friends and family and by myself. Here's how I make sure all of my last-minute trips are more fun than stressful.
1. Embrace Spontaneity
Step one is simply to change your mindset and decide that the spontaneity is part of the fun. Don't stress about making plans at the last minute, because without enough preparation, odds are they won't work out anyway. Just go with the flow and be open to adventure!
2. Choose the Right Traveling Companion
If you are traveling with someone else, make sure it's your "chill friend", not the high-strung friend who will have you worrying about every little detail. Ideally, this friend should also be a seasoned traveller. If not, just know that, along with the fun of their companionship, they're also bringing a bit of stress to the situation.
3. Be Budget-conscious from the Beginning
Don't let the excitement of a spur-of-the-moment adventure take over your sensibility. Since this is a last-minute trip, you probably haven't been saving up for it for very long. So you shouldn't book the nicest hotel, eat in the nicest restaurants, and shop all at the beginning of the trip, because by the end you'll barely have enough money to buy some crackers for dinner! If you want to avoid a massive credit card bill, it's better to be budget-conscious from the beginning, and at the end of your trip maybe you'll have some extra cash left to splurge.
4. Do Your Research
In the limited time you have before leaving, make sure you do your research. Find out the cheapest and most convenient mode of transportation to your destination, and once you're there whether it's better to rent a car, use taxis, or ride public transportation. Also, investigate different neighborhoods within your destination city to see what areas best suit your personality, are safe, and have fun things to do.
5. Talk to the Locals
You can't research every little detail before your last-minute trip, so that's when you turn to the locals. Once you are there, ask around to find out the best restaurants, bars, and sight-seeing places. Doing so gives you a sort of behind-the-scenes tour of a city where you get to discover the hidden gems only the locals know about, as well as a chance to make some new friends!
6. Pack for Anything
Remember, spontaneity is key! So be prepared for any turn of events. That means packing for anything— wind, rain, snow, or sunshine. You never want the lack of the right wardrobe to get in the way of you having a great vacation!
7. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Things will go wrong—your bus will be late, your car will get a flat, you'll get lost when your phone is out of battery. But in the grand scheme of things, these are little details that will probably just make for great memories! So don't worry about things going smoothly, because they won't. Once you accept that, you'll be on your way to a worry-free, spontaneous adventure!
I'm not a relaxed person—I'm the girl who books everything months in advance, makes hour-by-hour agendas, etc. But, after following these tips in my own life, I've had lots of fun last-minute trips and made memories that will last a lifetime! Do you have any other advice for how to have a stress-free last-minute trip?