Have you ever just felt like you needed to get away and get away now? These past few years I have found myself feeling this way often. With everything going on in the world currently it’s easy to feel stuck. Which is why last year I decided to go on a spontaneous solo road trip through the Southwest to scratch the travel itch.
Not only was this my first solo road trip, it was also my first spontaneous trip! I usually have my travels planned far out in advance (I’m talking months out). With this one I hit the road without even having my route mapped out. Truly such a freeing experience!
Even with the complete freedom that any last-minute travel brings, there are still a few things you should do to be prepared before you head out anywhere. Safety while traveling should always be our top priority after all, right?
Below I’m sharing my advice for anyone who’s ever been interested in taking a spontaneous trip, so that you can experience this feeling of complete freedom for yourself!
Here are a few things to keep in mind before heading out on any spontaneous trip:
Have a financial cushion to fall back on for incidentals
Regardless of where you’re headed, it’s important to make sure you still have the financial means to cover any incidentals during your trip! This is important not only for spontaneous trips, but for any time you’re traveling.
Things happen – Flights get delayed, plans change, luggage gets lost. You really never know what can come up during your travels, so it’s best to be prepared! Last-minute flight changes can be costly, for example.
This is also why I always travel with travel insurance! I use World Nomads for my trips, and having insurance has always provided me with peace of mind should anything come up.
Check current conditions for your destination
This one is especially important during these “unprecedented times”. (If I hear that phrase one more time I think I might implode lol, sorry for using it.)
Be sure to check your destination’s current COVID-related requirements before heading anywhere! These are constantly changing as different strains are emerging, and if you are traveling internationally different countries may have different requirements for entry.
Even certain attractions that you’re interested in might have new entry guidelines. For example, in addition to needing a park pass, Arches National Park in the US is now implementing a new timed entry reservation system for guests, starting April 3rd, 2022 and continuing until October 3rd of this year. This system is going in place to help manage traffic and improve overall visitor experience in the park. Certain national parks also require separate permits to hike certain trails or camp in certain campgrounds. Be sure to check the park’s respective website prior to arrival.
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It’s also a good idea to check for weather conditions for your destination so you can make sure you’re bringing the right essentials! Which brings me to my next point…
Make sure you have whatever essentials you need
The essentials you need will depend on what type of trip you’re going on, what activities you set out to do, and what the weather will look like!
For example, if you’re going on a road trip you’ll want to make sure you have roadside assistance or maybe know how to change a tire. Or if you’re going somewhere where it’s currently snowing, you’ll probably want some warmer clothes.
Search for a checklist for the type of trip you’re thinking of taking, and make sure you bring what you need! Even for a spontaneous trip, it’s best to be prepared with the right essentials than to need something important when you’re already there. Having what you need ahead of time will likely help save you money as well – any essentials at your destination are likely marked-up due to demand.
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Tell your loved ones where you’re headed
Anytime you travel it’s a good idea to let people know where you are in the world and check in back at home, and this is especially important for a spontaneous trip! Even if you’re not exactly sure where you’re headed, I recommend letting others know of your whereabouts should something go wrong.
During my travels I tend to do daily check-ins with friends and family back home just to let them know I’m safe. I also share my location with a handful of people at all times for safety reasons.
Safety is always my #1 priority on any trip, period. Whether my trip is spontaneous or not. If it comes down to it, I will always pay more for safer travel options, or opt out of staying somewhere/doing something that does not feel safe to me.
Feeling spontaneous but not sure where to go? Check for flight deals for travel inspiration
If I ever need inspiration for where to travel to next, one of the first places I start is to look at current airfare deals!
Usually the best time to purchase plane tickets is 1-3 months out prior to departure. However, you can also score some great deals on last-minute flights. Airlines will often lower prices closer to the departure date in order to fill up the plane.
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The Ultimate Guide to Finding Cheap Flights
Those are all my spontaneous trip best practices! This level of freedom that comes from a last-minute trip is something I think everyone should experience at least once.
Have you ever taken a spontaneous trip? Share your adventures with me in the comments below!
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