Here are our tips for taking the stress out of last-minute travel.
Every Second Counts
When you only have a weekend, you want to get to your destination as quickly as possible. With that in mind, if you’re going to be traveling more than a couple of hours, it may be a better use of your time (and depending on distance, more cost-effective) to fly.
This will open up more options both inside and outside your region. Not only will flying get you there faster, but it eliminates the hassle associated with a long drive. It’s a bone-chilling 8 degrees in Detroit as I write this. However, I’m just over three hours away by air from the beautiful beaches of Miami where the high temperature today is 81 degrees.
Get All the Discounts
You never want to pay too much for a flight if it can be avoided. Although some weekend getaways can be very spur of the moment, you can help yourself by planning ahead and trying to book cheaper rates for flight and accommodations. You can check out sites like Kayak, Orbitz and Expedia. Groupon also has some deep-discount travel deals. Be aware that these are sometimes limited by date.
If you prefer a more homey feel to your lodgings, check out Airbnb. This site allows individuals to rent their homes (or rooms in their homes) to tourists when they won’t be there. You can see pictures and read reviews before booking your stay. This is also cheaper than booking a hotel at times.
Finally, you can save some money by traveling during off-peak times for the destination. Between flight and hotel, this simple adjustment could save you hundreds of dollars.
Have a Go Bag
This tip is given to expectant mothers, but it also applies here. If you’re the type of person who frequently travels on short notice, it might make sense to have a go bag. Essentials could include clothing, jackets, sunscreen and toiletries. This could help eliminate or reduce the hours spent packing.
When it comes to your electronics, Grid-It or a similar organizer can help you keep all those excess cables in check. This will be absolutely necessary as you don’t want to be fiddling with your luggage in the airport looking for the cable to charge your phone.
You can also save money by just using a carry-on in this situation. A short excursion of only a few days requires less luggage, and you won’t have to pay a baggage fee. Just make sure that your carry-on fits in the overhead bin!
Hopefully these tips help you the next time you’re just dying to get out of town. Is there anything we’ve missed? Share your tips with us in the comments.
If so, subscribe now for tips on home, money, and life delivered straight to your inbox.