Many people dread taking last-minute trips as if this sudden decision would create chaos in their lives and the lives of those around them the moment they take off. But the odds are high that we are all going to take quite a few of such trips, either out of necessity or our own desire.
In order to alleviate the excess stress and make your unexpected trip more pleasant, you need to use your time wisely and get yourself properly prepared for the travel. Here is a list of last-minute arrangements you should settle before heading off.
Finish all time-sensitive errands
To be prepared to depart carefreely, you should finish all the time-sensitive errands as soon as you decide to travel. The first thing to do is to make your transportation and accommodation arrangements. Depending on how last-minute your plans are, your choices can be limited and every minute can make a difference between getting a flight-ticket and the flight being sold out.
This may also include finishing all the tasks which you should do during business hours, such as exchanging currency, paying bills, paying off your credit card loan, etc. The last thing you need is all the stress from trying to beat the clock before offices close. If there are any clothing items you would like to bring that need you need to wash, make doing laundry a part of this list too.
Check your budget
One of the crucial things you should determine before heading to your unexpected trip is your budget. If you’re traveling out of necessity, the odds that your journey is going to be an expensive one are high. Even if you’ve spotted a great last-minute vacation deal to your bucket-list destination, you may still find yourself short on cash to cover all your expenses. Consider your current budget and make a list of all the costs you may predict during your trips, such as transportation costs, accommodation and meals – all the essentials.
If it is a matter of urgency, or it feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you just don’t want to miss and you don’t have enough cash in your emergency fund or in your savings, you may consider some other options. If you have no luck with borrowing the sum you need from friends or family, you can consider taking payday loans which you will pay off as soon as your regular income lands on your account.
Make a packing list
Your packing list will mostly depend on the length of your stay, as well as the weather conditions at your destination. Make sure to put all the essentials on your list, as packing mishaps can have quite disastrous consequences. Include the following:
- Personal items. Those are all the necessities you will need for your travel, including your passport if you’re traveling abroad, your tickets, your ID, credit cards, cash, and your driver’s license. If you take any medications, make sure you put them on the list too, as well as some painkillers in case you need them. Consider items that can make your trip more comfortable, such as a travel pillow or a book if you like to read before bed. Include toiletries you will need during your stay, both for your personal hygiene and for grooming.
- Clothing items. It’s a good idea to plan your outfits for different occasions, so you could bring all the essentials. Make sure you’ve put enough socks and underwear on your list too, pajamas, and some comfortable clothes for more relaxed activities. Check the weather forecast for the days you will spend away in case you need some seasonal clothes too.
- Technical items. Although it may seem like there is nothing as straightforward as packing your mobile phone charger for a trip, it is the item people forget most frequently. Add it to your list, as well as all other technical items you need to bring, such as your wireless charger, tablet, laptop, flash drive and headphones.
- Business items. If your sudden trip is business-related, or you plan to do some work while away, add the materials you might need on your list too, such as your business cards, promotional materials, etc.
It is a good idea to start gathering all the items on any clean flat surface, even before you actually start packing them in your suitcase. It will speed up the packing process and prevent you from forgetting something.
Before leaving your home, make sure you’ve double-checked your documentation and money, as well as all other things that you could need immediately or that could affect your travel.