…Okay, or just like this travel blogger! I recently shared my exact checklist that I use for you to see how to plan a trip from scratch without being stressed. It’s an extensive list that covers all the things you need to do before a trip BUT if you don’t have time for it, I’ve decided to make you a list of how to plan a last-minute getaway.
As a travel blogger, I often go places very last-minute. I only knew about Istanbul about a week before and Finland I knew just two weeks ahead of time! So, I’m pretty good at last-minute planning.
How to Plan a Last Minute Getaway
1. The Destination & Flights
Since its last minute, I would assume that means you’ve been invited somewhere last-minute, therefore, you wouldn’t need to choose a destination. But, if that’s not the case then you need to get this step done and dusted. Just have a 10 minute think about a place you’re dying to go.
But, if that’s not the case then you need to get this step done and dusted. Just have a 10 minute think about a place you’re dying to go. Book on where you always get the best deals and save yourself the hassle of doing flight comparison searches.
If you’re on a budget constraint, then use the “anywhere” option on to see where the cheapest places are you can fly to. When I did a review of their service (not for work, but because I am obsessed with them) I found flights from Ohio to so many places for around $100 roundtrip. It’s wild!
2. The Budget
When you’re going last-minute, sometimes the budget doesn’t do as well as if you can plan ahead. It’s actually my main reason for planning ahead! But not to worry!
There’s no time to save money for this trip, so you can only work with what you’ve got. Normally I would say that you should plan to go off-season, and do a long list of tips I have to save money when you plan your trip, but…
… at times like this, it’s best to just stay calm and spend your hard earning money because that is what money is for. It’s not every day you take a last-minute trip, so just go with the flow.
Budget: forget about it!
Do a quick search to see if you need a visa for the country you are going to and if you do just use expedited services so you can cross that off your list and not worry about it.
Next, click over to and get some cheap insurance that can go into effect the very next day. Here’s what they cover and what they don’t.
Make sure your passport has more than two blank pages and that it has at least six months left before it expires.
Paperwork: easy peasy!
4. Packing like a Pro!
Use a quick packing list (I have about a hundred on my blog) instead of your brain so that you don’t have to worry and stress out if you’ve packed everything. You can search my packing category with all my posts or you can just google “packing list for ____” and most likely find one.
Keep in mind if you have your passport, visa, phone, camera, and medications you regularly take then not much else can go THAT wrong. Worst case, for girls, just throw in some sundresses and sandals and call it a day. Guys just need tees and shorts so that’s easy, too.
I made these little graphics in my packing posts as well to make it easier!
5. Don’t forget your hotel & car!
Apps like give you crazy deals on last-minute hotels. You can also search on my favorite booking site, , and see what pops up.
I would not suggest booking an Airbnb on a last-minute trip because you don’t know the area. Generally speaking, hotels aren’t going to build up and invest in a shitty area, so you can guess that your hotel is at least in a decent area. With Airbnb, you have to do more research which is time-consuming.
If you need a car you can book that too if you have time, but if not it’s usually not that much more expensive if you just do it at the airport. When I needed a car in Maui,it was around $30 cheaper online, so I just booked it online in front of the girl in the office and got the keys.
6. A little fun planning is all that is left
Realistically, that actually should have taken you a few hours to do. Of course, it would be much less if you are a frequent traveler. You can do everything so quickly online these days!
Now any free time you get before your trip, you can peruse travel blogs and Pinterest to find the best travel tips for your upcoming trip.
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