A well-established trend for several years with the rise of internet travel and the explosion of comparators and all-inclusive packages, last-minute travel is now one of the favorite options for travellers. With tempting offers on sometimes atypical destinations, the adrenaline of the few hours remaining before departure is at its peak. So to prevent your trip from turning into a fiasco, here are some tips for a successful last-minute trip.
First of all, open your mind and consider new horizons thanks to last minute travel…
Do you dream of heavenly beaches and diving in the middle of a lagoon full of fish? It is not impossible to find a good offer in last minute holidays. It could also be that your hiking boots and your trekking jacket are the ones that finally embark with you thanks to an incredible offer for Nepal. Because if there is one thing to remember from last minute trips, it is that the destinations and the conditions are unpredictable, original and open to adventure. After all, who hasn’t dreamed of stepping out of their comfort zone and embarking on the discovery of a culture they hadn’t even imagined? Try it, you’ll see, it’s addictive!
Then, work on your flexibility and adaptability
Traveling at night rather than during the day, integrating a stopover or even a stopover in another country, leaving or returning on a public holiday… So many situations that require you to be flexible and that will allow you to obtain good prices on your flights, more at the last minute.
Ditto for the accommodations which will be delighted to fill their rooms in the middle of the week while they increase the prices for the nights of Friday evening and Saturday evening. We have also become accustomed to renting chalets in Quebec at the last minute from Monday/Tuesday to Saturday morning. For the same price as a weekend, we can enjoy the places for 4 or 5 days, while teleworking and enjoying the activities at the end of the day. Less expensive, less crowded and just as exotic. Flexibility opens up new perspectives!
Simplify your life for a last minute trip, especially with the administration and the administrations
Some destinations, and there are more and more of them, impose administrative formalities on travellers: visas, vaccines, passport valid for 6 months, travel plan and proof of reservation of the first accommodation… Suffice to say that with these countries, the last minute could come and become hell. To know the administrative procedures of a country, only one site to use: France Diplomacy.
Getting a visa at the arrival airport is one thing. But planning to vaccinate the whole family against yellow fever in less than 72 hours is often a miracle! To have a successful last-minute trip, I recommend that you only go to destinations where the administration remains simple and non-binding 😉 After all, you have no time to lose, you are leaving in a few hours!
Then, get organized to be efficient: know how to pack your bag quickly
After spending many months traveling the world with our backpacks, we have now become pros at packing and unpacking our bags in record time. Distribution of belongings, folding/rolling of clothes, toiletry bag and other essential cables for our devices, we are now well established. Moreover, it is not uncommon for us to prepare our travel bags only a few hours before leaving or at the earliest the day before. Record to date: less than an hour to pack a travel bag for an express return to Europe: warm, cooler and multi-layered to face the not always stable weather in November.
And remember, unless you go to the end of the world, everything is everywhere on the planet. Are you missing a cable? Airports are full of electronics shops. No product for the lenses: all the pharmacies in the world will sell you some. Your swimsuit did not end up in the suitcase? You can find them in all the sports shops and sometimes even directly in the shops at the edge of the beaches. Everything can be bought everywhere, or almost!
Traveling well protected: an essential
Whether planned for a long time or booked at the last minute just a few hours ago, all your trips should benefit from travel insurance worthy of the name. Depending on the chosen destination and the type of trip, this is the time to contact your insurer, your bank or credit card company but also to launch some quotes online. Depending on the duration, the destination and the activities you plan to do there, you will have several choices to find the travel insurance that suits you. Either way, don’t miss out! It would be a shame to see the great savings made thanks to your last minute trip, used to pay for your emergency visit to the local dentist at the end of the world.
Finally, keep in mind a few tips to always be ready
- know the validity date of your passport and that of your loved ones and have a copy of all passports on an online site
- be up to date with the usual vaccines and reminders (hepatitis A and B, MMR, DT Polyo, Covid, etc.)
- have several accounts and bank card with online banks: they allow either to pay abroad free of charge, or to make cash withdrawals free of charge
- be aware of the insurances that already cover travel and guarantees to know if it is necessary to come to supplement with a specific travel insurance
- have your international license to rent and drive in other countries without any problem
- write a checklist of your essentials and things not to forget for traveling (medicines, cables to recharge devices, mini-format hygiene products, etc.). On each trip, we take stock of the oversights and the things we missed; we then add them directly to our checklist.
And you, what advice would you give for a successful last-minute trip? What great discoveries have you made at the last minute? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.