I often end up traveling alone because great fares are usually only bookable for a very short period of time, and it is tough for me to convince others to book a flight on a whim sometimes. Especially after taking work and family obligations into consideration, it may not be possible to plan a spontaneous trip, but I suspect that many people miss out on the opportunity to book cheap fares just because they are afraid to make a trip decision so quickly.

4 Steps to More Spontaneous Travel

  1. Don’t be afraid to book last minute without researching your destination first. I truly believe that there is something pretty much everywhere that would be of interest to someone. The outdoors might be your thing, but the indoor ski hill in Dubai might keep you interested in the city and a desert 4-wheeler adventure can keep you busy afterwards.
  2. Know where to find the best airfare deals. The Flight Deal, Fare Deal Alert, and Secret Flying are my top three if I have no preference where I am going, but Kayak’s Explore feature can also be useful. Don’t be hesitant about booking great deals from cities other than where you live, just add the cost of getting there into the cost of your trip. The deal still might be worth it.
  3. Consider your lodging options. Depending on the type of traveler you are I recommend comparing points options on Award Mapper, using Priceline’s Name Your Own Price feature, or considering Airbnb, HostelWorld, or CouchSurfing. Especially if you are traveling alone, I highly recommend hostels or CouchSurfing so you can meet other people (and save a few dollars).
  4. Figure out what you want to do. Websites like Utrip can help you create itineraries. Utrip currently focuses on cities in North America and Europe, but there are similar sites with coverage of other cities. On Utrip you take a survey and it creates a day-by-day itinerary including restaurant recommendations. I can’t wait until they expand to include more cities!

Have you ever book a trip spontaneously?