Words by Dwight Hill

Summer is here and it’s the perfect time of year to get away from all the noise. If you’ve already made plans, give yourself a pat on the back: you’re good to go. If you’ve been procrastinating, however, you’ll want to keep reading. The following tips will tell you everything you need to plan some summer thrills on short notice.

Coordinate With Your Group

If you want to travel with a group, you’ll need to get everyone on the same page. What are you and the squads’ common goal? Are you staying in the country? Heading abroad? Into a rural area? The backwoods? A big city? Make the decision as a group.

What’s the length of your trip and what are the responsibilities of each member of your group? Who’s gonna be booking the hotel? Who will manage the group funds? If you’re taking a road trip, who’s driving and pitching in for gas? This early stage team-building will set the tone for your voyage and ensure everyone is working as a team. There’s nothing worse than heading off with a group, only to find out mid-trip you got secret freeloaders in the mix.

Make Sure You’ve Got Some Money

With any luck, you’ve already been stashing your money in the event of a last-minute scenario like this. Even if you’ve been slacking on your savings, there are still opportunities for you to see the world on a budget.

You don’t need to be filthy rich to take a fun trip, but you will—however—need to calculate how much money you can spend on an impromptu getaway. With a figure in mind, identify options that fit your travel desires but stay within your budget.

Looking for vacation packages on travel services is a good place to start your search, but more often than not, you can browse notable travel sites, like Airbnb Magazine and Travel Noire for ideas on cheap trips you can afford.

Nail Down Your Accommodations

You’ll need lodgings while you’re on the road. Booking a hotel using sites like Kayak or Travelocity will allow you to make a list of the best options. Don’t book through those sites right away, though.

With your choices narrowed, you should consider booking directly through your hotel of choice. In many instances, hotels will have loyalty programs that you can take advantage of this way. Calling the hotel (instead of doing everything online) might give a chance to save a few dollars.

If you prefer using Airbnb or any other similar service, be sure to double-check the reviews for potential spots, along with the property information and location. Make sure all the necessary amenities are in place, like wifi, private space (if needed), and parking. This type of critical research will give you peace of mind when you get to your accommodations.

Pack Like You Mean It

You want to pack light to avoid weighing yourself down on the road or in the air. Too many bags will be hard to fit in a vehicle or might slow down your progress through an airport. At the same time you don’t want to overlook any items that might be essential either.

The solution? Make a list of the things you “must have” first. This would include your clothing, grooming essentials, and the like. Ensure you have room for these items first, then proceed to less essential niceties. Be sure to use some tried-and-true packing tips to maximize your storage space.

Keep an Eye on the Weather

The last piece of the puzzle will be staying on guard for potential weather woes. Start by learning the weather at your travel destination. This will allow you to dress for the climate (and avoid looking like a clown when you step off the plane).

During your trip, be sure to monitor extreme weather conditions and keep an eye on travel delays. You wouldn’t want ya fantastic voyage to get derailed by a hurricane, now would you?