My Tips for Traveling Spontaneously

If you know me personally or just have followed my blog for a while, you’ll know I love to travel.  Even more, it’s often spontaneous or with less than a week of planning.  How do I do it? Today, I’m going to tell you!

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  1. Work and/or do school from home on a flexible schedule.

I have several jobs I do for people in my own time, such as editing/proofreading things for them because I love grammar and writing so much, or doing haircuts for them whenever it fits in my schedule because I’m a licensed master cosmetologist (fun fact about me 🙂 ).  I do college work from home, teaching myself about a subject through reading, YouTube, Quizlet, and free practice tests online before getting credit by taking exams.  This ensures I can study on my phone in the car in my own time, and be productive without having to be at home.

2. Always keep your laundry clean and your wardrobe interchangeable.

I wear a lot of solid-patterned clothes and things that match with each other pretty much no matter how you pair it up.  I’m a stickler about getting my laundry done each week (being more minimalist-minded, if I don’t do my laundry…I run out of clothes), which means that I almost always have the majority of my clothes clean.  This comes in handy when your trips are so spontaneous that you don’t have time to wash and dry and fold and pack a load of laundry (I learned this skill through having to pack up and leave for the hospital in less than 30 minutes for family emergencies, and it’s come in handy ever since).

3. Pack light.

This is easier to do if you’re not clumsy and don’t spill things on your clothing.  🙂 Anyway, packing light–whether that means bringing a Kindle instead of all the paperback novels you want to read or just learning to re-wear your clothing–means packing less which means packing faster.

4. Have a travel bag of toiletries pre-packed.

I keep a bag of things like floss, toothpaste, deodorant, body wash, shampoo, etc. already packed up and ready to go in my closet.  This means I just have to grab my toothbrush and hairbrush and clothes and be ready to go.  I aim to add a toothbrush and hairbrush to that pre-packed bag to make things faster too; I just haven’t yet. 😉

5. Keep your house clean.

It’s so nice to come home to a clean house from a trip, and it’s so nice to not have to worry about dirty laundry or dishes starting to stink while you’re away.  If you stay pretty much up on chores, you won’t have to take extra time to do them before you leave.

6.  Have (spontaneous) friends.

A lot of my traveling opportunities come from talking to friends and hearing that they are going to leave on a road trip and inviting myself along LOL.  If you make it known that you love to travel, you may be invited! This also has to do with having spontaneous friends and proving yourself as valuable addition to trips; I am a pretty good co-pilot for road trips but I hate driving.  This means that I know how to navigate the driver and handle the maps, I can mobile-order food, look up cheap gas prices, book nearby hotels, return calls and texts for the driver, and play music from my (or their) phone.  This makes things easier on the driver so they can just focus on driving, which makes me an asset and more likely to get a “yes” when asking “Can I come with you?”

*Side note here: I’m not talking about inviting myself on vacations with people or anything, just making it known that I’m spontaneous, love to travel, and am a helpful person to have along.  People ask me to come and I ask people to come.  I’m not a nag…I think. 🙂

7. Be prepared + collect reward points for places you frequent.

If you have the apps/reward accounts for gas stations you usually fill up at, restaurants you eat at, hotels you sleep at, you can collect points and redeem free things.  I also keep gift cards loaded to restaurant apps, making it easy to mobile order or just scan it in store.  Being consistent in your travel shopping habits can earn you free rewards, which makes future traveling cheaper when you redeem the rewards.

8. Be curious and love to learn.

This could just be a super nerdy habit I have, but I love watching YouTube videos about how to travel cheaply.  I love to google what the cheapest bus, plane, and train destinations are from where I live.  I love to dream about where I want to travel and research things to do there.  I love to learn new languages for places I want to visit, even if English is also widely spoken there.  This prepares me so that I already know history, I already know geography, and I already know the language of places I want to go.  So if I see a sale on a way to get there, I can spontaneously jump on it and already pretty much have a trip there mentally planned out.  Ask questions.  Collect maps at rest stops.  Be curious! When you love to learn, you’ll have a different perspective on things–you’ll always be looking to see what you can learn from a situation or circumstance, and you may have knowledge about what to do in an unforeseen circumstance if you’ve already read about it or asked a question about it.  It won’t matter where you’re going if you have the mindset that you can learn something new from wherever it is, if your passion is to learn and discover more.  You’ll be excited about any destination!

9. It Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive.  Be practical.

I love to send postcards.  It’s old-fashioned, but it’s a souvenir that I can get for my family that is personalized, cheap, and mailed out ahead of me so it doesn’t take up space in my luggage.  My family and I just stayed at an AirBnB this past weekend when we traveled instead of a hotel and felt like we got a much more personal taste of the city we were in.  It’s about the memories, so write in a journal! Save ticket stubs to glue into your diary.  Take photos and make free photo books when Shutterfly has a sale.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy yourself and make memories.

 

I hope those tips made sense and help you in your travels! Do you have any tips to add? What’s on your travel wishlist? Leave me a comment below!

If you want to try out AirBnb the next time you travel, you can use my family’s referral link here to save up to $55!

Much love,

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I'm a blogger and aspiring author who publishes my thoughts on the life I'm living, literature I'm reading, and God I'm serving.

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