Changing plans last minute usually isn’t a lot of fun, especially when it comes to travel. But it happens. Here are 5 tips for changing travel plans on short notice.
My husband and I were traveling just as the pandemic hit. When we set off on our trip it wasn’t a pandemic. And we didn’t know it was about to become one. We’d spent hours putting together an amazing itinerary for more than six months in advance of our trip to Argentina. While it wasn’t great having to cancel that trip, it did teach us a lot about being flexible when it comes to changing up travel.
Here are some tips that will make your life easier if you ever find yourself changing travel plans on short notice:
Take a deep breath
It’s definitely OK to feel stressed if things don’t go as planned when you’re far away from home and maybe even in a different country. Staying relaxed will help you think smart. If you aren’t good at calming yourself down take a few deep breaths. There are apps out there, like Simple Habit, which are good to help with meditation and relaxation.
Keep an open mind
The best way to travel is to try to avoid saying: “No.” You want to keep an open mind because the more flexible you are, the more fun your trip will be. Of course, I didn’t expect my trip to Argentina to be canceled. But I didn’t say “No” and go anyway – that would have been dangerous! Instead, I tried to be open-minded. I knew I couldn’t leave the country and I also wanted to be safe. So we thought of an alternative trip to take last minute. Also, if you’re open-minded you might try something you love and would have never known otherwise!
If you’re traveling with someone else try to be considerate of their needs. You may both react differently to the situation. Pay attention to how you feel, but also pay attention to them. You’ll want to stay positive and help them stay upbeat too. If you’re traveling alone then be considerate with yourself. Don’t push yourself too hard and listen to how you’re feeling before you make any big decisions.
There are two great ways to travel: light and with options. Yes, you can travel light and give yourself options. Pack one jacket, instead of two. This way you can pack a pair of shorts and a pair of pants. Pay attention to the climate you’re packing for, but also prepare for any spontaneous hot or cold weather. You can usually buy an item you don’t have with you. Buying items while traveling is easier if you travel light. So pack smart, pack what you need and also try to think ahead in case your plans to change.
Of course, I had to touch on tech! You can use technology to help you with all of the above (planning, packing, meditating), but before you go get tech ready. I like to travel light, but I have never regretted not taking a laptop more than when my plans changed during the pandemic. I highly recommend taking a computer or iPad with you if you can. Next, take an extra charger for your phone and check you have enough travel apps on there in advance. I like: Compass, been, Translate, Tripadvisor as well as apps for rideshares, reservations and airlines. I also recommend traveling with a virtual itinerary as well as hard copies.
Lastly, when you travel last minute you may be able to find travel deals or cheaper options. Keep an eye out!