A burnt out Jimmy Fallon in a robe with a mug of coffee in the Tonight Show.
Jimmy Fallon break

Looking for a leap of faith? Take a break.

Vacation Mode

A guide to planning a last-minute getaway, to avoid stress creeping in on this exciting adventure.

As I woke up this morning, I was hit by the realization that another month was coming to an end. We are approaching, slowly but steadily, the middle of the year, and I cannot believe it’s going by so quickly. Sometimes I get so caught up in the routine that I forget to enjoy. To be grateful. To feel relaxed and wholesome. Hence, the second epiphany of the day: I need a mindset shift, a moment to reset. A chance to escape monotony and recharge my batteries, just to come back with more enthusiasm and drive. Because when I finally do, and this has happened before, every day starts feeling like a new adventure, and the little things sum up to make it all count. However, this time of the year, with busy schedules and commitments, I find that planning a trip seems like an impossible task.

Is it, though?

I believe that a last minute getaway is the perfect antidote to stagnation and to the stress and pressure of daily life. There's something about the spontaneity of it all, the sense of adventure and excitement that comes with making a decision to escape at the last minute. And while it may seem daunting to plan a trip on short notice, with a bit of know-how, it can be done.

Here's my guide to planning a last minute getaway:

  1. Choose your destination: The beauty of a last minute getaway is that you don't have to spend weeks agonizing over where to go. Just close your eyes and point somewhere in a map (or the actual version: check your saved TikToks and Pinterest boards). Think about what you want from your trip. Are you wishing to check off that city on your bucket list that you ́ve always wanted to explore? Or maybe you picture yourself reading a book by the poolside, fresh lemonade in hand. Once you have a rough idea of what you're looking for, start researching destinations that fit the bill.
  2. Set a budget: The best part about this kind of trip are the last minute deals. They are everywhere, you just have to know where to look. Check out websites, look for low-season destinations, sign up for newsletters and keep an eye on social media for promotions and discounts.
  3. Be flexible: Be open to different dates, destinations, and even modes of transport. If you're willing to be flexible, you'll be able to snag some amazing deals.
  4. Pack light: One of the benefits of a last minute getaway is that you don't have to pack for weeks. Keep it simple and pack only what you need. This will save you time and hassle, and make your trip much more enjoyable. Also, when I pack, I always have in mind the principles of Low-Waste Travel. I can’t go anywhere without my reusable napkins, my water bottle and my metal straws. Those poor turtles live in my mind rent-free.
  5. Embrace the spontaneity: The attraction of a spur-of-the-moment vacation is that you don't need to have every detail planned out. Accept the serendipity and enjoy the journey as it comes.This will make your trip much more exciting and memorable.
Infographic with tips for a last minute getaway
Last minute trip infographics
Ashton Kutcher with numerous bags asking if they are ready for the trip.
Ashton Kutcher packing for a trip

As I write this, I can’t help but feel inspired. I’m already much revitalized and excited for the challenges to come. I have always ranted to everyone about how much the planning, the waiting, the packing all fill me with energy. There’s nothing like the adrenaline that jolts up my body when I imagine the sound of the wheels of my carry-on running on the airport corridors, or the feeling of having chosen a playlist for my roadtrip. There’s nothing like daydreaming about the experiences that await, much less like living through this spontaneous break and coming back a new person.