How to add spontaneity to your travel plans this year
Escaping on a last-minute trip -- that feeling of quickly grabbing your suitcase and disappearing on an unexpected adventure -- has been proven to make us happier.
In fact, we recently carried out a survey that found that Brits defined as “spontaneous travellers” -- people who book at least one trip a year departing within two weeks -- were twice as likely to describe themselves as content or happy as those who never travelled spontaneously.
To help you capture that happy feeling, our 250+ deal experts from around the world put their heads together and came up with six spontaneity tips.
If “planning” is your middle name, then schedule in spontaneity time
This may sound counter-intuitive, but spontaneous moments might be more likely to happen if you plan for them. For example, do you have a Mexico all-inclusive trip planned? If you like to plan, then schedule in a time slot on a specific day for a spontaneous activity, then head to the tourist office and pick the first day trip on the list.
Set fun “rules” for spontaneity
If you’re travelling and want to create more spontaneous moments, set rules upfront. For example, you could strike up a conversation with the first local that you see every day (you may be surprised by how much you have in common), or set an alarm for 5pm every day and then, no matter where you are, stop by the first café or bar you see for a pre-dinner drink to discover a new hidden gem.
Purposely pick longer stopovers in major hubs
Booked a trip to Australia with a stopover in Hong Kong? Extend your stopover by a day or two, and leave it unplanned – explore the Temple Street Night Market and then see where the evening takes you, for example – and be prepared to experience all that your stopover has to offer with no agenda, no schedule and no expectations.
Partner up with a travel companion who is spontaneous
Have a friend or family member who seems to keep going on impulse trips, and been jealous of their travel stories and photos? Reach out to them and, when they next take a spur-of-the-moment trip, have them invite you.
Travel in the off-season
If high travel prices are preventing you from being spontaneous, travelling out of peak season can reduce the cost of flights and accommodation by over 50% sometimes. Earmark certain weeks in the “shoulder season” (April-May and September-October) for potential travel, then keep an eye out for any deals that may come up for those specific departure dates.
Just say “yes”
Make 2019 your year of “yes”! When a friend or family member asks you to join them on a trip, what is your first reaction? Do you worry about whether you can get a pet-sitter for your dog, or if you have enough days of annual leave left? Or do you use those things as reasons to stay in your comfort zone? Say yes to new experiences, and enjoy.
We are offering the chance to grab happiness with both hands and win a last-minute getaway in our #happytravelplace prize draw. Hurry, though -- you must enter before 27 March.