If you love to travel, chances are you have fantasized about throwing a dart at a map – and going wherever it lands.
While this daydream of travel spontaneity is rather romantic, it doesn’t generally work. Statistically, you’re more likely to hit open ocean instead of a land mass, and you may hit a country where it’s not safe to travel!
However, spontaneous trips (whether it’s a weekend or a month away) are entirely possible. Here are a few smart ways to help you plan for spur of the moment travel:
Websites to Help You Pick a Destination
You’ve likely heard of websites like Scott's Cheap Flights or Skyscanner that help you find airline tickets. After all, the savvier you are about buying your plane tickets, the more room in your budget for experiences and sightseeing!
But there’s so much more to making the most out of travel than researching airfares. Below, we’ve shared a few websites that will help you plan the best spontaneous trip ever:
How Much Spontaneity Do You Want?
For some people, a spontaneous trip is showing up to the airport and buying the next plane ticket. For others, a little more planning is needed (planning outfits is important!).
Here are some websites to help you plan a surprise trip, with different amounts of spontaneity built in:
This website gives you different trip options based on your departing airport, your total budget, and calendar dates. After you input your information, you can then sort by what kind of travel activities are important to you, selecting “unusual” if you really want to get out of your travel comfort zone.
Example: If you’re flying out of JFK in New York City, have a budget of $1500 and a week to travel you could travel to Berlin for $680 USD on flights and stay in a hotel for $300. The platform uses API technology to pull from different travel deal websites (checking ratings and rates) to help you plan the perfect spontaneous trip.
A similar option to Wander, KAYAK Explore is an extra feature on KAYAK.com, a popular travel booking website. It’s similar to WANDER, but with the key difference of allowing you to stipulate how much time you spend traveling to your destination. (17 hour layovers are no fun for anyone.)
The website also enables you to search by interests (ex: “Golf Destinations”) or according to your bucket list (ex: “UNESCO Sites”).
KAYAK Explore and WANDER are great if you want to pick a destination for a last minute trip, but what if you want to be totally surprised? Pack Up + Go is a startup that plans 3-day mini-vacations, keeping everything a surprise.
You fill out a short survey on your travel preferences, and the Pack Up + Go team takes care of all reservations. A week before your trip you get an email with need-to-know info like a packing list, luggage restrictions, etc.
A week before your trip you receive a top secret envelope (that you’re not supposed to
open, yet!) with all the info on your trip. Open the envelope when you’re trip is about to begin – and you’re off!
Packing for Spontaneous Travel
It can be tempting to overpack for a last minute vacation, but resist this urge! Too many bags can load you down and take all of the fun out of a spontaneous trip. Half of the fun is finding yourself in a new situation that you weren’t expecting – and maybe weren’t 100% prepared for!
Below, we’ve shared some packing tips for a spontaneous trip, depending on which size of Knack Pack you plan to bring.
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From @josie_sanders: . “V E N I C E 🌞 This trip has already been so amazing and it is just getting started! I’ve been wearing my @knackbags backpack around everywhere! It’s the best travel bag ever because it’s so easy to fit all my camera gear and extra outfits inside! Today we took it to Griffith Observatory and hiked for hours!” . #venicebeach #hybridbackpack #weekendgetaway #KnackPack #roadtripessentials #onebagtravel #yesshecan #adventureawaits #sheisnotlost #passionpassport #womenwhotravel #theworldismine
Medium Knack Pack (3 Day Adventure Trip)
Planning on a weekend spent golfing or exploring a new city?
The medium Knack Pack can hold 2-3 outfits, making it the perfect backpack for a long weekend. We recommend you wear your comfortable athletic shoes or shoes for walking to the airport, and pack a pair of “specialty” shoes in your bag. These could be your golf shoes, hiking boots or snorkeling fins.
The medium Knack Pack also fits under the seat in front of you on all commercial airplanes, making it super easy to get through the airport. You can go directly from the airport to sightseeing without having to stop to drop off your bags at your hotel room or AirBnB!
Large Knack Pack (5 Days in a New City)
Unpack the luggage compartment at your hotel room or VRBO, and compress the bag for sightseeing. The sleek design means it won’t look out of place in a museum or restaurant, making it easy to go from wandering the city by day to an upscale restaurant at night.
Need to Travel with Your Laptop?
Spontaneous travel is awesome, but leaving folks hanging at the office isn’t so great. We know it’s important to be able to bring your laptop with you (just in case), which is why the Knack Pack is an expandable laptop backpack.
Keep your computer in the laptop sleeve, pulling it out as you need it. Put it away after a quick conference call, and see the sights knowing you can pull it out if you absolutely need to!
Are You Taking Your Knack Pack Traveling? We Want to Hear About It!
Interested in sharing your travel tips with the Knackpacker community? We’d love to interview you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo of you using your Knack Pack while traveling, and she’ll respond ASAP.