By doing some simple planning ahead of time, you can be prepared to go on a last minute trip. Here are some things that you can do all year long that will enable you to be able to say "yes" when opportunities to go on a spontaneous getaway present themselves.
1. Be on the lookout for items on sale that you can buy and store for road trips. At our house, we have a locked storage area that I keep the items in so that the kids don't get their hands on them before I need them. Items that I look for are things that can be used to entertain and feed the kids on a long drive. I buy juice boxes, water bottles, treats, snacks, notebooks, pens, small games or toys, books, activity books, and mind bender types of puzzles. I look for after season sales. After Hallowe'en, candy and small chocolate bars are on sale for pennies on the dollar. After Valentine's day, I can often pick up inexpensive heart shaped notebooks and pens.
When we decide to go on a last minute road trip, I can quickly go up to my locked storage room and fill a bag with drinks and snacks for the road as well as a small bag for each of the kids with activities to keep them occupied on a long drive.
2. Be on the lookout for items on sale that can be used while on a trip such as goggles, bathing suits, and snorkel gear.
3. Keep a well stocked pantry. A well stocked pantry can save money on your regular grocery bills if you buy in bulk (be careful as this is not always the most cost effective, but it can be if you know your pricing) and buy on sale. A well stocked pantry can also be useful when you have an hour to pack for a trip where you will need to bring food with you such as a camping trip or when you will be staying somewhere that has a kitchen or kitchenette.
4. Be as caught up as you can be on your laundry. When you only have an hour to pack for many people, having things clean, folded, and put away is half the battle.
5. Have a typed out packing list that is current for your family. If you have smaller children, your packing list will be very different as when you don't, as it will include things such as diapers and sippy cups. By keeping an up-to-date family packing list at the ready, you can check things off as you go and ensure that you don't forget anything.
By taking these steps ahead of time, you will be able to pack up and get on the road within an hour. A spontaneous trip can be a lot of fun! One of the reason that many of our family's trips tend to be spontaneous is that if you are able to go at the last minute, you are able to get some of the best deals on flights and accommodations.
Hope you enjoy your last minute fun!!!