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At The Drop Of A Hat: A Spontaneous Guide To Last-minute Trips

11/02/2015 09:48 EST
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The evening sunset People are starting to return home

So you had a tough week. It happens. Nobody’s working for the work week. So when Friday rolls around, sometimes you just have to get gone in a big way. But while your weekend wanderlust may be spur of the moment, there are still tricks to preventing your last-minute decision from becoming a recipe for disaster.

  • Plan ahead.
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    "But I thought this was a spontaneous trip," you say. And it is. Still, a little planning can go a long way. It can mean the difference between settling in at a quaint, cozy inn with a crackling fireplace and shacking up at sketchy roadside motel that could technically be owned by cockroaches. Or between cracking open a cold beverage on the beach and sipping lukewarm soda because someone forgot to bring the cooler. You get the idea.
  • Ensure your vehicle is in tip-top shape.
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    Filling up on gas and doing a quick oil check are no-brainers, but did you check your tires? Is there a spare in the trunk under all your crap? When was the last time you checked your engine? We’re sure you’ve been addressing these issues as they came up already, but if not, consider giving old faithful a full inspection before you hit the road. Or else you may spend your trip on the side of it.
  • Prepare for all kinds of weather.
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    Yes, it’s totally sunny outside right this second. But a change is gonna come. The biggest mistake you can make is to pack for the weather you’re in at the moment. Look up forecasts and err on the side of rain gear, because it would be just like those tricky meteorologists to finally get the forecast right when you forget to pack waterproof clothes and an umbrella. Don’t let them defeat you! You are better than the Weather Network!
  • Get your documents in order.
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    If you’re just making a quick getaway to a nearby town or city, you’re probably fine with your license and health card. But don’t try to cross borders without an up-to-date passport because that would be the worst, and TSA agents aren’t exactly known for their reasonable and understanding natures. Print out hard copies of tickets, itineraries and the like, too, because you just know your smartphone will run out of juice exactly when you need it most. (Oh, and also bring one of those travel chargers. We cannot state that enough.)
  • Make some memories.
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    We don’t mean live-tweeting and Instagramming your adventure, though by all means make the rest of us jealous. Consider non-digital stuff, too. Pick up wacky souvenirs from truck stops. (We’re big fans of snowglobes, both of the ironic and sincere varieties.) Collect leaves like you’re completing an elementary school nature assignment. Just generally do things you normally wouldn’t. Spontaneous trips may happen quickly, but they end just as fast. You’re way more likely to drive off on your next adventure if you’re still fuelled by fond memories of the last one.