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Traveling last minute? Don't panic with these 5 essential tips!

Last minute traveling doesn't have to be expensive nor stressful.

· 4 min read

Life often throws surprises our way, and sometimes these surprises come in the form of a last-minute travel opportunity. Whether it's a spontaneous getaway or a sudden business trip, navigating travel plans on short notice can be both exciting and stressful. The impromptu nature of the trip means less time to research and find deals, and could possibly lead to higher expenses. But, there are ways that can help you to manage your expenses effectively and plan your trip efficiently in the short amount of time that you have.


1. Be flexible with your dates and destination, where possible

We understand that flexibility is a luxury that not everyone can afford. Perhaps you are traveling because of a forced office closure or an earned break, or perhaps you only have a specific window that you can travel - it's not like you can change those dates and move them around as you please.

But, it is possible to be flexible within the constraints of your available dates. This usually means either extending (if possible) or reducing your vacation by a day or two to score cheaper flight tickets.

Also be open with your flight timings - flights with less popular timings can often be much cheaper.

If that is not possible, then consider looking up alternative destinations. Being open to different destinations can lead to more options and opportunities for discovery of cheaper flights. Consider also flying into smaller airports — while less convenient, flying to a smaller airport could sometimes be much cheaper as well.

2. Pack light and smart

With limited time to prepare, packing efficiently is essential. Stick to the essentials and opt for versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched.

Don't forget to pack any necessary documents, chargers, and toiletries. Consider using a packing list to ensure you don't overlook anything important.

If you will be flying on a low-cost carrier where checked-in baggage is chargeable and not included in the base ticket price, consider if it is possible for you to pack everything into just a single cabin baggage and keep to the weight limits of the carry-on bag allowance. This way, you will be able to reduce expenses for your flight.

If you are not sure if your baggage allowance is sufficient, consider investing in a luggage scale. If you notice that you are likely going to be exceeding your baggage weight allowance, pre-purchase additional weight prior to checking in. For most low-cost carriers, it is usually much cheaper to pre-purchase the additional baggage allowance than to pay for excess baggage.

3. Consider alternative accommodations

When booking accommodations at the eleventh hour, traditional hotels may not always offer the best deals. Explore alternative options such as vacation rentals, hostels, or even couchsurfing for budget-friendly and unique experiences. Keep an eye out for last-minute cancellations or discounts on booking platforms.

Couchsurfing is a great alternative, but we understand that it is not for everyone - make sure you are really comfortable with it before going ahead with that option!

You can also consider consider looking for accommodations that might be away from the main tourist areas — sure they might be less convenient, but if you are traveling light, they are usually not too bad a choice!

4. Plan generally, but embrace spontaneity

While spontaneity is part of the thrill of last-minute travel, having a rough itinerary can help you make the most of your time. You are likely not going to have the time to plan a detailed itinerary, so prioritise just your must-see activities and attractions.

Search up the transportation and logistics for these activities, and make bookings and reservations in advance if you have to. There are many OTAs that can help you to find last minute tickets; and if you are having difficulty looking for the best deal or must-sees, Nomad has a new feature that allows you to easily compare prices for major attractions across multiple OTA sites.

Once you are there, embrace spontaneity and go with the flow. Allow yourself to be open to new experiences and unexpected opportunities that arise during your trip. Don't be afraid to deviate from your initial plans if something exciting catches your eye along the way.

5. Get a travel eSIM to help you stay connected

With limited time to spare, you might not have the luxury of time to buy a travel SIM card online and wait for it to get mailed to you. You could consider activating data roaming, but that is going to expensive. You could also choose to pick up a local SIM card when you arrive at your location — but that might not always be possible if your flight lands at odd timings; or you might end up having to spend some time in the airport queuing to pick up a local SIM card.

An alternative - affordable yet convenient - would be to use a travel eSIM. With travel eSIMs, you can usually receive them within minutes of your purchase, and you can easily install your eSIM on your device as soon as you get them!

Do away with the hassle of having to queue up for a SIM card at the airport, or to deal with the anxiety of being unsure if you can a travel SIM card before you depart.

Travel eSIMs are often also much cheaper than international data roaming, making it a very cost-effective alternative for your last minute travels.

Get a Nomad travel eSIM for your next trip

Nomad offers data plans in over 170 countries, and you can be sure to find one that is suitable for your travel needs. And if you will be traveling across multiple countries, there are also regional plans available so you can stay seamlessly connected as you hop between countries. Data plans are available from as low as $1.10/GB.

The networks that Nomad's eSIMs use for each plan are stated on the plan details on the web store and apps, so you can check which networks are supported before buying your plan. Data sharing and tethering is also supported on Nomad's eSIM plans.

And, if you are unsure about how much data you need for your trip, Nomad also has a Data Calculator that can help you find the plan that is most suitable for you. Also check out our blog post on data-saving tips when traveling to keep your data usage in check when traveling.

Nomad also has a 24-hour customer support team. So, in the event where you face difficulties while using your eSIM, rest assured there will be someone available to help you resolve your issues!