active family travel,  family,  Travel

Last Minute Travel Plans – 6 Ways to Always Be Prepared #travel

Travel plans are generally best when laid out well in advance. That way all your ducks are in a row. Your I’s are dotted and your T’s are crossed. Pick any of those old cliches. However, sometimes travel is a spur of the moment thing. Whether it’s a family emergency, a super last minute business trip, or just a mega dose of cabin fever, there are times when you have to head out with limited travel plans in place. That’s why I’ve put together a list of ways to help you be prepared for last minute travel.


Travel Plans for Quick Departure

When you have to leave quickly, it can be easy to forget things. Whether it be from the excitement of your impromptu road trip or the stress of an emergency, it can be easy to forget things. However, if you have a few simple things in place, you can be better equipped to handle that last minute rush to the door.

[tweetthis]Sometimes you can save money traveling last minute – here are 6 tips to always be prepared for last minute travel #travel[/tweetthis]


If you’re like me, toiletries can take quite some time to get together for a trip. There are toothbrushes, hairbrushes, and all the other beauty and hygiene supplies that we use on a regular basis for myself, my husband, and my kids. Rather than rushing around and trying to gather all of those items up, have a bag ready to go filled with all of the toiletry items that your family uses. That way, you can snag the bag as you pack rather than going on a bathroom scavenger hunt.

Trial Sizes

I keep a tiny cosmetic bag packed at all times with trial sized face creams, soaps and antiperspirant as well as trial hairspray and shampoos. Basically any of those tiny carry on flight sized samples that you get. I put them to good use and only break them out when traveling. That means I never have to worry about missing my toothpaste or my dental floss or hairspray. I keep elastics in there too for hair emergencies on the run.

Batteries and Chargers

Batteries and chargers are important to all of us every day. We need them for our tablets, our phones, and our laptops. The last thing you want to do is forget these when your travel plans consist of a 24 hour or less notice. Just like having a bag of spare toiletries, a bag of spare chargers and batteries can be a life saver.


If you have the space, having a seasonal bag packed and ready to go can be a huge time saver. Simply pack one season appropriate outfit for each family member. That way if travel plans change or if you’re hit with an emergency, everyone will have clean clothes for at least a day. It gets you out the door and gives you a little breathing room to figure things out later.


While you can’t keep extra prescription meds packed up for quick travel, you can keep all your other essential medications in a handy travel area. Keep a stash of any over the counter medications you use on hand for quick departures.

Keep it all Together

Last but not least is keeping these emergency travel supplies together. When travel plans are changed or fast tracked, it pays to be able to just head out the door. Take all of the items I listed above and pack them up into one “fast travel” suitcase, so you’re ready to hit the door in a flash when needed.

[tweetthis]If you get called to travel last minute a lot it might help to have a small suitcase packed and ready at all times. #travel[/tweetthis]


Travel Plans Aren’t Always Possible

It’s best to have travel plans in place for any trip, but sometimes that isn’t possible. As a travel blogger I often get called and have little notice to respond to a quick trip itinerary. I’m not complaining because I love what I do, but I have learned a few tricks along the way. That’s why it’s nice to have a “fast travel” suitcase packed up and ready to go for impromptu day trips, overnight trips, or emergencies. That said, I rarely have a full suitcase ready when I need to run, but I know it’s a great strategy for many other travel writers and business people. With the above tips, you’ll be good to go in the even that your travel plans consist of, “We gotta go!”

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Cheryl

    Our girls regularly go to camp with the girl guides so I have learned how to pack pretty good and fast over the ears!! lol

    • paula schuck

      That’s good Cheryl. I am much faster than I used to be. The kids pack their own mostly but how they pack is hilarious. Like 6 pairs of pyjamas filling the suitcase for 6 days. UM NO. where are the clothes and the swimsuits? Oh yeah..OY!!! DH is the worst of the bunch though. He is the biggest last minute packer and always has to get approval for every outfit. Will this be okay together? UGH. Just put it in the suitcase I don’t care if it matches I need to sleep.

  • Pam

    Since we have family out of the area and sometimes I have to make unexpected business trips, I always try to keep a travel bag of toiletries. That way I am at least partially packed when something comes up.

  • Annemarie LeBlanc

    Thank you for this article. I always have a small pouch bag containing essential toiletries, and another small pouch containing my emergency and maintenance medication. These two are always in my everyday bag. Should something come up, I know I am “partially” prepared.

  • Amanda Ripsam

    I have a friend who travels a lot for bussiness trips she always keeps a suitcase pack and ready to go so she can grab it at a moments notice. I don’t get to travel that often because we simply can not afford to travel. I would love to travel and take a family vacation one day though.

  • Terry

    We don’t normally do quick trips, but once in awhile we have to go somewhere quick. I don’t know how I do it…. but I usually am ready to go in a 1/2 hour.

  • Elizabeth Matthiesen

    Great tips. I seldom have to go anywhere at short notice but just this January my daughter wanted me to visit them in Australia. Packing wasn’t the problem, it was my medication that I then needed a blood test & prescription for, both not last minute things to have to do. Then of course you need a visa, thankfully that can be done on line now, it was such a huge rush. 🙂

  • Lynda Cook

    These are all great ideas, I like buying the small travel sized shampoos and what not and keeping them all together, that way just grab those and they don’t take up a lot of room either

    • Paula

      LOL. That is my daughter in flip flops. Honestly – she ziplined in them too. She was 13 there. She honestly should have worn better shoes but, well.. teens. Live and learn. She squeezed her toes together the entire time she was zipping across tree tops. Nutty kids. I can guarantee you she will never ever forget runners again.

  • Ann Bacciaglia

    These are great tips for travelling at the last minute. I do not have anything prepared in advance. I am definitely going to get a few things like extra chargers.

  • CouRTnYlynne

    These are some great tips!!!! I always make sure to have toiletries on hand! Makes travel and packing a lot easier.

  • Babita

    The only unplanned or quick trips we have taken were places which are close by. My DH is a planner, so were have rarely traveled anywhere without planning for it in advance.