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What you need to know about planning a last-minute break

Posted on June 11, 2019 by Paula

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If you are daydreaming of getting away from it all and escaping the routine of everyday life, then a last-minute break could be the perfect way to relax, unwind and explore new and exciting places.

We asked travel bloggers for their top tips and advice on what you should know about planning the perfect last-minute break.

It’s good for your mental health

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Mental health has an impact on how we think, feel and act which is why it is an aspect of our emotional wellbeing which should be looked after. Booking a last-minute break is just one way to help your mental health says Anu from IndiTales – A travel blog from India: “Mini breaks help you take a break from your routine, it helps you bring down your stress levels, it allows you that precious time you need with yourself and your family and it nourishes you for the next deadline. Take as many mini breaks as you can, do not live for that one big break that you will take when you have earned enough.”

A change of scene or pace is also good for your emotional wellbeing, if you are used to the hustle and bustle of city life then choosing a mini-break in Cornwall storm watching and breathing in the fresh sea air could be a great choice.

Similarly, if you live in a quieter part of the country, you might be craving a faster pace of life for a few days. If that’s the case, a trip to London to take in all the sights and sounds the country’s capital has to offer could be exactly what you need.

It could save you money 

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There are some great deals to be had by booking a last minute-trip as Louise from Pink Pear Bear Blog explains: “Quite often places will have good deals for booking last minute, it is better for a hotel to have someone in at a reduced rate than nobody at all.”

Time is of the essence, and shopping around for the best deals can sometimes take a while. Putting in a little bit of research prior to booking doesn’t need to be time-consuming if you browse through websites which are dedicated to finding you the best offer out there. Grabbing a great bargain via a company which specialises in short breaks means the research to find the best price has been done for you. The only thing you need to do is to make the decision on where you want to go.

We also asked Louise why she enjoys booking a last-minute trip: “It doesn't give you enough time for over-planning. Sometimes themost rigidly planned trips end up disappointing everyone whereas a last-minute decision to throw some clothes into a bag and go can result in the nicest trips.”

Be flexible

If the dates of your trip are set in stone, perhaps due to work commitments, then try to keep an open mind and be flexible with the location of your last-minute break. Being open to any location or type of hotel means you have a much greater choice of wonderful places to visit. It also means you could discover somewhere completely new and somewhere you wouldn’t normally have gravitated towards.

If you have definite preferences as to what kind of mini-break you enjoy you could narrow down your search to the types of trips you enjoy such as spa and wellness breaks, city breaks and coastal breaks. You can still be open-minded as to the location and hotel you stay in.

Another tip is to browse Inspire Me pages where you can find some great deals and choices for a mini-break which you might have otherwise overlooked. There are plenty of amazing opportunities to be had, so make sure you don’t miss out.

Sima from The Curious Pixie explains the importance of being flexible for a last-minute break: “When you think of last-minute travel, one word usually comes to mind; stress! But it doesn’t need to be if you keep an open mind and remain flexible. The spontaneity factor is the best thing about an impromptu break along with the excitement it brings."

Think about accessibility

It is worth taking some time out to consider how you will get to your hotel. Will you be taking the car? If so, factor in how far away your hotel is from your home as well as the amount of time it will take to complete the journey. If you are planning on taking the train or bus then you will need to assess how far the station is from where you are staying.

Blogger Emily Eva told us why it is important to consider accessibility when planning a last-minute getaway: “Everyone has their own way of planning breaks, whether it betravel first or location first, but the trick is to consider both at the same time. You may manage to find a great deal on trains and then realise where you want to be is miles away. Hassle is not what you need during a short break. Picking somewhere which is easily accessible will give you the time to make the most of it.”

Emily went on to explain why it is important to take a step back from the routine of daily life and enjoy a last-minute break: “To balance a working life, social life and resting can be extremely difficult. Going on an impromptu break can give you a rest from your day-to-day life. It is a great way to clear the mind and not think about anything for a few days.”

Consider a dog-friendly break

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Going on last-minute breaks can be tricky if you have pets because you need to factor in the time and the expense of finding and booking them into a boarding kennel or arranging for a dog sitter to help look after them while you’re away.

However, there are many dog-friendly breaks to be enjoyed where your four-legged friend is more than welcome. There are many dog-friendly hotels across the country including The Brook Marston Farm Hotel in Warwickshire, the Derwent Manor Hotel in Northumberland, and The Angel Hotel in Wiltshire.

As well as helping to take the stress out of planning your last-minute break, booking a dog-friendly hotel will mean your pet can also enjoy a change of scenery. Research some dog-friendly cafes and restaurants near your hotel as well as finding some luscious outdoor spaces so that you and your dog can enjoy leisurely walks in the fresh air.

Pack like a pro

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Heading off on a last-minute break is an exciting whirlwind, so you need to be able to pack fast and pack light. Whether you are going on a midweek city break or a weekend countryside escape, knowing how to pack your luggage in an efficient way will save you time.

Firstly, think about how long you are away for and pack accordingly; we have all had occasions where we have overpacked and taken far too many items of clothing, shoes or toiletries. Not only will these surplus items be taking up space in your suitcase, but you could be wasting precious time packing things you don’t need.

You can pack like a pro even if you are heading off on a last-minute jaunt by jotting down a simple checklist as you are putting items into your bag. By writing down how many jumpers, pairs of trousers and shoes you are taking as you put them into your bag should stop you from overpacking. Writing a list means you can see at a glance what, and how much, you have taken. This is also a helpful hack for quickly and easily checking if you have remembered to pack important items without having to rummage around in your bag in a panic.

Remember that bulky items such as towels and a hairdryer are often provided by the hotel. By not taking these items in your suitcase will save you space and will help to keep your bag light.

You should also try to leave some space in your bag for any souvenirs or goods you have bought during your break. This is an important tip especially for those who are opting for a city break because these types of trips are notoriously good for shopping excursions.

A last-minute break can be a great option for those who are spontaneous as well as people who find themselves with a few spare days to relax and unwind. No matter where you decide to travel or choose to stay, one thing’s for sure, you will have a great time discovering new places and unwinding with a change of scenery.

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