Over the past 2 years Chris Mangiapane has shifted from the corporate shuffle to full-time traveler while writing Planereality.com. Focusing predominately on international air travel, Chris aims to give fellow travelers an honest, accurate and informative look at various airlines around the globe. Planereality had documented over 250,000 miles of air travel on 20 airlines and visits to as many airline lounges. Chris is not picky about where he goes, the destination is an afterthought, as long as the fare is good.
We asked Chris to give us some pointers on taking a “spur-of-the-moment” vacation.
Favorite place to take a spur-of-the-moment trip?
Las Vegas – There are always deals to be had and it is an easy flight from almost anywhere in the United States. Las Vegas is perfect because there is as much or as little as you want to do and your trip can be ultra luxurious or low budget.
Any tips for packing light? What are the essentials and what gets left behind?
IPod and headphones are a must, but I also always bring a compact docking station for music in my room. Always bring workout clothes but only bring 1 set. Hang them up in your room to air out after your workout and re-use them the next day.
Leave the shoes home. I wear the heaviest shoes I will need for my trip, while I travel; be it sneakers or loafers, then just throw in a pair of flip flops.
If anything, under estimate the amount of clothes you will need; remember, in a worst case scenario most hotels offer same day laundry/dry cleaning service. Paying the hotel to launder your clothes will be cheaper than any overweight or checked bag fee. Make your life easier and your suitcase lighter for a few extra bucks.
Any travel tools/Apps that make planning a last-minute vacation easier?
FareCompare and Airfare Watchdog are great tools that show me where the good airfares are, particularly when I don’t have a specific destination in mind which is typically the case. I just enter my departure city and the fares are displayed.
When is the best time make a quick getaway (to avoid crowds, get the most out of your trip, etc)?
Any off peak times. I love the Caribbean the middle of the summer; it’s less expensive and less crowded than in the winter. As important, it’s cooler than a lot of US cities in the summer. When considering international travel, look at US holidays when people tend to stay local: Memorial Day Weekend, 4th of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving work well.
Follow Chris on Twitter @Planereality