How to Travel Spontaneously as a Type A Person

3 tips for taking a last-minute trip without completely losing your cool.


Look, I am Type A to my core. I know it may seem strange, particularly since I’ve built my life around spontaneous travel, but it’s true. As the Queen of planning, I take great pleasure in pouring over hours of research, looking up things to do + see + eat, dropping pins on my google map, and figuring out the best way to get from the airport to my accommodations… and that’s okay. You can still travel spontaneously and plan a little bit. There’s an art to it, and I’m going to teach you.

Crowdsource recommendations

Before leaving, crowdsource recommendations from your network. When you’re booking something last-minute, you don’t get to search the depths of the internet for the best croissant in Paris or the most decadent gelato in Florence. But that’s why I’m here… and your friends… and your family. Make a list of everyone’s favorites and put it into a google doc. I do this with all of my trips; I have the google doc app on my phone so I can read them easily and not worry about my precious piece of paper blowing away in the wind. Just because you’re traveling spontaneously doesn’t mean your itinerary has to be completely impulsive, but use these recommendations as a guide, not a bible.

Plan your accommodationS

Choosing your hotel, hostel, apartment or what-have-you before you arrive will make you feel grounded, instantly. By establishing a home base in the location you want to be in, you’ll feel at least something is within your control, which will open you up to the possibility of spontaneity. Plus, you won’t have to spend time upon arrival trying, frantically, to find somewhere to stay and/or buried under apps like HotelTonight and Airbnb with the hope that what’s available isn’t 10 miles away from all the action.

Allow things to suck

The truth is, part of traveling is that inherently, some things are not going to go as planned. Yes, that unmarked restaurant looked like a cool underground supper club but was actually just a tourist trap. Yes, that museum was closed on Monday and you didn’t know and now you’re leaving to go home so you don’t get to see that very important piece of art during the Renaissance period. Sigh. But if you didn’t have that terrible meal, maybe you wouldn’t have appreciated that street cart serving the best tacos you’ve ever had anywhere, much less Europe, or that instead of the museum, you were able to stroll through a beautiful park where the leaves were turning bright hues of red and orange and there was an exceptional saxophone player entertaining in the middle of it all. The good and the bad is a part of the experience, embrace it.