There’s something about a spontaneous getaway that can make it even more fun and rewarding than a trip planned months in advance. An itinerary can be a beautiful thing, but making plans and exploring a new place on the fly without military precision can be a whole new experience – in a good way.
The only drawback? Sod’s law says there’s a pretty good chance that while you’re smugly en route to your late break, your phone charger’s still plugged in at home. Next to your pants. And that other vital item you needed.
But no fear! 

A valid passport
Forgive us for pointing out the obvious, but always ensure you’ve got a valid passport, ideally with six months before it expires. Many destinations outside of Europe insist on this for entry, so if you frequently travel to Asia on business, or are partial to a spontaneous trip to Australia (as you do), then bear this in mind.

The universal charger and power bank
When it comes to chargers, prepare, prepare, prepare! Your sweet escape is made so much sweeter by being able to gloat about it online with a Facebook check-in or Instagram update.  There’s nothing worse than not being able to take those all important holiday snaps because of a drained battery.
Your best bet is to invest in a universal charger (don’t get caught out by the perennial two flat vs two rounded prongs dilemma!) and portable power bank (for when there isn’t a power source at all!) that you can keep packed and ready to go. 

Invest in minis
Decant, decant, decant! Why lug around heavy toiletries, which take up precious space when you can stash your lotions and potions in miniature bottles and keep a set ready and primed for jetting off at a moment’s notice? In one fell swoop you’ll have killed two birds with one stone by ensuring you meet the pesky under 100ml requirements and freeing up much needed extra space in your luggage. Hotels are well known for providing mini bottles, so be sure to stock up for future trips. Also, get yourself a travel toothbrush and toothpaste that you keep in your bag so you don’t forget to pop yours in at the last moment.  No one wants to arrive at their destination with stale breath.

Currency and insurance
It’s always good to have a bit of spare cash to hand and even better when it’s in the correct currency. After all, the last thing you want to do is go on the hunt for an ATM as soon as you touch down. The best rates can often be found online, so don’t be afraid to quote these the next time you head to your local currency exchange, who will likely honour the rates they have on the web. Always try and come home with a few extra Euros so you’ve got a stash of cash ready and waiting, too.
Also, be sure to take out annual travel insurance. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it but it’s better to be safe than sorry, and a year-long solution means one less thing to worry about if you’re looking to get away sharpish.

Water purifier
Without sounding melodramatic having a water purifier in your bag of tricks could turn out to be a lifesaver. The LifeStraw is a great piece of kit – with no moving parts or need for a battery, it promises to remove a minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and parasites – a bargain at £30 given the alternative is an upset tummy or worse.

Everyone loves creating a bit of ambience on their travels with their favourite playlist – whether it’s in the hotel room or on the beach, and there’s no easier way to kill it than by having some tinny music playing pathetically from your phone. The solution? Get a mini speaker for about £15. Voila, music to your ears (and you won’t be reminiscent of that kid sat at the back of the bus annoying everyone).

Swiss army knife
Sound random? Think again, this crafty pocket sized gadget can come in to use in all types of situations, from peeling fruit, to acting as a can opener, and opening bottles of beer – you name it, it can do it. A precautionary warning with this one, though: make sure it goes in hold luggage if you’re flying!

A camera
Even though smartphones and their built in cameras are ubiquitous these days, get extra wow from your holiday photos with a dedicated camera. GoPros are great for capturing shots hands-free whether that be on the move, underwater or from a dizzying height. Or if you’re addicted to your smartphone, try out an attachment to improve your snaps – from a waterproof case to a wide-angled lens.


And that’s it, you’re ready and set to travel!