Do you have a bit of a spontaneous streak? That can really pay off if you also love to travel. Last-minute vacations can be a great way to pay less for travel if you know where to look. Use these tips to get the most out of a last-minute trip.

1. Keep Your Passport Up to Date

Rule number one for the impulsive traveler is to always have your passport ready to go. You could miss out on a great last-minute deal for international travel if your passport has expired. It often takes weeks (or even months) to get a new one, so plan ahead and know when you need to renew.

Bonus tip: Be sure to check passport validity rules before making purchases for last-minute international travel. Generally, you need at least six months of validity on your passport to travel out of the country. That means that your passport expiration date needs to be at least six months after the final date of travel. Some of the popular destinations that enforce this policy include Mexico, Ecuador, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Nicaragua, and Jamaica.

2. Pick up the Phone

If you have a specific destination in mind, your best bet is to call an airline or hotel directly. They’ll have the most up-to-date information about cancellations and have the authority to offer you a sweet deal. Being flexible is key in these instances; if you’re willing to adjust your travel dates according to when they have a cancellation or an opening, you’ll have better luck getting last-minute deals.

The same goes for attractions that often book up in advance. If you’re hoping to snag a reservation at popular restaurants like Kosaka in NYC, Schwa in Chicago, or é by José Andrés in Vegas, you could get lucky by calling in to ask about last-minute cancellations.

3. Get a Travel Package

Many companies that put together travel packages are eager to sell off the ones that are cancelled at the last minute. After all, if no one books it, they lose out on all the features of the package — airfare, accommodations, car rentals, excursions, etc. Being open to a pre-planned package is a good way to improve your chances of getting a last-minute deal. And since you’re planning spontaneously anyway, wouldn’t it be nice to have the trip already planned for you?

The same rule applies to tour companies, which are eager to fill any open spots right before the departure date. Interested in an African safari, a Caribbean snorkeling excursion or a bus tour through southern Italy? The best time to sign up for one might be just days before the planned departure.

4. Don’t Forget the Details

Once you’ve got the reservations in place, it’s time to pack. While you probably won’t forget your favorite swimsuit or your go-to walking shoes, you might forget some other essentials with your limited time frame. Make sure you don’t forget these odds and ends before you take off:

  • Flight and hotel reservation codes
  • Travel itinerary
  • Passport
  • Money in local currency
  • Credit card
  • Prescription medications
  • Phone charger
  • Health insurance card
  • Travel insurance information
  • Emergency contacts

With these four steps, you should be all set to plan and take off on your impulsive vacation. Enjoy the exhilaration of not knowing where you’ll go until a few days before you leave; it’s a great way to experience new places while also saving some money.