Want To Just Pack Up & Go On Vacation? Here's How

Illustrated by Bella DiMarzio
Truth: A once-in-a-lifetime trip doesn't need to take a lifetime to plan. Maybe you realized you have a few leftover vacation days. Maybe you'll do anything to get out of the cold, even for a long weekend. Maybe that holiday bonus is just burning a hole in your pocket. Or maybe you don't need an excuse to get out of town.

It's also easy. The right combination of apps, know-how, and adventure are all you need to craft a trip on the cheap. And now is absolutely the time to take one: According to experts, prices for travel tend to be the lowest in January and February, a so-called travel "dead zone" after the holidays. Ahead, how to make sure you're ready to go at a moment's notice.