If the makeup of my personality was a recipe, it would be an eclectic mix of ingredients. Start with equal parts digital nomad and travel lover. Add a dash of being a foodie, a few shots of confidence, and a sprinkle of seeking out new adventures. Follow that with a 50/50 blend of my love for being surrounded by others and being in quiet isolation and you’ll find me where I am today.

Previously, I wrote about finding your fuel. I touched on my formula for creating more significant moments and today I wanted to share one of the best tricks for quick getaways.

All you need is a Google Sheet and Hopper (or another travel notification service) and you’re set.

Spending a full 24 hours in a different city is like a hard reboot for your system, much the same as pulling out the power cord from the wall. When you plug it back in, you’ll only see whatever previous activity was there when you choose to push the power button.

Start by looking at different destinations that are within a few hours’ drive or train, as that can be great for quick mental breaks. In Vancouver, we’re lucky to have Whistler, the Okanagan and Seattle. Include the ferries and you’ve got Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Getting on a plane can totally change things, but the wrong flight itinerary can quickly eat up those 24 hours. Start with Google Sheets and your local Airport name/3-letter code.

  1. Look at every destination that consistently offers a non-stop flight. Based on check-in (most YVR flights being USA/international) and security adding 90 minutes, I’ve limited the flight time to 5 hours. This can get us from Vancity to JFK. The best bets are routes with daily flights. This way you can count on the itinerary being available anytime you want to travel and adding a day won’t completely screw up your transportation plans.
  2. If you have specific days of travel or need to plan ahead, set each location you’re interested in with the days you want to travel in an app like Hopper that will notify you of the trends for prices and let you know when the ticket prices have dropped. Booking the same flight for less is always a win.
  3. Last-minute getaways also work with your handy Google Sheet. Since you have a regularly scheduled flight, feel free to jump on and book the day before because, I don’t know, maybe you just got tickets to a game the next day in California? Done.

Booking hotels can be a little trickier, and Airbnb is terrible for one-night stays (as the cleaning fee is hard to justify), so be flexible on accommodations and don’t let the hotel throw you off. The flights fluctuate more than accommodation. Getting to your destination is the key.

I hope this quick travel hack can help relieve some stress, create some new ideas, or start your next project. For me, the airport, the plane and the new scenery are really worth it.

This post originally shared on Medium.com