If you’re fortunate enough to have a flexible schedule, or just have a spontaneous streak, last minute travel is a great chance to get away. While you won’t have a chance to plan a very detailed itinerary when you book a holiday shortly before you depart, last minute travel does give you the opportunity to save some money on your trip. The keys to saving on last minute travel are flexibility and timing.
1. Shop Around
Last minute travel sites abound, but sometimes it’s better to get the news right from the horse’s mouth. In other words, in addition to looking at discount travel booking sites, go right to the website of the airline or hotel you’re considering. Sometimes a discount travel site will have the best deals, while in some instances a hotel or airline won’t advertise a last minute deal with third party vendors. You may also get the best last minute travel deals by booking airfare and accommodations separately, so don’t look exclusively at package deals.
2. Keep Your Destination Flexible
When you’re booking last minute air travel, being flexible on your destination is key. If you have your heart set on one particular city, you’re less likely to catch a last minute deal than if you keep an open mind. Instead, look for travel in a particular region that has more than one city and airport. In some cases, you may be able to fly into smaller airports and then drive to your ideal destination, so search airports within a 100 mile radius of the place you want to go. Likewise, hotels in one city may be full due to an event, which hotels in a nearby city may be offering deals.
3. Avoid Weekend Travel
It’s usually cheaper to travel during the middle of the week, so look for last minute deals on a Tuesday or Wednesday as opposed to Friday or Saturday. Since flights leaving in the middle of the week are less popular, airlines are likely to have a few last minutes seats and sell them at a discounted price just to fill the plane. Hotels also discount rooms during the middle of the week, when tourism can slow.
[Image source: peterguy.merseyblogs.co.uk]