It’s no secret that last-minute travel planning is not the most economical vacation strategy. When you’re short on time, profit hunting is rarely at the top of your priority list.
Here are some tips and tricks on how to plan your summer vacation on the fly without breaking the bank.
Let someone else do the flight work
You may not have the time or patience to scour the internet for last minute flight deals. But there are people who are actually paid to do this all day, and they are a great resource.
To follow Secret flight, Flight deal, Fareness, Bunker and Airfarewatchdog on social media, subscribe to their newsletters and download apps. This is one of the best ways to find amazing last minute deals, even if you don’t know where you want to go.
Pay attention to flight days
In this regard, if you decide to book your flight, try buying plane tickets on Sunday or Tuesday. Airlines like to cut air fares later in the week on those two days.
Plus, if you choose to travel on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday, it’s much easier to avoid premium fares as business travelers typically fly Monday through Friday.
Another great tip for booking flights is to consider booking separate one-way flights on two different aircraft carriers. This can sometimes be more beneficial than booking a round trip.
Use the app for hotel deals
If you have an urgent need to stay, hotel apps will be your best friend.
To book your trip a week before your trip, use Hotel tonight for everything from the simple to the luxurious. Their special GeoRates target users based on their GPS location. Plus, some of the best deals are in-app only.
One night offers same day booking for a spontaneous stay at unbeatable prices. They work with dozens of luxury properties to bring you the best last minute deals. The app also shares insider tips on what to see, do, try and try during your stay.
Do not forget AirBnBor because you can find an entire apartment for the same price as a budget motel room. Many AirBnB hosts even cut their ad prices at the last minute.
Get creative with your food
You may not be able to make a last-minute reservation at your destination’s most popular restaurant. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for food for your car trip. Instead, subscribe to services such as Wandering spoon or Eat with…
These sites will connect you with local families or chefs before you leave, and when you arrive at your destination, they will invite you to eat.
Wandering spoon allows you to order a private lunch with a fantastic home cook, while Eat with offers “an intimate culinary experience led by passionate hosts and chefs that will take your breath away.”
Take a chance
Some of the best travel deals may appear at the last minute on sites such as Hot wire and Priceline… The downside is that these deals usually relate to unnamed hotels and car rentals, so these details are not disclosed until you complete your purchase. But if you’re willing to take the risk, you can pay 50 or 60% less than the published rates.
The same can be said for tropical weather. If you’re willing to take the risk and travel to Cancun, Puerto Rico, or other Caribbean islands during hurricane season, you can find an unbeatable last minute deal. Travel insurance is a great buy just in case.
Last minute travel can be exciting and spontaneous – and it doesn’t cost a lot of money. If you’re willing to be flexible, you can simply enjoy a last minute champagne break on a tight beer budget.
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