Considering going on a last-minute travel adventure? While we’ve been programmed to think that last-minute travel equates to more expensive, this isn’t necessarily always the case. In this article, we’re dishing out the top 5 last-minute travel tips and ways in which you can score big and tap into great last-minute travel deals.
From tips on how to google flights to finding hotel rooms with perks and everything else you might need for your last-minute bookings, we've got you covered right here.
1) Be flexible
Flexibility is key to saving on any last-minute travel needs you may have. And the number one way of doing so is by being f.l.e.x.i.b.l.e.
Whether it’s with your travel dates, flight times, or destination, flexibility can save you a lot of money in the long run. Accommodation and flight prices depend on a plethora of factors such as whether it's in-season or off-season, if you're only looking at popular destinations, or if there are events taking place nearby at the same time, i.e. a conference.
Be sure to check out a range of options before deciding on a specific date and time, just a day’s difference can equate to hundreds of dollars. You might end up surprised by how much money you can save on your last-minute travel adventure by just going with the flow.
2) Fly wise, fly cheap
The most significant savings come from hotel deals and package deals—not airplane tickets. Flight prices usually go up in cost as the date of departure gets closer, but there is hope for last-minute travel deals. If you want to fly out of town within the same week that you book your seats, try buying your tickets on a Sunday or Tuesday, airlines frequently discount their fares on these days and offer the best deals.
You'll be saving some decent money by avoiding flying on Fridays and Mondays as fares are expected to be higher since they're the most popular days for weekend travelers. Opt for mid-week travel if possible.
Another top tip that many individuals are unaware of is that their browser keeps track of the terms they search for on a regular basis. If the platform notices that someone is searching for anything related to holidays or last-minute flights, the price will rise.
To avoid paying more for the same thing, make sure to open your browser in an incognito window before you google flights and thus prevent being tracked or leaving a history of your searches. The same applies to airline websites and online travel agencies. Not just a last-minute travel hack, but one to use across all varieties of travel.
3) Be on the lookout for perks
If you're looking for a more affordable way to vacation, then pay attention to the perks and benefits offered by travel companies and accommodations, especially when it comes to last-minute travel. Consider booking accommodation that includes free breakfast and/or complimentary parking, every little bit helps.
You will be surprised at how much money some of these perks can save! For instance: free breakfast could save you about $20 to $25 per day while parking can easily range from anything between $30 to $45 a day if you opt to get a rental car.
Always do the math before deciding if a specific accommodation is worth it. Check out platforms like Booking.com, Travago, and a specific hotel website you like for the best deals and last-minute travel options, as well as travel apps for any last-minute deals.
4) Read the fine print
When it comes to a last-minute trip, be aware of the fine print when booking your flight, adventure, or accommodation. Make sure to read up on their cancellation policies as many airlines now offer relaxed rules for changing plans at short notice which means you may be able to change dates without penalty if necessary.
While last-minute deals and spontaneity are exciting, sometimes life has a way of getting in the way so be sure to know the specific terms of your flights and hotels.
5) Prep like a pro
If you're looking to travel on a budget, there's more to think about than just withdrawing cash from an ATM. With a little planning ahead, you can become a savvy traveler and save yourself some money - even with last-minute travel!
Many of us have been abroad and had to pay outrageous ATM and credit card fees. And all because we didn’t do our research and plan ahead. By taking your Tap card with you, you’ll save a substantial amount of money on your ATM withdrawal fees and foreign exchange fees thanks to its low to zero fees plans compared to that of traditional banks.
All operated through the app, you can stay up to date on your transaction history and your balances in real-time, and easily - and instantly - transfer funds between accounts. The card also allows you to swipe at merchants worldwide and make quick payments no matter where in the world you might be.
It's also worth doing your research on whether the place you are traveling to prefers guests paying cash or if it is more card transaction based. You would hate to have to travel around with a wad of cash that is difficult to get rid of.
Booking for a honeymoon, anniversary, or simply a romantic getaway? Last-minute travel might not be appropriate for you if you’re set on a particular type of accommodation at a particular location or must go during specific travel dates.
If everything has to be in harmony with your plans, we would strongly recommend you book ahead of time instead of opting for a last-minute trip. You wouldn’t want to cut corners to save money on your once-in-a-lifetime memories.
Travel smart to travel far
Embrace all that life has to offer by exploring different corners of the globe and get more bang for your buck with these 5 travel tips. From saving a few bucks here and there, you could end up saving big on your last-minute trip.
Be sure to switch to incognito mode and start searching for your dream holiday, it might be just around the corner!
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