Travelling on the fly? Heed these tips.
1. LET THE DEAL DECIDE YOUR DESTINATION
If you’re only thinking of traveling at the last minute, chances are, you don’t have your heart set on a specific destination.
If you’re flexible about where you go, Kayak Explore is a great tool to see which destination in the world offer the best bang for your buck during your generic travel dates. We once spotted a flight to Seoul, South Korea for just $80!
Go big or go home (or rather, stay home), right? The later you book your flight, the more desperately airlines are trying to fill the plane to capacity, so you’ll have the best chances of scoring flight tickets on the cheap.
When booking last-minute flights, prices may very well spike rather than drop as well. When this happens, it might make more sense to pay using your frequent flier miles instead of money.
HotelTonight offers last-minute hotel room bookings in Europe, America and Australia at HUGE discounts, while LateStays has deals for most Asian destinations like South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and more (and even Singapore, if you’d rather a staycation!).
5. SIZE MATTERS
And on the topic of hotel rooms… Last-minute trips are typically small groups, so larger suites in hotels or homes on AirBnB are more likely to sit empty. You might find better deals for a bigger place by contacting the hotels or home owners directly if you’re lucky.
6. CHECK WITH TRAVEL AGENTS
Don’t be too quick to dismiss travel agents – even if you’re not keen on the tours and travel packages they offer, it’s worth check with them to see if they’ve got any available last-minute flight tickets or hotel rooms. They’d be more than willing to release them on a discount – it beats leaving them unsold.
7. FASTEST FINGERS AREN'T WINNERS
The biggest rookie mistake: Jumping on a great flight deal only to realise your savings would get eaten up by the other costs of your travel.
Have a complete plan by making sure the other components – accommodation options, inter-city transport and attraction fees, for instance – also fall into place.
8. DON'T DO THINGS AT THE LAST MINUTE
It might sound counter-intuitive, but just because last-minute travel is, by its very definition, last-minute, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do some planning in advance. Know where to go, how to get from place to place, and how to make the most of your trip.
This article was first published in The Finder.