8 travel hacks to save money on last-minute travel

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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!

ALSO READ: Take note of these five packing tips for quick trips

2. BOOK REALLY LATE

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.

3. BOOK WITH YOUR FREQUENT FLYER MILES INSTEAD

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.

4. BOOK LAST-MINUTE HOTEL ROOMS ON THE CHEAP

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!).

ALSO READ: 5 smart tricks Singaporeans use to save money when travelling

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.

ALSO READ: Best money-saving hacks to stay under budget while travelling

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. 

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