Whether you are the spontaneous, throw a dart at the map & hop in the car type of traveler or simply someone who procrastinates on planning for your business trips, there are often beaucoups of savings to be had on last-minute travel deals. Important caveat: in certain cities or during big events (think St. Patty’s in Chicago or Derby in Louisville) these savings are not to be found—plan and book far in advance.
Here are a few tips & tools that’ll help maximize last-minute travel savings:
1. Beat the Crowds
Travel out of peak season. You’ll find lower rates, wider availability and less hassle.
2. Be a Coupon Queen
Sign up for travel sites, look for Groupons, & check the local guides/newspaper when you arrive.
3. Be Open to Planes, Trains or Automobiles
Review your transportation options! You never know what deals may be available that will make your trip more budget friendly. Amtrak, airlines and rental cars all offer last-minute deals when volume is low.
4. Use Your Network
Your friends are your best friend when it comes to last-minute travel. Reach out to find out who might have an open bedroom, a ride from the airport, or the lead on a cheap tickets to an event.
5. Pack Light
To keep it budget friendly, you may have to sacrifice a bit of consistency or comfort. If your pack is light, you will be able to easily adjust plans and not have the hassle of hauling around a pile of suitcases.
Hotel Tonight: the name pretty much sums it up. The key is, you can find deep discounts. Wait until you land or arrive in the city to search.
· GTFO (Get the Flight Out): this fare tracker will help you find the hottest deals for day of flights.
· Resy: get alerted when reservations are available at that popular spot you’ve been eyeing!
The key to last-minute travel is be flexible and don’t panic because you don’t have everything planned. The risk will be worth the reward of spontaneous adventures and killer travel savings!
For tools to help budget and save for your next vacation, click here.