While it’s often true that booking your travel months in advance is most cost effective, many times waiting until the last minute before booking your flights and hotel arrangements could pay off. These last minute deals typically become available because of a cancellation, finding companies ready to discount the fare or package because they need to get it re-booked ASAP.
Searching for Last Minute Travel Deals
As you might expect, searching online is the best place to find last minute travel deals. Websites such as LastMinuteTravel.com, CheapTickets.com, VacationsToGo.com, CruisesOnly.com, and FareCompare.com are known for their great last minute travel discounts. Many times if you book your flight, along with hotel, car rental, or all-inclusive vacation packages, you can save hundreds of dollars.
Comparing the Best Deals
If you are concerned about getting the best deal at the last minute, one of the features most of these sites have is the ability to compare prices all in one place. You simply type in where you want to go, and the site will give quotes from several different places offering deals. You then read through what the whole package is, compare taxes and fees, and see which one is the best choice for your Spring Break getaway.
These sites are going to try to sweeten the pot for you, offering packages that are very appealing. Sort through these offers and you’ll be able to customize the vacation package that best suits your needs.
Subscribe to Newsletters and Email Alerts
Oftentimes, these travel sites will have newsletters or email lists you can join. They will send you weekly emails of all of the deals they have going on. If you see something you like, you log onto the site and check it out. This is often one of the best ways to find last minute travel deals because the alerts come to you, rather than your having to think to check every day.
If you decide to take advantage of this service from several websites, it’s a good idea to set up a separate email for yourself (some people call this a “burner email”). That way, your regular email won’t get cluttered with newsletters and alerts, and you can keep track of them easier.
Remember, too, that these last minute deals can be very exciting and lucrative, but only if you are prepared. This sort of vacation planning is not for the timid or hesitant. Have your money and passport ready, or be ready to be disappointed as deal after deal slips by. Like I said, this sort of vacation planning is not for everyone; it is only for those who are flexible and prepared.
Don’t Forget Your Local Travel Agent
Nowadays, travel agents rarely make simple flight reservations. They are much more likely to be privy to great package deals waiting to find the right traveler These deals for last minute flights and hotel bookings are very often not advertised, and you will only know about them if you go in and talk to a travel agent in person. It’s possible that a travel agent could have a group already booked for your vacation destination and there could be a few more tickets available at a great rate.
How flexible are your travel plans? If you know you can travel during a certain period of time, and at short notice, you may be in the perfect position to take advantage of great last minute travel deals. Get your money, your passport, and your luggage out of the closet… your dream vacation awaits, and at a lot less cost than you might expect!