5 Tips for Booking Cheap Last-Minute Travel

Many budget travelers know the easiest tips for booking dirt cheap last-minute travel. Here are five of our favorites that virtually guarantee you’ll find cheap flights, accommodation and vacations in general.

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#1: Be Flexible!

This is perhaps the most obvious, but it bears repeating. Being flexible is your best bet for finding extremely cheap travel options. If you can travel when others can’t, you’re much more likely to be able to secure off-peak travel dates and times.

It can be a little bit tricky, but ideally you should decide on the cheapest months (or specific weeks) to fly, and then figure out a destination that works for you.

©Terence S. Jones

#2: Check Last-Minute Vacation Sites

A myriad of sites dedicated to last minute travel can help you book dirt cheap hotels or you can find cheap flights on fly.co.uk.

Also check vacation package websites that often include your flight, hotel and more all bundled into one ultra cheap, budget traveler’s dream package.

#3: Don’t Miss Out on Hotel Deals

If you’re not a “package deal” sort of traveler and would rather dig into things on your own, hotels are always running some sort of deal. No matter what time of year, you can find 3-nights-for-the-price-of-2 and the like. You just have to know where to look – check the hotel’s website, discount groups (such as AAA), etc. (Bonus: one of the best kept secrets about booking hotels is that sometimes it pays to simply call the hotel directly, ask what their best possible rate is, and then haggle like a pro!)

#4: Plan Ahead … Kind of

No, it’s not an oxymoron. Simply plan ahead to book your travel at the last minute. This requires getting all of your details in order well in advance and ruthlessly scouring travel deal sites leading up to your preferred travel dates. Sign up for e-newsletters, airline deal e-mail blasts, whatever it takes to keep you abreast of the best, upcoming travel deals. And when you’ve found one, always keep tip #5 in mind, which is …

#5: Act Fast!

Don’t hesitate and always act fast! If you see a great deal today, don’t pass it up. Book it immediately! Travel deals come and go from day to day, and sometimes hour to hour. The pricing of fuel can easily affect air ticket prices, while something as simple as a big conference suddenly coming into town can jack up hotel rates. Know how much you’re looking to spend and act accordingly when you see a deal that works within your budget.

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