5 Quick Tips for Organizing Last-Minute Travel
May 20, 2019
Guest blog by Kacey Mya, the blogger behind The Drifter Collective
Are you feeling the spontaneous need to skip town? Or is your boss sending you to close a last-minute deal on the other side of the globe? No matter your plans, organizing everything at the last minute might be easier than you think.
If you’re an impulsive traveler looking to plan the perfect trip while also saving a few bucks, check out the quick tips below.
1. Start with Flights
You don’t want to start making solid arrangements until your flight has been booked and confirmed. For last-minute flights, you’ll need to be flexible to get a good deal. This could even mean being open about your destination. Use flight apps and discount sites to find the cheapest fares. If possible, travel mid-week to save money. Typically, the most affordable days being Tuesday and Wednesday.
If you choose a budget airline, carefully check for hidden fees, like a surcharge for bringing carry-on bags. These extra costs can quickly eliminate any prior savings. And remember to clear your browser cache when browsing flight deals online, as websites will save your information and raise their prices when you revisit.
2. Try New Transportation
Flying isn’t the only way to reach your destination. When you want to travel from place to place, sometimes buses, trains and even ferries can be cheaper than riding a plane. While it might take a little longer and the amenities might not be as nice, you can save a lot of money and even have an adventure.
Trains and buses are a great way to travel while getting to see the scenery. This is especially true in places like Europe and Asia, where you can buy one train pass and easily go from one iconic city to the next.
3. Find Hotel Deals
If you’re prone to last-minute travel, you’re in luck — the best time to find deals on hotel rooms is when you’re cutting it close to the wire. A day or two before your trip is ideal, as others will cancel their bookings and hotels will be eager to fill empty rooms at discount prices.
Use your favorite hotel app to find deals in the location you want. You can even set your preferences for star rating, amenities available and price. If you want steeper discounts, look at secret hotel deals where you don’t know where you’ll be staying until after you’ve booked.
4. Use a Credit Card
Many credit cards come with rewards programs that you can use for travel. If you don’t already have a card, look for one that best fits your needs. You may want to accrue miles for flights, points towards hotel rooms or even a percentage of cash back. The Capital One Venture Rewards Card is considered one of the best credit cards for travel, allowing you to earn points towards flights and hotels on every purchase.
When you first sign up for a card, you’ll get an initial bonus offer if you spend over a certain amount. Sometimes this bonus is enough to snag a round-trip flight. Use your credit card to book your last-minute trip and watch the rewards come rolling in.
5. Skip the Hotspots
You might already have a destination in mind for your last-minute travel plans. But if it’s a tourist hotspot, be ready to pay the big bucks. The key to finding last-minute deals is being willing to travel to lesser-known vacation areas. Due to the lack of a crowd, you’ll enjoy savings on everything from accommodations to food.
You can always visit the Louvre in France or hike to Machu Picchu in Peru. But maybe not during the peak season when you have one day left to plan your trip. Let the thrill of adventure take over and find the underrated spots you’ll remember for years to come.
Planning a Last-Minute Trip
Planning a trip on short notice doesn’t have to break the bank. When you follow the tips above, you can find last-minute deals from round-trip flights to luxury hotel accommodations. Just remember to keep your sense of adventure and stay flexible with your plans. The more adaptable you are, the more you’ll enjoy your getaway.
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