IDEAS

    Tips to Booking an Affordable and Last Minute Trip

    Be Flexible

    This doesn’t mean that you can’t plan ahead or have set dates for when you plan to take your trip. After all, we can’t always just up and leave whenever we want can we? (Explain that one to the boss) However, it may be possible to plan with a little flexibility. It’s easier to find bargains when you don’t have a strict schedule for when you need to depart and arrive. Airlines and hotels will generally offer significant discounts two weeks in advance if they’re not already fully booked.  This is where flexibility around arrival and departure dates can really help you out! Also, stay on top of deals by signing up for special-offer e-newsletters and email blasts from travel planning sites, airlines, hotels and credit card companies.

    Travel on a Weekday

    County Fair
    Last Minute TripJustin in SD / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

    As the weekend approaches, airlines and hotels are booked more tightly. However, on a week day, people are less likely to travel. Aim your travel dates for a Tuesday or a Wednesday as these days are particularly less crowded and prices are cheaper. People typically take off a full work week for their vacations (Monday-Friday) to be able to fit in two weekends and extend their vacation time. However, you might want to try taking your vacation from say a Tuesday to a Tuesday. You might lose some time but save some money in the process!

    Avoid Traveling Around Holidays

    If at all possible, don’t plan trips or vacations around holidays unless you don’t mind traveling ON a holiday. Sometimes a flight on a holiday is cheaper because fewer people want to travel on major holidays. Otherwise, traveling on the dates surrounding a holiday or in a holiday season can be very pricey.

    Wake Up Early, Stay Up Late

    Sometimes booking a cheap or last minute flight means getting up really early or staying up super late. The cheapest flights that you can snag typically tend to be early in the morning (red eye flights) or late at night. Bonus with flights at these hours, they usually have a lot of standby or absent seats which drive your last minutes buys to low prices.

    Make a Call

    When all else fails, make a call. When it comes to booking last minute flights online, you may end up paying a high premium. A ticket at a regular price may end up being $200 more expensive just because you’re booking it last minute. Airlines are smart and they assume that if you’re booking a last minute flight then you have to have it that day and will be willing to pay whatever it takes to get you where you need to go.  A trick to beating this trap is to pick up the phone. If you call a real person instead of scouring the internet you may be pleasantly surprised at the type of deal you might get.

    This guest blog was written by Freedom Travel, specializing in military trips. We offer financing on military airfare, cruises and vacations. With Freedom Travel, you can go now and pay later!

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