Booking a last-minute vacation is common for many of us. However, to get the best bargain on airfares and hotels seems a daunting task. But, with careful planning and research, you can enjoy hefty discounts and have an amazing vacation ahead. Here’s what you need to do.
Being flexible pays off
Finding the last-minute bargain is easier, especially, when hotels and airlines want to get rooms & planes filled up. So procrastination, sometimes, gets the best-deal you have ever come across! Be prepared to travel either during weekdays, very late or early. You might even have to take indirect flights to save bucks. It could also mean traveling to lesser-known destinations and flying during off-peak seasons. Being flexible about arrival and departure dates is equally important.
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Make technology your friend
Before you book tickets, do some legwork. There are websites dedicated to last-minute travel to help you save about 70% on hotels, airfare and other activities. Sites such as Travelzoo.com and LastMinute.com are very helpful. Websites like AirfareWatchdog.com come up with detailed information about price trends to help make the right decision. LicketyTrip.com is another website to get comprehensive information about vacation rentals. You can also use flightnetwork.com to compare flight fares and get the cheapest deals.
Use travel apps
Hotel Tonight is one of the widely used last-minute travel booking applications to find the best hotels offering great discounts. You can find information on all types of hotels in major cities across Europe, Canada, Mexico and US. It’s compatible with Android, iPhone and iPad. Jetsetter is another highly-rated travel app allowing you to search for curated hotels. Use the Kayak application for searching cheap flights at the last-minute with some cool filtering and sorting options. HotelQuickly application lets you search for curated hotels offering best rates across Asia.
Buy non-refundable air tickets
Refundable air tickets have a premium attached. However, if you are pretty sure that you will travel on a specific day, then go for non-refundable tickets to save money. In case the flight is cancelled, airlines will book you on other flight at no extra cost.
Its better you know about the terms and conditions of luggage allowance. Find out the weight restrictions imposed by the airline to avoid paying extra money. When you are travelling with kids, divide the belongings carefully to meet the restricted limit. Knowing about the restrictions on carrying car seats and strollers is also crucial.
Renting a car at an airport is convenient but it will strain your pocket! As consumers, we have to bear the brunt of those airport surcharges, taxes and fees. Car rental companies pay a ‘concession fee’ to the airports for operating near it. These costs can be avoided if you rent cars in town, even if it is at the last-minute. Try and find a taxi or something that costs similar to public transportation. Websites such as Priceline and Hotwire are best to find the cheapest car rentals.
Websites allow you to compare & book flights, rooms and car rentals. However, it’s advisable if you read reviews about places and various other things before making the final call. Sites such as TripAdvisor are extremely helpful. You get detailed reviews about hotels, flights, and places from people who have been there. Yelp is another website where you can read over 39 million reviews.
Before hotel booking, check whether breakfast is included in the package or not. This is especially important if you are holidaying with kids. Read reviews on websites as mentioned earlier. Just because a hotel gets a five-star rating does not mean it’s suitable for you. Reviews help understand certain key points which might be of prime importance to you.
Consult a travel agent
Give a call to your travel agent to find the best last-minute deals for your vacation. An expert can help you save lots of money by providing quick information and knowledge about flights, places, hotels, car rentals and lot more. They will understand your likes & dislikes to come up with the best vacation package.
It’s necessary to do some legwork to get an attractive travel deal while planning a last-minute vacation. With countless resources around us, booking a last-minute holiday can turn out to be fairly easy!
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