The key to last minute travel is being spontaneous and flexible. Actually, it might do you some good to visit a new place on short notice and bring a little bit of adventure in your life. All you have to do is continue reading and we`ll show you how to make you travel plans come true, using last minute travel on a friendly budget.
Don`t be picky when choosing your next travel destination
As we said earlier the key is being spontaneous and having a will to embrace a good opportunity when it comes along. You have to keep your mind open because there must be a handful of destinations you want to go and probably a dozen more places you didn’t even know they exist. When looking for a cheap (last minute) airfare consider destinations that offer a great deals, find fun things to do or just a place to kick up your shoes and relax your feet. The place you are looking for can be an hour drive from your home.
Stay open to new experiences, do not go overboard with planning, look for small and quit places and do not limit yourself to grand destinations. You can easily go somewhere you can drive to or take a cheap train/bus. There are many inexpensive bus lines between cities in USA (like Boston to NY) and affordable regional trains that often offer a free parking at the station.
It`s not about Finding Time but Making It
Making time can be the hardest part of packing up and going on last minute notice. Along with the cost these are the two things that are probably holding you down, but luckily there is something that can be done.
Sometimes is truly impossible to get away from work and family for a longer period of time so consider weekend trips. Don`t over think by trying to justify driving for several hours or flying somewhere far when you have to return soon. Just pack your bags and hit the road because often a short change of pace and environment is all you need. A weekend away can do you wonders! If you can stay longer, that always a plus. Since the main problem is leaving work on short notice there are a couple of things that you can do.
- Use any sick days you have left. Even though it`s not completely ethical you can always fake an illness – emotional sickness can cause a lot of problem and spending some time away can do you good;
- Just ask your boss. I`m sure many of them can understand that a day or two away is not a big deal, considering you`ll get back refreshed and energized for work.
- There is no reason that you can`t ask for a job that you can do remotely. Negotiate a situation where you can score a job flexible enough to let you work from a distance.
The most important thing is to stop making excuses and don`t put off your travel plans.
With that sort out, our focus moves on planning and putting it all together. This means choosing our next destination, finding a place to stay, getting there and having a great time.
Where to Stay and What to Do
Since every town has something exiting and interesting to offer, choosing the right place to stay can be very important. If hotels is what you prefer than look for a smart deal from Booking and tools like Bidding Traveler and Hipmunk can be of a great assistance. On the other hand if you are looking or rooms or apartments than I`ll recommend Airbnb, HouseTrip or VRBO.
In this case you can go by cheaper with the benefit of having an actual home with a kitchen and if you are lucky an access to computer, TV station, books etc. Sometimes having a mindset like you are actually moving there can help you learn and understand your destination. Doing the everyday simple stuff like catching a movie or grabbing a drink/bite are just as important as running from one tourist attraction to another. The true experience lies in what normal people do.
How to get a Cheap Flight
Today, there are many ways of finding cheap lights. A great way to start is by using sites like Hipmunk, Google Flights and Invisible Hand to get alerts for cheep flights. But you`ll have to take things further by doing your own research by using date range instead fixed dates. Many airlines like Virgin America are showing range by default. Often you`ll find better deals on weekdays and evenings.
They say that good things come to those who wait. Same thing goes for last minute plane tickets. You`ll be surprised by a pleasant good barging that comes after some patience, research and persistence. Follow this steps for a quick gateway and a glorious vacation.
- A cheap flight comes spontaneously when you have the will to be on standby for an open seat. Having flexibility dates will definitely increase your chances.
- Use the internet to find flights from a range of local airports. Don`t fix on your local area only. Driving an extra hour can save hundreds of dollars.
- The cheapest flights often come early in the morning or late at night and they usually have the highest number of standby/absentee seats.
- Follow discount sites that specialize in a certain region that offer tickets from smaller carriers. Some sites like Airtech.com offer have flexible tickets to Europe and Hawaii.
- Unfortunately the best chances for success are when you travel alone. Traveling in company requires coordination and a liberal window of time for arrivals.
Since the cheapest flight are often one-way only, make sure you don`t get stuck in your destination and be prepared to pay a full price on your way back.
Like we said at the beginning the key is being flexible and spontaneous. This means not ruling anything out and staying open to different locations and dates.
How to Get Last-Minute Deals on Lodging
- Try Priceline.com. They receive tons of rooms from hotels than can be acquired at low rates. But before bidding do your research for other discounts on sites like Hotels.com Hotwire.com and Expedia. Your bid should always be at least 15% lower than the flat rate offered by Hotwire and 30% less than other websites.
- Call hotels directly. All hotels tend not to list their lowest rate on-line. If the hotel has a large amount of rooms available the manager will be more than willing to lower the rates than advertised on web. There is nothing you can lose by asking, so go for it.
- As we stated numerous times before having flexible dates (one day sooner or later can make a huge difference in price) and not being picky about room types will increase your chances significantly.
- Take full advantage from organizations where you are a member. Just mention the name (of your automotive club, the military or any other social organization like AARO or AAA) and ask if they offer any discounts.
We hope that this article along with its tips and guidelines can help you on your next travel adventure or last minute trip. If we have managed to open the door to some great memories and new experiences (while saving you some cash 🙂 than our job here is done! Remember to stay open minded and embrace every opportunity that come along.