How to Find Last-Minute Travel Deals

By Kaitlin Hurtado on February 27, 2020

Sometimes you will want to visit friends and family out of the blue. Other times your friends decide they want to do something spontaneous and go on a little trip for some time away. Some trips don’t take weeks or months of preparations – sometimes you only have a few days notice to get your trip going. Rather than skip-out on some last-minute travel in fear of sky-high prices and bookings, check out these tips on how to find last-minute travel deals.

These tips are less likely to work during travel-heavy times (Hello to the nightmare that is Christmas travel), but will likely save you cash when you need it the most. Be sure to check out the end of the article for even more tips on the rest of your travel planning!

last minute travel deals

Photo: pexels

Look at many options

Emphasis on the plural of options — you can’t just book the first flight you see when planning out some last-minute travel. Lucky for you, there are plenty of apps and websites that do the work for you, pulling up flights that fit what you want and comparing them. Rather than having dozens of airline tabs open, you really only need to be checking between a few tabs to compare your options.

Sure, there are popular sites like Expedia that you would go to automatically, but there are sites dedicated to helping users find last-minute travel deals. These sites include LastMinuteTravel and GoLastMinute. These sites focus on connecting you to deals that have a very short period between booking and the trip, stay, etc. These deals can be up to 75% off the original price. Wondering why it’s so low and if it’s too good to be true? Many companies look to fill as many rooms due to cancellations or low reservations, so why not take advantage of that?

Here are some sites you can use during your search for last-minute travel deals:

  • SecretEscapes: Get last-minute deals on upscale hotels around the world, you can also find deals on air and hotel packages.
  • HotelTonight: Get last-minute travel deals with discounted hotel rooms from the same day, or up to a week in advance in 1,700 cities. In some cases, you can even book a better detail if you wait to reserve a room until after you’ve landed at your destination.
  • Travelzoo: Travel deals don’t need to include just flights and hotel rooms. This app also offers deals on restaurants, spas, and travel activities to help you save the most for your last-minute travel.

Sign up for alerts on great prices

Sometimes, you and your friends will mention somewhere you really want to go together and not really do any planning to make it happen. Why not keep an eye out for a good deal that can make the trip easy, and cheap? Different airlines have newsletters and if you sign up for them, you will be alerted with last-minute flight sales when an airline wants to fill up a trip.

Skyscanner also routinely sends out the best deals of the week to their newsletter subscribers. They also round-up flight deals that are under $100 every week, and you can even sign up for alerts on specific routes you are interested in and get alerted when the price drops.

Be flexible 

With last-minute travel, it may be a lot easier if you are willing to work around which deal is cheaper rather than your own travel plans. When searching for travel prices online, you can usually click “flexible travel dates.” Doing so will allow you to see better deals available on days other than the ones you were originally searching for.

Traveling mid-week may save you some money while booking a hotel room on a certain day would be cheaper than doing it when you originally wanted to. Sure, you may not be traveling on the same time-frame you had originally planned for, but the budget-saving may be worth the change.

Traveling last minute does not have to break your bank or budget if you go about it the right way, and hopefully, with these tips in mind, you’ll be on your trip with a little extra in your bank than you anticipated.

Looking for more travel tips? Here are some other articles on Uloop that can help you out:

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