For a long time, I thought the only way to save money on travel was to book your tickets months in advance. Then I discovered last-minute travel deals which can save you as much as 80 percent on travel, depending on the destination and time of the year.
How Do You Take Advantage Of Last Minute Deals?
There’s no secret and it’s not rocket science to find these deals. You’re not guaranteed to find a better deal on last-minute travel deal websites, but it’s good to have in your repertoire of research tools when looking for good deals on travel.
1- Go To The Deals Section of Travel and Airline Websites.
The next time you use a travel comparison website like Orbitz.com or Expedia.com, look for their “DEALS SECTION”.
This is often where they hide, I mean keep their last-minute travel deals.
TIP: If you are planning to be in another country, sometimes it’s best to use THEIR travel comparison websites.
Here are other examples of country-specific sites and their “DEALS” section.
For example, in the UK you could grab a bargain at Thomson in their deal section.
2- Be Flexible:
In order to take full advantage of last minute deals, you need to be flexible with your dates. Being flexible means that you are fine travelling a few days or weeks before or after certain hot travel days like
3- Sign up for alerts:
Airline websites, travel comparison and deal sites often let you sign up to get notified by email when last-minute deals are available.
4- Follow Airlines On Twitter For Last Minute Travel Deals:
Did you know that Airlines often use Twitter to announce their last minute deals?
I recently saw a sweet deal tweeted by Virgin America — $75 USD to fly from San Francisco to Washington.
You have to be fast though, sometimes these deals are only available for a few days to a few hours. That’s what’s so great about twitter. It’s real time.
Go Check Out Some On Twitter Now!
Virgin America: https://twitter.com/virginamerica
Jet Blue: https://twitter.com/JetBlueCheeps
Airfare Watchdog: https://twitter.com/airfarewatchdog
Why do last minute deals exist? Airlines don’t always sell all of their seats on flights (cruises don’t either). My theory is that airlines would rather sell a seat cheap at the last minute over getting nothing for them at all. What do you think?
5-Don’t Shop For Deals On The Weekend:
In case you didn’t know, the day you shop for your deal can make a huge difference in price.
I once shopped for tickets every day for two weeks. I didn’t change any of my search parameters except for the day I was looking up the prices.
The ticket price flights fluctuated daily just like the stock market but I definitely noticed that certain days were cheaper to search on. As much as a few hundred dollars in some cases.
Guess what Tuesday, Wednesday and Sometimes Thursday is the best day to book flights.
There is a perfectly good explanation for this but I won’t get into that. It is what it is so take advantage of this information and see for yourself.
6- Look For All-Inclusive Last Minute Deals:
You can often save even more money if you book a last-minute bundled vacation that includes a flight, hotel and sometimes a car too.
7- Check Airlines Directly:
Some airlines don’t get aggregated in the travel search engines like Orbitz or Expedia. South West, an American airline is one such airline so check these airlines directly just in case.
8- Be Adventurous And Go Where The Deals Take You:
You may find a deal going someplace you’ve never heard of like Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Don’t dismiss a place just because you’ve never heard of it. Oftentimes these places are more beautiful than you could ever imagine.
Cons flying last minute:
Depending on how you look at it, there are some cons to booking last minute deals.
- It may be harder for larger groups and families to fly last minute together. Deals sometimes only consist of a few seats and they may not be together.
- You may be choosing flights or holidays that other people don’t want. This can also be a plus to find hidden treasure locations.
- The last minute deal may be an unpopular time to travel. For example, it may be the rainy season in Thailand.
- There may not be as many last minute deals during the time you want to go. i.e.. during peak travel times like summer vacations or school holidays when the kids are free to travel you may find that the deals aren’t really that great or non-existent.
- You may not be able to pick your top destination choice. Don’t expect to find last minute deals to Paris for rock bottom prices.
It’s not always convenient to travel using last-minute deals but it’s nice to have one more tool in your toolbox to help you locate those deals and save boatloads of cash.