Last minute travel deals can be some of the most lucrative deals out there. If you can wait until the last minute to make your travel plans, you may save quite a bit of money. The Internet has opened the world of travel to everyone. There are many travel deals out there just waiting for you to snatch them up.
For some people last minute trips can be overwhelming to organize. You need to be very flexible to be able to jump on a great offer. But if you are willing to wait until the last minute to plan your big vacation, you can get some great deals. If you know where to look you may be able to find some travel specials that offer you a great bargain and therefore be hard to refuse.
When you are looking for last minute hotel deals, much will depend on where you are planning on going. Some hotel deals can be easy to find if there is a large inventory available in the area of your destination. When doing a last minute booking you are usually advised to wait to make your reservation no earlier than a week before your expected arrival date. If you can wait until a day or two before your arrival, then your chances for a great bargain are even better!
If a hotel room is still available, chances are the hotel will accept a much lower bid. You should check out standard travel sites like Hotels.com, Travelocity or Expedia to get an idea of what the standard rates hotels are charging for their rooms. If you’ve looked into several comparable hotels, and you’d like to stay in one particular chain, inform the hotel that one of their competitors is offering a cheaper rate. The hotel may do a price match for you.
If you are someone who overlooks the possibility of renting a condo or house instead of a hotel room, you are probably unaware that houses and condos can be very comparable in price. When you factor in the extra space a vacation house or condo provides, the benefits are even more attractive. If you are contacting the owner of the property directly or a rental agency, you should try to wait close to your travel time. The longer you wait the more the property owner or manager may be willing to reduce the rate. An empty vacation house won’t be bringing in any money, so they’ll have an incentive to give you a bargain.
Sites that offer advice on finding the cheapest airfare often suggest purchasing tickets more than two weeks in advance of the travel date, since often fares go up about 14 days ahead of time. In some cases, however, if you are willing to wait until the last minute to secure a flight, you can get an even better deal. If there are several people traveling in your party, though, your chances of everyone getting on the same flight at the last minute are limited.
Another option regarding airline travel is to travel on standby. In this case, you need to wait at the airport to see if anyone cancels his or her flight. Keep in mind that there is usually a standby list, and if several people are on the list, you may not make the flight. Again, this is even more complicated if you are in a group traveling together.
Finally, finding travel deals at the last minute may take a bit of finesse, but the extra effort and possible risk you take can certainly be worth it. With so many travel options available, it is possible to make the perfect travel plans with only a moment’s notice!
There are a few things you should watch out for when booking a last minute trip. In many cases, last minute travel sites sell what is known in the industry as “distressed inventory”. This can be center seats on airplanes and left-over rooms no one else has booked. Remember that your satisfaction with both air and hotel arrangements is important.
Beware that there can also be hidden costs on last minute deals. While the first price you see on a travel site is usually quite affordable, that generally reflects a stay in the least expensive hotel available in the destination you choose. You usually find out that you want to upgrade your room to make your stay a bit more comfortable. Then it can easily cost you a few extra hundred bucks. Keep in mind that most last minute weekend travel deals are non-refundable, so don’t buy that fantastic trip until you’re positive you can make it, and then go and have a terrific time.