Most of us plan at least one vacation a year. However, there are plenty of moments where we just want to get away from it all for a short while, unplanned. Unfortunately, that tends to be unaffordable. Yet, as expensive as traveling can be, there are ways to bring the price down, particularly if you decide to go on a spur of the moment. The best way to do that is by finding last minute flight deals. You can find these deals in lots of different places, so you need to know where to look and how to be a savvy shopper. Let’s take a look at some ideas to help you get that vacation at an affordable price.
The Internet Is Your Best Friend:
What seems like an eternity ago but is actually only about 20 or so years ago, the world didn’t have the internet. The only way someone could get last minute flight deals, would be to actually go the airport and hope for the best. This was a lot of fun, as you could end up anywhere from Rio de Janeiro to Poughkeepsie, but it was also risky. Most people who tried doing this would end up simply going home again, with no surprise vacation at all.
Today, however, the internet is readily available and it is also highly sophisticated. What this means is that you no longer have to go to the airport and hope for the best, but rather that you can plan an entire trip from the comfort of your own couch.
You must understand that airlines would rather sell a seat for a cheap price, than let the plane leave with the seat empty. However, they don’t want everybody to simply wait until the last minute before they book. Hence, they make it a little bit harder for people to find such deals. One option that you may have is to simply contact the airline and ask if they have anything available. However, it is better to use the internet and use websites that focus specifically on last minute flight deals. By the way, those are deals that are booked two weeks in advance, so you don’t even have to hope for the best on the day itself anymore.
What Are Your Options?
In order to really get the best deals, you should also consider taking an indirect flight. It is often much cheaper to choose a flight with stops, than to fly directly. Indeed, choosing to have a couple of connections, which could be a great adventure as well, is a fantastic way to save money. Hence, do make sure you use websites that look at the different methods of getting from A to B.
If you book last minute vacations and flights quite regularly, you might want to consider becoming a member of a travel club. There are numerous last minute clubs that get really good deals long before they are advertised. Additionally, they have good relations with hotels so you can see a significant discount on hotel rates as well. Sometimes, that is as much as 65%. So while you do have to pay for membership to those clubs, it is often worth it.
Top Last Minute Flight Deals Tips:
The reality is that you just don’t know when an emergency will pop up. You may have to travel on business, have a family emergency, or suddenly feel like you just need to get away. By following the next few tips, you should be able to do that without worrying about how you will pay your bills this month. At the same time, you have to be realistic. There are destinations that simply will never be cheap, and there are periods of time, such as the summer, when it is almost impossible to get a last minute flight deal, because all the places will simply have be taken. However, the following tips may still help you:
1. Sign up to the newsletters of all relevant online travel portals. Different travel companies usually have interesting and lucrative offers available, many of which will be exclusive to newsletter members at least for a short period of time. Make sure, however, that the websites are genuine and that you can trust them. Investigate their reviews through third party websites and social media.
2. Be flexible. If you are willing to wait a couple of days longer, or if you don’t mind flying during undesirable times (late at night or early on the morning), you could get a really good deal. However, be aware that you’re not the only one willing to take those deals, and they do come on a first come, first serve basis.
3. Keep your eye out for discounts. These tend to be available for certain population groups, such as the elderly, military personnel, students, and so on. Additionally, there are other discounts to look out for, such as Groupon deals, magazine coupons, and so on.
4. Speak to travel agents you know and trust. Remember that getting good deals is their business. And yes, you do pay the travel agent for finding your journey, but they are also the ones that know about the best discounts, so it is likely that you will still pay much less overall. Do make sure, however, that you compare the deal they offer to what you can find yourself online, and to what is offered by other travel agents as well. Although you are in somewhat of a hurry because you want to book last minute, you should never feel so pressured that you no longer compare the market.
The final thing you might want to consider was mentioned previously: contact the airlines directly. This does mean that you are going last minute the old fashioned way, however, which means that you should be willing to fly there and then, on that very day. However, there is something really adventurous about that, and about not knowing whether to pack a bikini or snow boots. If you are just looking for a quick getaway, this could be your best option.