How to Find Last-Minute Summer Travel Deals
Your home is being renovated and you suddenly need to clear out for a few days. Your kids were invited to grandma’s house for an unexpected week-long stay. Or maybe you’ve simply reached your breaking point at work and need to get away – quickly!
No matter the reason, consumers often plan last-minute vacations during the summer. And with so many options for travelers – from deal hunter apps to package aggregator websites to destination-specific booking engines – planning an inexpensive, spur-of-the-moment trip can be a little overwhelming.
It doesn’t have to be, though. Travelers who follow a few basic recommendations are sure to enjoy an impromptu summer trip at a great price.
5 Tips to Find Last-Minute Travel Deals
1. Be open-minded about travel dates and destinations
Not flying on weekends cuts costs as most airlines include surcharges for flights on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Further, some websites allow travelers to view fares throughout the calendar month and select travel dates based on lower-cost flights.
In terms of destinations, some areas like Europe, are most expensive during the summer months. Others, like Mexico, are more popular during colder times of year. And for those who find themselves less-and-less interested in navigating their way through crowds of vacationers, off-season travel is a great way to avoid the masses.
If your dream destination isn’t among the last-minute travel deals available, why not save it for some time down the road when you have the time to enjoy the planning process? Instead, consider another destination, be spontaneous, and let the deals decide for you. You might fall in love with a destination you’d never even considered.
2. Talk to a travel agent
In the digital age, many people often overlook travel agents. Yet, these professionals not only provide a more personalized experience, but leverage existing relationships within the travel industry for non-disclosed discount packages. Agents book directly with travel suppliers and their reservation systems, meaning they have access to exclusive deals as well as fares you might not be able to find online. Additionally, agents often have years of experience and can provide specialty insights that other providers simply can’t match.
3. Do your research, stay tuned and be prepared to buy
There are plenty of great ways to find and compare deals. You can uncover a great package online, build your trip using hotel and airline websites, or use any number of useful apps for that last-minute trip. Also consider subscribing to alert services and staying tuned to social media. And be prepared to buy. These deals don’t last forever!
4. Use your points and miles wisely
Wondering how to get cheap last-minute flights with rewards points or miles? Try waiting until a week prior to departure. Airlines typically open up additional rewards seating within seven days of flights if seats are available. And if you don’t have a rewards or points account, it’s never too late to sign up and take advantage of special offerings.
5. Reach out to suppliers directly and ask for discounts and upgrades
Though it might sound cliché, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Last-minute travelers who ask for discounts and upgrades might be surprised by how willing hotels, airlines and car-rental companies are to accommodate their wishes based on available inventory.
So, go ahead and take that unexpected trip before the end of summer. The last-minute travel deals are out there for the taking! And don’t forget to add a well-rounded travel protection plan from Generali Global Assistance.
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