13 Last Minute Travel Tips to Spontaneously Travel Like a Pro
We’ve seen it in the movies: the hopeless romantic is chasing the love of their life to stop them from getting on a plane, and they purchase a last-minute ticket to get through security. It always seems to work out for them, but the reality is that it probably won’t for you.
These last minute travel tips won’t help you if you’d like to chase your love through the airport, but they will help you plan a quick getaway this Labour Day weekend.
Sure, you don’t really have time or money to fly to Mexico before school starts up again, but there’s no reason you can’t have a last minute weekend away somewhere else.
Celebrate the long weekend, and the last few days of summer, with a spontaneous trip. These last minute travel tips will help you make the most out of your weekend before the chaos of fall is upon us.
1. Sign up for Newsletters and Updates
As soon as you decide you want to take a long weekend trip, sign up for newsletters and follow travel companies on social media.
Companies often send exclusive deals to their email subscribers or broadcast them on social media. Keep an eye out for any deals that appeal to you.
Additionally, websites like Groupon send you emails with featured package deals. This gives you the opportunity to jump on those deals before everyone else snatches them up.
2. Make it a Road Trip
A long weekend road trip is a great way to get a quick, last minute trip in without spending a ton of cash on accommodations or travel fees.
Consider this option if you’re getting worried about your budget but still want to enjoy what’s left of summer.
No matter where you live, there are always cool road trip destinations around you. Take a trip up to a beach town for the weekend, or visit somewhere you’ve never been before. Half the fun is the trip itself, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
3. Feeling Really Spontaneous? Try a Secret Hotel Deal
Try Hotwire if you’re feeling adventurous. There are a few others like it, but what these websites do is quietly sell off unbooked hotel rooms and vacation packages for bigger companies that wouldn’t have been used originally.
How it works: just put in your date of arrival, price range, and the amount of stars you’d like, and it finds you a room.
The catch? You don’t get a choice, and you won’t know the name of the hotel until you pay.
Doing this can save you a ton of money, but it’s also a little risky. You don’t know where you’re staying until you’ve already booked and confirmed, so you never know what the conditions of the room or building are going to be like.
4. Flight Deals
It’s harder to find last minute deals on flights than it is for accommodations or package deals. That’s because airlines generally increase their prices closer to the flight instead of offering discounted rates.
However, it’s not impossible to find a good deal on a flight if you know where to look. For example, flights are often up to 20% cheaper if you leave in the middle of the week.
5. Apps, Apps, Apps!
We’re a little biased because we obviously love apps! But downloading one to your phone can help you save big on last minute accommodations.
Here are some of our favourite travel apps for tracking price changes, scoring deals, and comparing different locations:
6. Be Open About Your Destination
Popular destinations can book up in advance, and when you’re looking for a cheap deal, sometimes you can’t be too picky.
If you have your heart set on a particular destination, it’s harder to choose deals that make more sense for your budget.
For example, if you want to go to New York City for the weekend, but you found a better deal somewhere else, you can always visit the Big Apple later. However, if you’ve had your heart set on New York City, you’ll won’t be able to enjoy your trip to the cheaper destination.
Additionally, if all you want is to go somewhere hot, or explore a new city, you’ll have a fantastic trip, wherever you go.
7. Don’t Expect Everything to go According to Plan
When you’re travelling last minute, it’s important to understand that you’re leaving a lot of your trip up in the air. Just like picking your destination, the trip itself isn’t always going to go the way you want it to.
You probably aren’t going to get exactly what you want, but you are going to save a ton of money if you follow the right steps.
If you’re the kind of person who needs to travel with an itinerary, a set schedule, and places certain expectations on your trip, last minute travel probably isn’t for you. However, if all you care about is a fun long weekend trip with your friends, you’re going to have a great time.
8. Go For Package Deals
Usually, if you opt for a package deal instead of booking all of your accommodations separately, you can save a ton of money. Paying for and booking everything separately adds up, especially with individual tax costs.
Even if you’re just doing a long weekend road trip, you can find some package deals for activities and attractions in your destination. This will help you to bundle your trip and save as much as you can.
9. There is a “14 Day Rule”
In the travel industry, “last minute” usually means about 14 days in advance of your trip. This is the time when some airlines, hotels, and travel companies reduce their prices to sell out the unsold spots.
Make sure you check around and compare to see who has the best deal for your money, and take advantage of this window.
10. Clear Your Cache, Cookies, and Browser History
Most companies nowadays have cookies on their site that end up in your browser so they can re-target you during your search. When this happens, they sometimes increase the prices because they know what you’re looking at, so they know where you want to go.
Always clear your browser of this data before you begin a new search. If you use Google Chrome, you can also do your search in an Incognito tab.
11. Don’t Hesitate to Book- Just do it
When you’ve found a deal you’re interested in, and everyone in your travelling group agrees, book it right away. Don’t procrastinate any longer than you already have.
Last minute travel deals often happen because the hotel or destination is filling up and they want to get rid of the leftover rooms. Additionally, those great prices appeal to more than just you- don’t let someone else grab the deal because you were too busy procrastinating.
12. Try a Camping Trip Instead
Camping is a great way to reduce the cost of your long weekend trip. A camping trip is much easier on your budget than a big weekend vacation, and you can almost always find a vacant campsite at the last minute.
It’s also easier to camp if you have a big group of people you need to coordinate with because you won’t need to worry about flights and hotels.
13. Download Caddle to Earn Cash For Your Impromptu Getaway
In addition to just figuring out ways to save, why not actually increase your budget by adding cash to it?
With our cash back offers, you can earn on your everyday purchases. From groceries to makeup and toiletries, new offers come out every Thursday with more opportunities. You can also take our surveys for even more cash back.
Download Caddle now and you’ll be earning extra cash faster than you can send a Snapchat!