With the holiday travel season upon us soon, you may be wondering how you will be able to afford to go visit loved ones, especially if you are still not sure what your plans are yet and you may be doing some last-minute traveling. If you are hoping to scope out the best deals for any last-minute holiday travel plans you have, here are some tips for doing just that.
6 Tips for Saving Money on Last Minute Holiday Travel
Wait as late as possible to book hotels and flights, but be careful. This may seem like it’s playing with fire, but in many cases this is the best way to get a great deal. Keep in mind, though, that doing this puts you at risk to get a less than stellar hotel or even miss out on a flight seat at all. Start looking around 1 month in advance and go from there. Make sure to have a back up plan in case this doesn’t work out.
Be very flexible. The key to saving the most you can on last minute travel is to be extremely flexible in what airport you depart from and arrive at near you destination, when you leave and on what dates you leave. Try plugging in a few dates on the online booking discount sites and see what I mean. Just one day either way can make all the difference.
Travel on Christmas day or on Thanksgiving. This is a day that hardly anyone wants to travel on, but doing so could save you hundreds of dollars if you are doing so with your whole family. Plan to open presents the next day or do your feast on a different day than the actual holiday. After all, it doesn’t really matter when you do it as far as a specific day goes.
Don’t travel with packages or gifts. With many airlines tacking on extra baggage fees these days, the best way to avoid these is to travel light. Instead, ship them to your destination a few days before you leave and time it so they get there around the same time you do. You will find this is much cheaper in the end.
Buy two one way tickets. If you do this, you may be able to get a better deal in the end. It gives you the option of flying on two different planes and often, one-way flights don’t sell as well this time of year so the airlines are willing to sell them at a discount.
Watch closely for last minute deals if you still haven’t booked your flight 2 weeks before you plan to depart. Airlines often try to sell off their unbooked seats at huge discounts this close to the holiday. This will often mean that the deals that are out there are very limited, so make sure to check daily to see if you can snag one.
Do you ever do any last minute holiday traveling? Do you have any tips you would like to share? I would love to hear them in the comments.