Affordability and last-minute travel aren’t usually mentioned in the same sentence—especially during the hectic holiday season when it seems like everyone across the country wants to travel to visit friends and family, or take advantage of time off to vacation in warmer weather. Nonetheless, with a few tricks up your sleeves, you’ll find there really are ways to cut costs and save on last-minute travel.
Plus, when you book your airfare and hotel through Splender you’ll find great deals and receive cash back on all purchases!
Here are 5 ways to save on last-minute travel whether you’re planning a trip over the waning weeks of 2016 or any other time of year.
Avoid the busiest travel days
Do your best to avoid the most popular travel days during the holidays. For example, it’s much cheaper to depart on Christmas day than December 23rd.
We also advise you to shop on a Tuesday or Wednesday for the best last-minute vacation rates. Many airlines launch sales on Monday afternoons and by Tuesday competing airlines often respond by lowering their prices. By the time Thursday rolls around vendors typically anticipate weekend travel, which motivates them to increase rates on hotels, flights and car rentals.
The opportunity for cost saving is one of the greatest advantages of traveling in the off-season and between the expensive holiday travel periods; you’ll find many destination and vacation options. Because hotels and attractions need to lure more travelers during these slower periods, they frequently offer discounts, both for lodging and nearby attractions. Plus, with fewer crowds you can enjoy a more intimate experience at some top attractions, which might be impossible during busy peak seasons.
Winter is actually a great time to travel to most places, especially right after Thanksgiving and before the Christmas travelers head out (two of the most expensive travel times). Europe is significantly cheaper during the winter months, for example, as well as tropical destinations such as Belize or Costa Rica and even many of the country’s National Parks.
Book a hotel room the same day as your stay
Many apps and websites feature last-minute hotel deals that offer significant discounts to those booking a room for that night, such as Hotels.com (5% cash back via Splender) and Priceline.com (2 % cash back). If such last-minute scheduling makes you nervous, book a room in advance at a hotel that has a liberal cancellation policy, and then cancel that reservation if you wind up finding a better deal. Plus, comparing hotel rooms and prices has never been easier when using sites like Expedia.com (2% cash back) or Booking.com (3% cash back).
Install a web browser extension
Installing a web browser extension can help you find awesome last-minute travel deals and save even more. Browser extensions will alert you to cash back offerings, coupon codes and discounts. Splender’s Splender Plus is the newest extension on the market. It can be downloaded free at the Google Chrome Web Store and surfaces cashback rewards and coupons at over 900 online retailers (which includes airlines, hotels, car rental companies and other travel providers).
And last but not least, the best way to save money on last-minute trips is to have some flexibility. Do you mind taking a flight with a layover instead of non-stop? Are you willing to stay in a hotel in a less touristy part of town? Or stay in the extra bedroom of a welcoming host’s home? A little adventure can go a long way in saving you A LOT of cash!
And remember, when you shop for all of your accommodation needs through Splender.com, you’ll find great deals and receive cash back on every purchase.
What are you waiting for? Sign up today!