Taking Advantage of Last-Minute Travel Deals

With the summer holiday time drawn to an end, now is the perfect chance to score some wonderful last-minute travel deals. Airfare remains low, and industry experts predict it to remain so, as demand remains low. Generally speaking, if you have a vacation you have planned for awhile, your best bet for low fare to a specific destination is to book as far in advance as possible. However, if you like the sense of adventure and fun, afforded by a spur-of-the-moment decision, and if you have the time to get away, you can take advantage of terrific opportunities.

If this is your plan, it’s a good idea to keep some last-minute travel tips in mind. First off, be flexible. The best deals can be found for flights that don’t leave at popular times. So if you can fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday and don’t mind leaving quite early or changing planes, you’re already ahead of the game.

Be flexible in your destination, too. You should monitor websites that offer travel specials and be ready to jump when one pops up that suits you. For example, British Airways offers weekly suggestions of their best deals from Bordeaux to Boston to Bora Bora. Sometimes you can even use your BA miles to pay for the fare, so that all you need to do is pack up, manage your Heathrow airport parking, and take off! Many travel sites will e-mail specials to you, too, based upon your preferences. Some airlines only offer their deepest discounts to those on their frequent flier e-mail lists. If you have a specific location in mind, your best bet is to check out sites that specialize in that region (e.g., CheapCaribbean.com). Other sites specialize in particular interests, whether you seek a beach getaway or a wine tour.

Beyond airfare, you can save money once you’ve arrived at your destination. Some of the best bargains are offered on vacation packages, where hotel stays and flights are bundled together. Some sites specialize in last-minute deals on vacation rentals, and if you’re not traveling during peak holiday periods, some of your best auto rental deals can be found at the last minute.

Last-minute doesn’t have to mean disorganized. If you’ve purchased a vacation package, your needs should be taken care of for the length of your stay. You can make the trip smoother on the home end by arranging offsite Heathrow airport parking and checking your flight details before you leave home. Make sure you know exactly which terminal you depart from, have all your paperwork in order, and know if the flight’s on time before you even head out.

Such preparation and planning will help ensure that your last-minute vacation provides ample enjoyment for the money!