Whether its flights or lodging that you’re in search for at the last minute, and you’re just hopeless about getting a decent deal on the trip, here are some questions for you to ask yourself to help you see the big picture and explore more options.
- Did you visit more than just your favorite booking sites, or the ones you’re familiar with? You need to check as many as you can, even if its one of those sites which extracts deals from various websites such as Orbitz. You might be surprised by how different the results can be. There are websites which specialize in last minute deals on hotels, as well as last minute deals on flights. As of this writing, 5-9-2012, here are some specials going on at CheapOair.
Cheap Flight Deals
Book By: May 15, 2012 Travel Period: Through May 31, 2012 From To Round Trip 1Fares (USD) Baltimore Boston $121 Las Vegas Los Angeles $129 Los Angeles Denver $186 Chicago New York $219 Chicago Dallas $224 Denver Austin $245 Washington Atlanta $245 Denver San Francisco $262 Boston Myrtle Beach $269 Dallas Kansas City $278 Boston Orlando $281 Atlanta Miami $282 Chicago Las Vegas $294 Los Angeles Detroit $360 San Francisco Chicago $369
- Are you flexible about the exact dates and times that you take off, or arrive at the hotel? If you can settle for a layover at an airport (or two) for a lower price, you can possibly bring enough entertainment with you or your laptop to get work done so that this wait is more bearable.
- Did you try communicating directly with the airlines or hotel staff? Its possible that you could negotiate a lower rate. If you need to cancel your trip and you’re bound to a fee if you do, maybe you could talk them into waiving any cancellation fees. If there is a death in the family I strongly believe that its only fair that they waive any cancellation fees. Even if nothing this dramatic took place, consider making something up if you’re eager enough to save money.
- Could you fly to a nearby city if that price happens to be much lower, and then commute the remainder of the trip? Estimate the total cost differences and if you’ve got enough extra time to do this then you may as well.
- If you need to book a hotel at the last minute and the costs of staying are more expensive than you thought they would be, consider some less appealing options for lodging such as staying in a hostel, or even couch surfing – both of which are pretty safe but the latter is actually free. There is a lack of privacy, but if you don’t feel that its creepy or gross then I’d recommend trying it.
So the main theme of this list is flexibility. Last minute traveling may not be for people who are cheap or too nit picky. But even if you are dirt poor, there are still ways to accomplish it.