Last Minute Travel Tips
May 22, 2012 Airline Travel
The best way to get great prices on airline tickets is to plan well in advance. However, you can find money-saving last minute travel deals in little time at all. Flexibility is a helpful trait that can help you get to your destination inexpensively.
If you are flexible, you are likely to find inexpensive deals on travel but this leaves little room for upgrades. Last minute flights can be very costly unless you are willing to make some adjustments. This goes against the grain of luxury travel but in some cases, you can find reasonable deals for flights that are difficult to fill.
- Flight times
- Which airport to use
- Changing flights
Taking the redeye flight may not be appealing but it can save you considerable cash. If you are a night owl, this option is just perfect and if you don't mind sleeping while you travel, you may benefit from sleeping through the flight.
Sometimes you can find a better deal by driving a few extra miles to an airport that is farther away from home. There are some considerations to make if you select this approach. The cost of travel to the other airport may cancel out any savings you reap from selecting the cheaper flight.
Few things are as inconvenient as changing flights but the savings can be considerable. If you don't mind spending some downtime in an airport lounge, you may want to consider flights that require a transfer to another plane. Be careful that the delay isn't too long; some require waiting for hours for the next flight.
Remember that the airline would prefer to sell discounted tickets to passengers to having empty seats on the plane. This makes last minute travel plans a great way to snag a deal, similar to buying the last few items at a department store sale. The price may be impressive but the product isn't likely to be stellar.
Money saving strategies
Even though you may not have time to plan the last minute trip, you can benefit from having strategies for getting great deals in place. Once you are in the habit of finding cheap last minute flights, the process becomes second nature. Strategies include online deals, travel consolidator, and special programs.
Keep your favorite airline ticket websites bookmarked for quick access because these sites are your greatest resource for finding last minute travel deals. Airlines often find themselves needing to fill planes quickly before the flights leave. The Internet is the fastest way to get the message out to potential customers.
Airlines use a few methods to advertise last minute sales. Some simply post the latest deals on their websites while others go as far as to email deal messages to people that sign up for the alerts. The best time to look for these deals is in the middle of the week for flights leaving that weekend.
A travel consolidator is a type of wholesaler in the flight industry. Consolidators purchase airline tickets in bulk for deeply discounted prices. Airlines are more than happy to sell the cheap tickets because it ensures that flights are filled before departure. The consolidator makes a profit by selling the tickets separately to consumers.
Normally, it is more expensive to involve a middleman but in the case of airline travel, a consolidator can save you considerable money. The intermediary sells the tickets for a profit but the price is still significantly lower than the airline's advertised prices.
Students can reap the benefits of organizations that specialize in travel deals for youths. Youth fares typically apply to individuals who are 18 to 22 years old, and they don't have to be in school to qualify for the specials. Some deals are for last minute flights for students who want to take a spontaneous trip with little notice.
Airlines readily recognize that many other people are looking for special savings on last minute airfare. Finding cheap flights can involve exploring vacation and travel packages that offer deep discounts for customers. All-inclusive packages are very popular options to consider.
Last minute all-inclusive travel packages work much like the travel consolidator. Companies buy packages in bulk that include airfare and hotel stays combined. When these programs do not sell in a timely manner, they are offered for considerably less money. In some cases, the package deal including hotel accommodations costs less than purchasing a single flight ticket alone.