It’s still not too late to plan that long summer vacation on the cheap.
These eight tips will help make this your best summer ever—especially when you see how much cash stays in your bank account with these last-minute travel deals.
Last-Minute Booking Sites
For those last minute get-aways, it pays to browse a site that specializes in them. Sites like lastminuteairfarewatchdog
continuously search airline websites and newsletters to find the latest fare reductions and deals. Spa packages, accommodations and rental cars are also available.
Don’t Get Locked into a Specific Date or Time
Flexibility is key for any kind of travel, but when you’re looking to save money, the more flexibility you have when you can take off and when you come home, the better.
Don't think that booking a flight on a certain day of the week leads to automatic savings. Airlines are always messing with prices, and there are too many variables in play (domestic or international; nonstop or layover) to guarantee that buying on a Tuesday saves you more than if you book on Saturday.
Consider Out of the Way Airports
This generally only helps you if you’re traveling within the U.S. But leaving from a smaller airport might save you significant bucks, depending on your destination. There's no guarantee, but it's worth looking into.
Skiing in the Summer?
Of course, the French Riviera is wonderful in the summer, but off-season pricing offer super deals this time of year. Instead of hitting the beaches of Mexico or the Colorado Rockies during winter break like everyone else, head there now to reap big savings.
Follow Airlines and Hotels on Social Media
Do you need a good excuse to keep checking Facebook or Twitter? Sudden deals and packages pop up randomly on social media sites run by airlines and hotel chains. Official tourism boards for a destination city are also great to follow, because they often offer discounts as well as travel tips.
Talk to a Live Person
Sounds old-school, but calling hotels, airlines or car rental companies directly can land you an amazing (and money-saving) trip.
Live Like a Local
Lodging is a big part of your travel expense, especially at busy times. Short-term rental marketplaces like Airbnb or HomeAway can land you lower prices as well as more control over what part of a city or area you want to stay in.
Don’t Forget Travel Apps
Apps are helpful for spontaneous trips when you don’t know where you'll eat, fuel up or spend your time. Detour and Fieldtripper are free apps that use GPS to pinpoint where you are in the world and offer sightseeing info and self-guided tours.
For road trips, GasBuddy
is a great app to scout out cheap gas.
Excerpts printed from LearnVest