Given the state of the world, the thought of planning a holiday a year or more in advance seems unreasonable. However, we recommend that everyone keeps dreaming of gorgeous sunsets in faraway destinations. If you follow our top tips for taking advantage of last-minute travel deals, you might find yourself on an adventure sooner than expected.
Catching a great travel opportunity requires you to be flexible. If you are rigidly set on a destination, timeframe, hotel, or airline, then you can never expect anything to work in your favor. However, if you find a redeye flight to Lisbon, you can always leave your luggage in storage while you explore the city and then venture onto your next European destination. Flexibility means you’re much more likely to snag a last-minute travel deal.
Book your holiday time
Some jobs require their employees to block their holiday time months in advance, especially for prized holiday time like Christmas, Easter, or the school break. However, peak vacation prices also fall over these times when children are out of school and families want to get together. If you aren’t committed to taking your leave from work during school holidays, consider booking in January through March. This way, you can escape during the height of winter and take advantage of fantastic deals.
Mid-week is often the cheapest to fly
While we are on the subject of booking vacation time, remember that flights also have peaks and troughs with pricing. Generally, mid-week is the cheapest time to fly, so you might want to speak to your boss about taking time off from a Wednesday or Thursday rather than starting on a weekend.
Not every credit card is alike, so it is worth comparing different options. If you love to travel, look for a card to gather points towards hotel stays, flights, or car hire. Some credit cards automatically offer travel, medical, and cancellation insurance as an added perk. While you are looking, be sure to sign up for a credit card with no fees for foreign transactions and a bank card with minimal charges for overseas cash withdrawals.
Unless you already have a credit card with built-in travel insurance, you might want to look into annual plans. Insurance companies can offer annual coverage for multiple trips abroad up to a specified number of days. This way, you can jump on a plane at a moment’s notice knowing you’re insured for every eventuality.
Paperwork at the ready
Last-minute deals won’t wait for you to get your passport sorted or documentation in order. Ensure that everything is always up to date and kept together in a convenient location. If you travel with kids, then you might need additional documents such as birth certificates, custody paperwork, or an affidavit for travel. While you are at it, we highly recommend uploading all of these essential documents to a Google Drive or Dropbox file and sharing access with your next of kin.
Every avid traveler understands the importance of lists. In fact, we recommend keeping a checklist in your luggage so that you can pack in a flash. In addition, you’re more likely not to overpack and avoid expensive baggage fees if you have your packing down to a fine art.
Being ready to jump at a travel deal at a moment’s notice is integral to catching a fantastic offer. However, you can also take the lead and contact resorts or hotels in your dream destination and see if they have any special packages when booking directly.