Last Minute Travel - 10 Tips To Make It Affordable

By: Adrian Kinley

If a situation has come up and you need to catch a flight quickly and make arrangements for last minute travel, then you need to be sure that you don't panic over the situation and take as much time as you can to research your options. Even though there are times when people end up paying through the nose to secure a seat at the last minute, with the internet there are more options than ever for finding some of the best last minute airfare deals.

You might have noticed that there is intense competition in the travel industry and fierce battles between travel websites to capture your attention. That factor is actually good news for travelers who now have many more options than ever before in finding discounted tickets for traveling last minute. With a little time and research to compare the airfare deals on the different travel sites, you can walk away with cheap deals on airfares, hotel reservations and even car reservations.

Last minute travel can be risky and it can be quite a challenge, but if you are up for it you can usually get amazing rates that could even be considered a steal. There are a few travel tips for trying to find those last minute deals that will swing the odds in your favor of securing discount airfare. Following are the top ten tips to help you find incredible airfare deals on last minute flights.

Be Flexible: While not always the most convenient for you, if you are able to take a flight a day earlier or later than your original plan, then you can often get very cheap airfare deals.

Airlines depend on those travelers who have very little flexibility and they soak them with full-priced plane tickets. Taking an early morning or late night flight can also help you enjoy cheap airfares.

Shop Around: Many times people are in a panic when trying to arrange for last minute flights. Spending an extra 20 minutes on a couple of other travel websites might yield discounts that can save you a bundle. Don't just grab the first deal you see available.

Check with the Airlines: Some airlines don't post their best fares for last minute flights on the travel websites, or even on their own site, while other airlines only post last minute flight rates on their own website. Checking directly with the airlines could uncover those last two seats on the flight you want, but didn't show up anywhere else.

Get Travel Alerts: Prices for last minute seats can even vary on the same flight! The airlines want every seat occupied and many of them use email travel alerts to accomplish this end.

Subscribe to Travel Newsletters: Many travel related sites offer regular newsletters and some have options that will inform you of special last minute deals. These sites regularly search the internet for the best deals on last minute flights and will send an email when they have found one that meets your criteria.

Check with Travel Agents: Internet booking has hurt many travel agents and has cut into their income. Many times, they can use their connections and pass the savings on to you to help you out with your last minute flying situation. If you find one who goes out of their way for you, then consider using them for future travel bookings.

Package Deals: Sometimes, you will find a package deal for air tickets and hotel reservations that will fit the bill for your last minute plans. Most packages are priced for double occupancy, so check the fine print. If traveling alone, then this tip won't help much in most instances.

Saturday Updates: Be sure to check all of the airline websites on Saturday mornings. Airfare deals are often updated and occasionally special deals are posted at the end of the week. Many special rates are for a limited number of seats, so Saturday morning is a good time to be able to jump on a deal.

Mid-week Flying: If your last minute situation allows for it, then try to book your flight for Tuesday or Wednesday. These are routinely the slowest travel days and the days when there will be more empty seats for the airlines to fill. Often you can save at least 25% on your air tickets just by shifting your departure day to the middle of the week.

Look Around: When your last minute travel is taking you into a major metropolitan airport, check out the cost of flying into nearby, smaller airports. Often a different landing field will be closer to your final destination and can save you some time, as well as money on last minute flights.

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