Sometimes you pay for procrastination, and other times, procrastination pays. Just because you didn’t start planning last summer doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a fabulous trip this spring with your family or friends. From shopping early in the morning for deals to traveling to the destinations that are hungry for your business, planning a last-minute spring break trip can be exciting and economical.
Finding your next vacation
Since hotels, airlines, rental car companies, and cruise ships lose money for every vacant seat, spot, or car, they tend to pass their secret openings and inventories on to travel agents and third-party consolidators, and oftentimes, these can be the best reserve when it comes to planning a last-minute trip. “Use [all] available resources,” advises Jim Strong, president of Strong Travel Services, a highly respected leader in the travel industry. “Virtuoso travel consultants have great access to last minute deals, but also consider programs that alert you to price reductions.”
Here are a few tips on how to find the best deals for last-minute spring break travel and where you should consider visiting:
- When in doubt call. Even if you’re already in your vacation city, always call for reservations to ask about the latest deals. The second you step foot in the lobby of a hotel or entertainment venue, you lose your biggest bargaining chip.
- Call a travel agent. Travel agents are eager to help you find the right vacation for your timeframe and budget, and oftentimes have the lowest rates at their disposal! Hint: always ask your agent to compare prices with at least two tour operators.
- Shop smart and shop early … in the morning! “Airlines adjust their discount seat inventory in the early AM hours,” Strong says. If possible, look for early morning flights since they allow for more availability and less airport traffic. Strong also recommends travelers be open to alternative airports and remember to take advantage of memberships and credit card benefits to help save some money!
- Use Groupon! Signing up for local deals in the destination you’re heading to can be a great way to save some dough when it comes to eating out and finding adventures for your family. Hint: If you can’t find the time to use your Groupon, sites like www.dealsgoround.com are designed to help you re-sell your purchased deals to interested buyers.
- Rent a house. Hotels book up pretty quickly for spring break. When that happens, a great alternative is book a vacation rental from an owner via VRBO. Sometimes you can end up with a three-bedroom home with a kitchen for the same price as the hotel down the street.
- Travel to destinations hungry for tourists. “Spring break can be a great time to travel internationally,” Strong says, while recommending travelers look at places like Mexico whose resort areas are still as safe as they ever were. Other uncommon spring break destinations he recommends for last-minute travel this time of year include: Turkey, London, Paris, Italy, Tahiti, Australia, and even Kenya.