To most budget-minded air passengers, the idea of a last-minute travel is instantly linked with high ticket prices. The general assumption is that best flight deals can only be found 3 weeks prior to the flight date. But if you wait even longer, you can get surprisingly good bargains. All you require is some patience, persistence and research and you can save a fortune with last minute flight bookings. The following are ways you can save money with last minute flights.
1. Be flexible
If you want to minimize the cost of a last-minute travel, then flexibility is something you have to embrace. You must be willing to travel on weekends, first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Also, be prepared to take connecting flights since most last minute flights do not fly directly. You must be willing just to be on standby waiting for a vacant seat. And because reward tends to come with high risks, you must embrace spontaneity.
2. Act Quickly
The good thing with last minute flight deals is that they do not require you to book in advance. As such, you can book just before you fly. This means that if you come across an airfare that you like, you need to reserve it immediately. This is because last-minute deals are not only limited but also sell out pretty quickly. If you see a fare in the morning, expect that it will have been sold by midday. Therefore, even if you intend to travel next weekend, just book the flight right away because it won’t be waiting for you until you are ready.
3. Use the internet
There are some sites that can help you know flights that are departing from several local airports. You could save hundreds of bucks per ticket with just some flexibility in distance. For example, instead of just focusing on flights departing from Newark, New Jersey, you could look up flights leaving the New York City airports. This way, you will be able to see air ticket prices for JFK, Newark and LaGuardia as well as other can save hundreds of dollars on last minute flights but you must be willing to drive for an extra 30 minutes or so.
4. Keep Track of Flights
Every week, the major airlines as well as some smaller ones release last-minute airfares. If you can keep tabs on these, you will be able to see a pattern. You will be able to know the airlines that serve your city as well as the cities that act as airline hubs. This will enable you to know the airlines that have high chances of offering low ticket prices on your route.
5. Last-Minute Vacations
Sometimes, you may not be able to get ticket deal that you like. In that case, you can consider bundling hotel and air. Most websites today are now providing vacation packages for the last-minute travelers at low prices. These packages tend to worry a lot. They can be weekend or weeklong, air-and-car, air-and-hotel or even hotel-and-extras. There are also domestic or international packages. The packages still allow you to save on last-minute travels, even if you do not get a favorable ticket.
Last minute flights are not recommended because in most cases, they tend to be very expensive. But as a savvy traveler will tell you, you can get pretty fair prices if you are patient, persistent and observant. The tips above will help you save on last-minute flights.