Looking for a quick getaway, but worried it’s impossible without planning ahead? Sometimes the travel bug hits, and you suddenly need to getaway. Perhaps an important family event was scheduled last-minute, or maybe you found a great deal on your dream trip to Paris. Whatever the case may be, you can still organize a great vacation with short notice. Keep in mind these tips while you’re planning:
1. Take Advantage of Automatic Savings
When preparing for a last-minute vacation, it helps to have money already set aside for such trips. You can do this by keeping a travel account to use for spur-of-the-moment adventures. Found a BOGO cruise sale you can’t pass up? Book it stress-free, knowing you already have money earmarked for this purpose.
Having a travel account is a great start, but finding a way to save money can be a challenge. One way to do this is by setting a budget and letting online banking manage the rest. Many banks offer a round-up feature. Each time you swipe your debit card, the amount is rounded up to the nearest dollar. The difference is then automatically deposited into savings.
You likely won’t notice a few cents here and there, but it can add up in your savings quickly. And if you’re on a tight budget, this will help you save that without cutting into other expenses. It’s an easy and automated way to save up throughout the year.
2. Pounce on Flight Deals
Oftentimes, the most expensive part of travelling is the airfare. When planning a trip, take a cue from seasoned travellers and book your flight first to find the best deal. Looking to go on an adventure without a particular destination in mind? You just might find a half-price flight next month to a city you’ve been wanting to explore.
Travellers can also find savings based on when they fly. Flights during the summer, when many people are taking vacations, can be costly. To save, look for dates after the summer is over. Weekend flights can also be more expensive than flying during the middle of the week.
To save time searching for deals, set up an alert. Several sites allow you to sign up for these notifications, letting you know when flights for a certain city become available. You can also set price filters to find deals within your budget. The best deals go quickly, so make sure to act fast!
3. Investigate Vacation Packages
When planning last-minute, staying within a particular budget can be a challenge. To help you stay on budget, look into booking a trip package. These bundles let you see the price of everything upfront and do the planning for you. All you have to do is book the trip and pack your bags.
Travel groups like Contiki Tours are great if you’re age 18-35 and looking to see the world. Other groups might be geared to people of retirement age. These packages allow you to travel with friends or family but are also a great option if you’re vacationing solo. You’ll get the opportunity to connect with other travellers who have similar destination interests.
Other options for vacation packages are all-inclusive destinations like resorts or cruise ships. If you’re interested in taking a cruise, start by looking up cruise lines, such as Disney and Royal Caribbean. They will often post upcoming sales directly on their websites. Food, lodging, and certain activities are all included in the price of the trip, and some even include the flight.
Be sure to search for trips in your price range, depending on how much you’ve saved in your travel account. This will make budgeting easy as you explore your options.
4. Work With a Travel Agent
We may be living in an age of apps and online alerts, but don’t discount connecting with a travel agent. Their job is to find the best deals to fit your travel budget and destination preferences. So while you’re at work or school, they can look for the deals you don’t have the time to find. Not only that, but they may just help you find a trip you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
You can work with a travel agent directly to book your trip. Be sure to let them know your purpose for the trip, how many days, and your budget. They will look up accommodations, flights, and more to find the dates that work for your budget. They can also locate cruises and other all-inclusive options for you.
Don’t have a specific destination planned? Connect with your travel agent on social media or email for last-minute deals that you might want to snap up.
Whether you already have a trip in mind or desire spontaneity, these tips can make your dream vacation a reality. A travel fund will help give you the financial freedom to pack your bags and leave tomorrow. Searching for last-minute deals on flights and trip packages can save money and help stretch that travel fund further. And with a little luck, maybe you’ll find a BOGO trip to your favourite destination this year.
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Review 4 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Vacation.