8 Ways to Save on Last Minute Travel

Here’s eight ways to save on last minute flights and travel.

 

  • Learn the Basics of the Travel Industry

 

      1. The travel industry is made up of several players—GDS or “global distribution systems” provide data to the online portals and travel agents (or OTAs—online travel agencies). Meta search providers aggregate flight and hotel inventory across OTAs and direct providers like airlines. Understanding how the basic value chain works will enable you to make better travel purchases in the long run.

 

  • Don’t Waste Time Searching in Twenty Different Places

 

      1. Meta search providers aggregate data across many of the OTAs and airlines. Instead of checking Skyscanner, Priceline, Expedia, Kayak, and Momondo, stick with one meta search provider and use a flight deal monitoring service like the one offered at Escape Flight to get notified when there’s a flight deal for your destination.
    1. Know the Best Time and Place to Book Airfare
      1. Travel industry insiders produce yearly reports on the best times and days to purchase flights. This year, the best day was Tuesday. Booking a flight on a Tuesday could net you a 20% savings in airfare. The best days to travel will vary between routes and destinations.
    2. Make the Most of Points and Travel Rewards
      1. Check your shopping memberships, employee discounts, credit card deals and frequent flyer miles. There’s probably a few hundreds dollars in there somewhere. Many airlines and travel providers offer discounts and deals for affiliated organization—you just have to look. Learning about fre

It’s no secret we’re big fans of travel. That’s why we reached out to travel expert KJ Prince to learn how we can save money on last minute flights and travel. KJ is the founder of flight deals website Escape Flight.

 

  • Have Flexible Travel Dates

 

      1. You can save 20-30% just by making use of flexible travel dates. Departing or arriving during the week is considerably cheaper than weekend travel. Use a flight deals search provider that allows you to modify your search in a way that reveals the best travel dates that will save you money. Sometimes a single day can net you hundreds of dollars—and we know you’d rather spend that money on a memorable experience at your destination.
    1. Consider Non-Stop vs. Direct Flights
      1. Hate stopovers and layovers? Then this strategy isn’t for you. If you want to find the best flight deal use a search provider that allows you to toggle between direct flights and flights with a stop or two. The savings could be considerable.

 

  • Try Hidden City Ticketing

 

    1. Sometimes the best deals are hiding in plain view. Such is the case with hidden city flights. These deals are a dime a dozen if you can find them. The idea with hidden city ticketing is that you book a flight to a city you have no intention of traveling to, your destination is actually a stopover. These flights are hard to find but they’re more common than you think. According to the founder of Skiplagged hidden city flight opportunities occur on about 25% of common routes in the United States. There are some drawbacks—mainly that you have to book two one-way flights instead of a roundtrip flight, you can only bring carry-on luggage, and you may be violating a little known agreement you have with the airline. As always, caveat emptor.
  1. Subscribe to Deal Providers
    1. Flight deal sites like Escape Flight do all the time consuming dirty work of harvesting and organizing flight deals for you. These sites are different from the meta search providers, as they only look for deals with considerable savings. Meta search providers look at all the available tickets that meet the constraints of your trip itinerary. Subscribe by SMS or email for alerts from your local airport or to your target destination.

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