For those of you that are stuck at home right about now amidst these snowy, cold conditions plaguing much of the U.S. -- I have a feeling I may be able to read your mind. Don't freak out. I swear I'm not some sort of witch. I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and guess you're wishing you were somewhere else right about now. Somewhere else warm. You wish you were on a vacation.
Well, what if I were to tell you that you could be on a vacation very soon -- if you play your cards right. Go on, check out these 5 tips for planning last-minute vacations. Mmmm, just the thought of a piña colada and some sand in between my toes makes me thaw out a bit.
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1. Book your flights on Tuesday at midnight: Okay, so maybe not right at midnight. I'll even give you some slack and say do it Wednesday at 6 a.m. before you head to the gym. The reason why? Fare sales are often launched on Monday nights, and airlines try to match the prices themselves the next day so customers buy with them instead of with a third party.
2. You'll need the right destination: Try to stay away from the major Spring Break destinations including Cancun and Puerto Rico. The more unknown your sunny spot of choice is, the better.
3. Get matching: A lot of great resorts will match the prices of discounted sites like travelzoo.com, vacationstogo.com, and lastminute.com if you let them know you've found a better deal. I recently had a Cancun resort drop their prices $80/night because I told them I found a better gig elsewhere. Totally worth the try, even if price match isn't advertised.
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4. Be flexible: You may want to get out of town on a Friday or Saturday, but if you go into booking your travel with an open mind, you could end up with a better deal. Typically, last-minute deals come up when hotels or airlines are trying to fill rooms or seats. If you're flexible on your airport, too, then the sky is the limit.
5. Be fast: If you see a great deal on a site, take it (within reason, of course). As long as the site is legitimate and you can find reviews of successful bookings online from multiple sources, you don't want to let a great deal slip by you. Read through the fine print, and if it checks out, you can be the lucky one to save $400 on a vacation.
Are you taking a trip to warmer weather in the next few months? If not, where would you go if you had the chance?
Image via thelizardqueen/Flickr