Save money on last-minute travel

With spring break clearly in our sights, you may be still trying to decide if you are going to travel or going to stay put.


Last-minute travel is a bit of a gamble, but it can really pay off in the travel savings department. You need to have a plan though. Here are some tips:

Go for the package deal

You’ll see the greatest increases in flight prices the closer you get to your departure date, but you generally can score some deep discounts on packages (i.e. flight and hotel together) or all-inclusive packages. Check those out first.

Be flexible

Pick a region rather than a specific city, especially if you are going south. If you are looking at a city vacation, be flexible on your preferred areas to stay. Travel operators are going to be aggressively trying to fill up unbooked hotel rooms at this point, so your deepest savings will come from there.

Go midweek

It’s no secret that travelling midweek will slash your prices significantly. If you can shimmy your holiday days so that you leave on a Monday or Tuesday, you can expect to cut your travel costs dramatically. When you are travelling last minute, you can expect these discounts to be even greater.

Alternate departure

Although the U.S. dollar is making it harder for Canadians to get better deals travelling south of the border, it is often times still cheaper to fly out of an American airport. If you live in a border town, the cost of driving and an overnight stay is often still far less than flying out of your home city.

Check out U.S. charter operators, who offer far deeper discounts, and often will bundle a hotel and a car for cheap, cheap, cheap.

“Secret” hotels

Many hotel booking sites offer you big discounts if you are willing to gamble on where you are staying. They’ll guarantee you a certain level of hotel (i.e. 3 star) and you won’t find out until you’re going. If you are up for a travel adventure, this is your way to go!