Sometimes vacation travel at the last minute makes sense. An irresistible deal may open up, or you may feel the need to be spontaneous and get out of town. Finding a good price on a last-minute plane ticket can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Try the following to save money when booking a flight on short notice:
Check social media on Tuesday afternoons.
Generally travel tips don’t come this specific, but Tuesday afternoons are when most airlines announce their last-minute deals for the upcoming weekend. So, if you can plan at least a few days in advance, be ready on Tuesday and try to snag a great price.
Consider using miles.
When you can’t find a good sticker price on a ticket, you should use frequent-flyer miles to book. You might have to pay a fee for booking too close to the date of your flight, but miles are often a good last-resort option.
Try bidding on your flight.
Several websites, including Priceline and Hotwire, let customers bid on plane tickets. Often, airlines will release unfilled seats to those sites at inexpensive rates as the date of a flight gets closer.
If you don’t care as much about where you’re going as the fact that you’re going somewhere, you can save a bundle by being flexible on your destination. Using a tool like SkyScanner, you can see the cheapest flights leaving an airport on a given date and then plan your vacation to take advantage of them.
Travel during off-peak times.
Demand for flights tends to be lowest during the middle of the week, so if you can, try to fly on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. For holiday travel, consider traveling on the holiday rather than before or after it to save a little more as well.