6 Strategies to Find Last-Minute Getaways

Is it possible to find cheap flights for last-minute getaway deals? Yes, it is, if you know how. Check out these six strategies to find last-minute getaways. Then, start packing.

1. Compare fares

Compare airfares on a fare search site: This simple, basic strategy to finding the cheapest tickets really works. Unfortunately, some people will never know this because they go directly to a favorite airline site because it “always has the best deal.” It doesn’t. No single airline always has the best deal, so if you don’t compare, you could pay too much. Maybe even way too much.

2. Look for cheap destinations

Some cities are cheaper than others: There are a lot of relatively cheap destinations; for example, it’s been a good year for deals to Boston, Denver and Fort Lauderdale plus great fares to Europe. Check out transatlantic prices for Dublin, London, Paris, Spain and Scandinavia and chances are good you’ll find some excellent bargains. Tip: Use our Getaway Map tool to find the best deals from your city.

3. Fly cheap days

Avoid Fridays and Sundays: The cheapest days to fly are usually Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday while the most expensive days are usually Fridays and Saturdays. Notice we say ‘usually’ because this is not always true. But often, a relatively cheap getaway itinerary might be a Saturday departure and a Tuesday return.

4. Flexibility matters

Check prices for connecting flights: You can sometimes save as much as 50% or more on your flight by adding a stop to your route, especially on long-haul flights. Airlines often factor in a ‘convenience fee’ for non-stops which most of us happily pay but if you don’t mind a longer travel day, you could save big. Just be sure to compare the prices for non-stops and connecting flights because sometimes the short, nonstop flights are cheaper.

5. Delay trips

Summer season: In the U.S., summer fares generally dip in late August or early September so you see significant savings.
Other seasons: Fly throughout the fall and winter for exceptional savings as long as you avoid big holiday periods like Christmas, New Year’s, and in the U.S., Thanksgiving.

6. Pack light

Use a carry-on bag: Here are four good reasons to pack light. 1.) Most major airlines allow carry-ons for free but even if your airline charges bag fees, here’s why it’s worth paying: 2.) The bag that travels by your side is the bag that does not get lost. 3.) When you land, a carry-on means no long wait at the baggage carousel. 4.) If there’s a problem with your flight and the gate agent sends you running to another gate to make another flight, you know your luggage will make the plane, too.