Tips for Not Breaking the Bank While Planning a Last Minute Trip

View of Athens, Acropolis

Travel takes a lot of planning: finding the perfect destination, traveling at the right time, choosing the most appropriate accommodations, and coming up with an itinerary that includes everything you want to see in a certain country, city or outdoor destination. Planning can take some of the spontaneity out of the experience. Many people decide to just leave town on a whim. However, last-minute trips don’t always come at great prices. If you want to get out of town at the last minute, use these tips to keep your budget under control.

Don’t Focus on a Particular Destination

If you have a single destination in mind, you might find some discounts, but not the best ones. Err on the side of flexibility and think of a type of vacation instead of a precise location. You will increase your chances of finding a good deal. For example, I ended up in Athens because I wanted a Labor Day vacation. I started with the traditional Romanian option (go to the Black Sea and enjoy the very cold beach). Last-minute prices put me off, but I still wanted to travel. I searched for cities near beaches that were within driving distance, and after reviewing hotel deals from several destinations, I decided on Greece and booked a hotel in the capital. It does not have to be hotels that you’re looking for. You can alternatively try to search for cheap flights to a certain destination instead.

Acropolis, Athens

Acropolis, Athens

Search for Related Discounts

Once you’ve decided on a destination and you’ve booked either your flight or accommodations, your next step is to search for further discounts. Everything from coupons and promo codes to seasonal sales or deals will help you further bring down your travel costs. It’s a great idea to not only focus on accommodations and transport, but try to find good deals on tours, meals, and any other activities that interest you.

Add Free Things to Do to Your Itinerary

Visiting parks, admiring building exteriors, and taking free walking tours are only a few things you can do in virtually any destination without paying a cent. Even cities you’d think of as sink holes for your money, like Las Vegas, have free things that you can try. Do a few searches and add everything you like to your list. Just remember to double-check that they are still available. Some of these free activities might disappear over time.

Sunset, Athens, Beach

Enjoying the sunset at the beach in Athens

See If You Can Split Costs with Friends or Family

Going on a road trip alone might end up costing a lot more than having a few friends with you in the car. Even if you fly to your destination, a double room is always cheaper for each of the people staying in it than a single room is. At least, that’s been my experience. Plus, if a few like-minded friends to join you and create a large enough crowd, you might get some extra group discounts.

View of Athens, Acropolis

View of Athens from our climb to Acropolis

I hope these tips help you stay true to your spontaneous side and keep your travels within budget. If you have tips to add to my list, I’d love to hear from you!

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Tips for Not Breaking the Bank While Planning a Last Minute Trip

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