Posted: 11 July 2017
Summer is a bit of a double-edged sword for those of us in the working world.
On one hand, it means warmer weather, more time with friends, and great parties and memories. But by the same token, full-time work means that it can be hard to get time off for a much-needed vacation.
Before you reach for that next cup of coffee and resign yourself to your work-filled fate, hear me out.
There are tons of ways that you can book a vacation at a price that won’t ruin your bank account. In fact, in some ways, a last minute vacation is more advantageous!
In fact, it may be the best thing you do for yourself all year. Studies show that we all need a vacation from time to time and that many of us don’t practice as much self-care as we should.
By taking a vacation, your workflow will actually improve! You’ll be happier, more productive, and best of all, you’ll have great new memories that will last a lifetime.
You owe it to yourself to take a vacation — even a last minute vacation. So read on to find out how you can plan your perfect getaway ASAP.
10 Tips For Booking a Stress-Free Last Minute Vacation
1. Determine What Type of Vacation You Want
The first step in taking your fantastic last minute vacation is, as you may expect, to choose what kind of vacation you want.
It doesn’t matter what your ideal vacation is, necessarily, just that you know what you want to do. Chances are, no matter how much of a last minute vacation it is, you can still book it.
Start out by asking yourself a few questions to figure out what type of last minute vacation sounds best to you. Here are a few questions you can use to get the ideas flowing and put you in a vacation state of mind.
- What do you like to do on vacation? Do you want to relax or have an adventure?
- How many people are going to head out on this last minute vacation with you? Obviously, the number of people you’re bringing will affect booking difficulty.
- How far are you willing to travel?
- How do you want to travel?
- How much money are you willing to spend?
- What kind of accommodations do you need? It may not be possible to book a hotel for a reasonable rate at the last minute. We’ll get to this in a bit, but ask yourself if you’re okay with staying in someone’s home.
2. Determine The Budget of Your Last Minute Vacation
We’re almost done with the boring responsible stuff, we promise. But creating and setting a budget for yourself is an absolute necessity.
According to ValuePenguin.com, the average cost of a vacation is near $600 for a standard domestic four-day stay.
Without a proper budget, it’s all too possible to go on vacation and spend far too much money. Just like you planned your ideal vacation type, you’ll need to determine your budget.
This is going to be determined by a few different factors.
First, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to travel. Are you going to need to book a flight, or will you just need to set aside some extra gas money?
The journey is every bit as important (and often as fun) as the destination itself. Plan wisely and set aside some travel money for the trip to your destination, as well as the trip back.
Next, you’ll need to determine where you’re going to stay and how much you’re going to spend on lodging.
Even if you’re traveling with multiple people, it’s possible to travel on a budget. If everyone is okay with sharing a hotel room, you’ll lower everyone’s costs dramatically.
Finally, there’s the food factor. You’re going to need to eat on your vacation, and since a vacation is supposed to be a blowout, you’ll want to eat well.
3. Plan a Staycation
Now that we’ve discussed budgets, you may be looking at your bank account solemnly. Don’t fret, even if you don’t have much cash you can plan the perfect vacation right at home.
In fact, the rise of the staycation has been quite staggering throughout the last few years. More and more people are forgoing an expensive vacation in favor of staying home and relaxing.
Often, a staycation is every bit as fun and reinvigorating as a traditional vacation.
And you don’t have to worry about the extra expenses like travel and lodging!
Best of all, you won’t have to worry about booking anything — you’ll just have to get in your pajamas and relax.
But just because you’re staying home doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. You can still have a great last minute vacation, even if it just means hanging out on your couch all weekend.
Is there a television show or movie you’ve been dying to see? Now is your chance to catch up!
Maybe that huge stack of books you’ve been eyeing for the past few months sounds appealing. It’s time to finally put a dent in those stories.
You may even want to take some of your vacation time to work on a meaningful personal project. Hobbies are a great way to spend a vacation, and you won’t need to feel guilty for being unproductive.
4. Go Local
While a staycation can be relaxing, you only have to stay home if you want. Maybe you’d rather get out and experience something new and exciting in your area!
We often get so wrapped up in our own lives that we neglect the beauty in our immediate surroundings. Here’s your opportunity to really get out and see the best of what your community has to offer.
You can take a class, for instance. Be sure to scour the internet to seek out deals and discounts if you’re going to take any kind of course.
Most libraries offer free classes all the time, all you have to do is sign up for one that sounds appealing to you. Or perhaps you’d rather take some cooking lessons.
Or if you’re ready to get back to nature, why not spend an afternoon on a hike? Do a bit of research and see what local parks or nature reserves are in your area.
Tour a brewery or attend a local music festival. Even if you don’t live near a major metropolitan area, most cities put on festivals nearly every weekend of the summer.
You can even volunteer at a local shelter that means a lot to you. Few things are as rewarding as giving back to a community that’s given you so much.
There’s tons of great stuff in your area just waiting to be discovered!
5. Use Deals Websites and Apps
In our last tip, we mentioned using the internet to help you find the best deals. In this section, we’ll discuss it in a bit more depth, as there are tons of easy ways to save.
Most won’t even take too much research on your part! Just head to your favorite site, search ‘travel’ and check out all the results.
Sites like Groupon great savings on everything involved with a last minute vacation. You can book lodging, airfare, and even activities on Groupon for a fraction of the normal price.
Or you can use Groupon for your staycation! Just search your local area and find an activity that seems interesting to you.
If you plan on flying for your last minute vacation, be sure to check out Hopper. It does everything from booking your flight to determining the cheapest times to fly.
If you’re a Gmail user, you may want to look into Google Trips. Yes, it turns out that Google does virtually everything now, including vacations. With Google Trips, you’ll even get a handy tool to plan your vacation day by day.
HotelTonight is another fantastic app that searches a specific area for cheapest rooms.
Best of all, every single one of these apps are absolutely free. Just download and start planning your last minute vacation within minutes!
6. Travel Websites are More Helpful Than You Think
It used to be that in order to book a vacation, you’d have to go through a travel agency. This was a long, drawn-out process that was overly involved and could take weeks.
Not exactly conducive to a last minute vacation is it? And in the end, it may not even save you that much money.
Thankfully, we live in an era where we can bypass travel agents altogether. Instead, hop online and do a bit of research.
Travel websites are about to become your new best friend, but you’re going to want to shop around.
According to one report by Travel Market Report, the average person visits 38 sites before booking a vacation. Most sites realize how time-consuming this is and have simplified the process.
The average travel site will let you book a hotel, flight, and activities all in one.
Be sure to check out websites like Trivago, Travelocity, Travangelo, and Priceline. They’re all reputable websites that have a proven track record of saving users money.
7. Think About Off-Season Attractions
Every vacation spot, no matter how large or small, has a peak season where visitors flock to the area. Accordingly, it’s during the peak season that an area will raise their rates.
Avoid huge crowds and unnecessary costs by planning your last minute vacation around the off-season of a location.
A last minute vacation during the off-season puts you in power. You’ll have the leverage when it comes to negotiating a price, as hotels will be happy to have the business.
Unfortunately, traveling during the off-season does have its downsides.
You may not get to head to your dream spot if money or crowds are issues. Since you’re trying to plan a last minute vacation, come up with a few other areas to avoid disappointment.
8. Bypass Hotel Booking For A Better Vacation
One of the best things about living in an era where there’s an app for everything is that it leads to innovation. Just like Uber and Lyft revitalized the taxi industry, there are tons of apps that can help you find a place to stay.
If you’re looking to save money, bypass the hotels and consider using one of these apps to find a local home in the area.
Sites like Airbnb allow users to rent out their homes for a given period of time. You’ll experience the luxury and privacy of home without paying expensive hotel fees.
If you’ve never experienced the wonder of Airbnb, here’s everything you need to know.
- You’ll need to sign an agreement beforehand. Make sure you read the agreement in full to get a good understanding of expectations and rules.
- You’ll want to talk to potential hosts to get a feel for their homes and personalities. This is a great way to put both parties at ease.
- You’re in a neighborhood (and someone’s home for that matter) so don’t go crazy. Be respectful of your surroundings and be a gracious guest.
- Clean the home before you leave. This will likely be detailed in the agreement, but it’s just polite.
9. A Last Minute Vacation Can be Advantageous
If you’re booking a flight, you can actually save tons of money by waiting for your vacation.
Last minute booking is generally considered to be anything within 14 days of a given travel date. So be sure to use this to your advantage.
Airlines need to fill these seats, so you can likely get a seat at a fantastic rate. The same general principle applies for hotel rooms, as well.
10. Talk to the Locals
Our last tip involves a fantastic way to fit in and make the most of your last minute vacation.
Wherever you go and whatever you do, be sure to talk to the locals. Sure, you could rely on review sites to help you find activities. But you’ll get better results by going to the source.
Ask the locals about their favorite hangout spots.
What sights should you see?
Where are the best places to eat?
The right question can make a difference and elevate your vacation from good to great.
Making the Most of Your Last Minute Vacation
There you have it, 10 easy ways to have a great last minute vacation while saving money! If you’re looking for the best deals, be sure to keep it posted to the Blog Giveaway Directory.
We can help you save on anything and everything you could ever need for the perfect vacation!
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