How to plan that last minute vacation

Whether it’s the sudden need to get
away or the last chance to escape before the kids head back to school, many
families find themselves in a position to book a last-minute vacation. With the
fluctuating economy wreaking havoc on the airline and hotel industries, there
is now a greater chance of finding availability and bargains for diligent
researchers.

So, as you begin planning your
last-minute escape, consider these simple tips that can help save money and
ensure a relaxing, memorable retreat:

Book at the right time. To boost
business, hotels, airlines and cruise lines will often offer discounts two
weeks in advance of booking. Remember to always shop on a Tuesday or Wednesday
to find the best last-minute vacation deals as it is common for hotel, flight
and car rental rates to increase by the time Thursday rolls around. Note that
airfares and hotel rates will soon decrease as kids go back to school and
demand falls as a result. School seems to start earlier and earlier every year,
which means the peak travel season does, as well.

Book at the right place. The best
place to look for bargain vacations and last-minute deals is online travel web
sites, such as Travel.com, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, Priceline.com and Travelocity.com,
among others. You can often save big on last-minute vacations when purchasing a
bundled package (hotel, car, flight). Determine how important the destination
is for your vacation. There are a variety of web sites that offer last-minute
deals by destination, and the more flexible you are, the more savings you can
realise.

Include the kids in your vacation
plans. Whether it’s a short trip down the road or a two-week vacation to
another country, make your kids part of the vacation planning process. Ask them
to do some research about potential entertainment options at your destination.
Give them the opportunity to provide recommendations on what you are going to
see or do while you’re there. Not only will this save you time, but including
the kids in this process will also provide more fun for everyone.

One last reminder
that may help when planning your last-minute vacation: keep an open mind and be
flexible. As long as you follow these cardinal rules of travelling last-minute,
there’s always an opportunity to book and enjoy a great trip at a good price.

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