Everyone loves the idea of going on a holiday – be it with friends, family or even solo. However, the actual worry seeps in when you reach the critical step – booking tickets. We choose to travel to eliminate stress. However, it can become stressful when you plan a last-minute holiday. Organizing a holiday at short notice can cause a huge dent in your wallet.
While planning last-minute trips, one can face several challenges such as expensive flight tickets and accommodation hassles. Fret not, as we have the best hacks to plan your last-minute holiday within a budget. Follow these tips and tricks to make your last-minute holiday trip successful without dipping into your savings:
1. Go for an alternative, low-cost destination
For last-minute trips, chances are high that you will be charged heavily for choosing to visit your favourite destination – booking for hotels and flight tickets will exceed your budget.
Last-minute planning for an international trip is quite difficult as it takes over a month to get the visa, etc. done. In that case, make small compromises and choose an alternative destination that allows visa-free travel, e-Visa or visa on arrival. There are many popular destinations such as Thailand, Cambodia or Mauritius that would fit well in your budget.
2. Choose flexible travel dates and cheaper flights
One should always be aware of the benefits of choosing a flexible travel date. Travelling on a busy holiday weekend can cost you a fortune. Flights on weekends could be expensive any day, so one should know how to avoid paying extra costs and opt for weekdays when flights are comparatively cheaper. Another travel hack is choosing to take flights during the wee hours of the morning as they are usually priced lower. Waiting for distress sale deals offered by airlines at the last minute is another way to book flights at low costs.
3. Buy two one-way tickets instead of going for a roundtrip
Although it is convenient to book a round trip flight ticket, there is no harm in going for two one-way tickets if they are cheaper and fall in your budget. It will take not more than 10 minutes to make two different searches using the one-way option. Use apps like Skyscanner or Momondo to compare and choose the cheapest flight and travel options to your destination. Opt for travel insurance to avoid losing money in the off chance of misplacing your baggage.
4. Consider all-inclusive package tours
When it comes to last-minute trips, it is advisable to pick an all-inclusive package tour that would cover everything from fare to meals to accommodation. Booking hotels at the last minute can be very expensive. If you want to opt for flexibility about your stay, then look for budget homestays, Airbnb or backpackers’ hostels – they will be cheaper and will allow you to choose a location that has easy access to the metro or public transport options for sightseeing.
5. Be ready with emergency money backup
Impromptu vacation or a planned one, it’s always advisable to keep a backup for unforeseen travel expenses. Getting a personal credit line is a great way to have extra money without any worries. Once approved for a credit line, the money is available 24×7 to you on your phone. You can use any amount from your limit whenever required; interest is charged only on the used amount, not on the total limit. Having ready money available on your phone also comes in handy in unfortunate events like cash theft.
So what are you waiting for? Be prepared to travel smarter. We are sure these tips and tricks will help you to travel like a pro, even at the last minute.
(By Anuj Kacker, COO-Co-Founder, MoneyTap)