Eight ways to save money on last-minute holiday travel

saving money while planning a last-minute vacation

For all the busy bees out there, who suddenly feel the need of a relaxing vacation (we have been through the “I can’t work anymore” phase) and are planning a last-minute vacation here is some good news. We at Savewallets have done the groundwork for you so that you can plan an awesome last-minute vacation without going broke. So, don’t stress and start planning your holiday using the tips below:

Check the exchange rate while choosing your holiday destination

While planning a last-minute holiday being flexible about your holiday destination can save you a lot of money. You should check how much the British pound has depreciated or appreciated against the country’s currency you are planning to travel to get more bang for your buck. For example, your money will buy a lot less if you are visiting the U.S. or E.U. as the pound has plunged against the dollar and euro since Brexit. However, the pound has gained against currencies like the Brazilian real and the Mexican peso. So, it’s a good idea to visit places like Mexico or Brazil this summer instead of the U.S.

In case you have made up your mind on visiting places in Europe check out our list of top affordable destinations in Europe.

Take advantage of other people’s canceled travel plans

Often life isn’t fair, and something comes up at last minute such as an illness, and we need to cancel non-refundable holiday bookings. There are websites like TransferTravel and Sparefare that allows for one’s pre-booked holiday cancellations to be another’s last-minute opportunity. Some of these platforms will enable you to bid for the listed travel deals, and you can get a good bargain in the process.

Swap your house and car

Try swapping your car and home with some family who wants to visit your city and make huge savings. Websites like Home Exchange and Love Home Swap allows you to swap homes even at the last minute helping you save as much as 58% per year on travel. Services like Homelink allows you to swap cars and save money on car hires. Remember to check with your insurance company and see if your existing policy covers house and car swaps and make necessary arrangements accordingly.

Visit friends and family

If your insurance policy doesn’t allow a home or a car swap and you have a tight budget, consider visiting one of your friends or family for a low-cost fun-filled holiday. By the time we are in our late 20s we already have many friends who have moved to different countries for professional or personal reasons. Visiting an old friend in a different country and staying with them will save you accommodation costs which tend to be 50% of your total travel costs. Reminiscing good old times with an old friend is a complimentary benefit. Don’t forget to thank your hosts with a lovely gift at the end of the stay.

Check accommodation websites for late deals

If staying with a friend in a different country or house swapping are not preferred options for you, consider staying in a vacation rental to save some money. For those of you who would prefer hotel rooms over vacation rental or home swaps, LastMinute, Laterooms, and LastMinuteTravel are great websites for browsing thousands of late deals in one place.

Be flexible about your travel dates

Airfares tend to be the highest on Friday and over the weekend. Consider traveling mid-week and early in the morning or late at night to cut down expenses considerably. Turn on price alerts on comparison websites like Skyscanner and TripAdvisor to get the cheapest deals. Kayak Explore also allows you to see the airfares to popular destinations from your city.

Fly from an alternative airport

Flying from a different airport can save you some money per passenger which quickly adds up to a lot if there are many of you going on the holiday. For example, when we checked prices for flying from London Heathrow to Madrid, the airfare was 52% more expensive as compared to flights from Stansted to Madrid. Smaller, less popular airports also offer cheaper parking.

Visit destinations in your home country

If last-minute airfares are too high, consider driving to a quaint village or a wellness center in your home country. Websites like Platinum Healing  offer great last-minute deals for wellness retreats. This article by the Telegraph lists the top 10 wellness destinations in the UK. If you are not a fan of spa and wellness retreats check out Rural Retreats to book a beautiful cottage in the charming countryside of UK and avoid paying for flights.

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