The common way to go on vacation is to plan in advance, but sometimes it’s nice to be surprised. If you have a place to store the kids for a few days, have some extra vacation time, or some extra cash came your way, you might want to try your luck and see if you can find a last minute vacation deal. With all of the online vacation services available these days, chances are you’ll get lucky. Here are MoneyLion’s picks for the best places to find last minute vacation deals.
While Expedia and Travelocity are among the more popular search engines for the best airfare rates, Kayak.com offers a few additional perks. If you enter your ticket budget and the dates you want to travel, then the site’s Explore tool will mark a map of the world with all the spots that fit into your parameters. Another parameter you can add to the search is the activity you’re interested in. Put in ‘beach’ or ‘ski’ to find the exact vacation you have in mind for a great last-minute price.
Here’s a site that knows about the least-known and smallest international airlines around the world. Take advantage of this one if you’re flying from one international location to another, such as from Sweden to Turkey, or Thailand to Cambodia. You’ll get much cheaper options than if you take flights with the larger international airlines.
If you sign up on the mailing list, then this site will send you last minute “hot deal” alerts with promotional codes, and will send them to you for the specific destinations you indicate. If you’re looking for a quaint inn somewhere, this is the right site. Thousands of lodgings around the world are members of BedandBreakfast.com, so you will have no trouble locating a place off the beaten path that has character, and you can also indicate specific amenities you’re looking for, such as a fireplace or nearby hiking trail. Additionally, Bed and Breakfast gift certificates make great gifts that can be used any time nearly anywhere in the world.
Speaking of last minute—this site even offers a search feature for iPhones called “Help! I need a place, tonight.” Airbnb isn’t for everyone, because rather than staying at hotels, lodges, or inns, you rent rooms, houses, or apartments from ordinary people looking to make some extra cash. Since you won’t know the actual people you might be staying with, you can read user reviews on the website to ensure they aren’t psycho killers.
Hotel Tonight App
Rather than a website, Hotel Tonight is a free app that detects your location—or you can set a different location, such as your destination—and shows you all the room availability in your area. The app displays pictures of the location, price, quality, and how much you’ll save for booking last minute. You can also read user reviews. This is the perfect hotel option for the spur of the moment, or even in the case of an emergency.