If you’re the type of gal who exclusively asked for travel goodies on their adult Christmas list, we have some good news for you: There’s never been a better time to book your dream winter vacay. According to experts, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of the cheapest times to buy airline tickets (AKA now is the perfect time for budget-conscious travelers to go on the adventure of a lifetime!).
But before we pack up our trendy gal luggage and start checking off our travel bucket list, we sat down with the Founder and CEO of PlanChat (a mega cool Millennial-friendly travel app) to get some expert advice on booking that last-minute getaway on a budget.
1. Use your Millennial-ness to your advantage. Listen, we know that there’s a certain spontaneity that goes with booking a last minute vacay, but you can really stretch your dollar by signing up for free apps and extensions. “Apps like PlanChat make it easy to select trips you’d like to keep an eye on and receive notifications when prices drop on airfare and hotels to your desired destinations,” says expert traveler Sina Shekou.
2. Go somewhere chilly. “Everyone’s looking to visit warmer climates in the winter, so look to off-season destinations for some guaranteed low fares,” suggests Sina. For instance, try checking out the beautiful Yellowstone National Park or consider going abroad to London or Portugal.
3. Never fly on a weekend. While a weekend getaway to sunny LA sounds amazing, you can probably save a bit of moola if you decide to postpone your trip to midweek. “Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the least expensive days to fly domestic,” notes Sina.
4. Be flexible with your airport. “Consider looking at flights that land at a smaller airport in a neighboring town or look at flying out of the lesser traveled airport near you,” suggests Sina. Not only will it save you some cash, but it’ll probably make for a good story too!
5. Consider redeeming your reward points. If you’ve got ‘em, now is the time to use ‘em. “The conversion on your airline and credit card rewards points will likely be higher during these dates,” suggests Sina.
6. Be smart when planning a trip abroad. If the drop-in fares inspire you to finally take the European backpacking adventure you’ve always dreamed of, there are a few extra things you can do to save a buck. Since European tickets are typically over a grand, Sina suggests saving on airfare by looking at flying into a cheaper location that gets you over the ocean first. “From there you can take cheaper, local airlines to your final destination,” he suggests. For instance, “Consider Iceland Air for their famous layover program and catch some breathtaking views of Iceland on your way over.”
7. Pack the essentials (and only the essentials). We’ll be the first ones to admit that we have a teensy problem with over-packing. “Try and keep to items that are versatile and serve multiple purposes,” Sina advises. And if that means going shopping for versatile pieces before the big trip? Well, there you go ;)
8. Consider hopping on a cruise. While cruises may not be the trendiest travel option for Millennials ATM, it’s hard to pass up some of the incredible deals (and sparse crowds) during this time of year. “It’s also a great time to check out the Caribbean for prices that are typically 50 percent off normal rates,” suggests Sina. Yep, we’d be down for chillin’ on a Caribbean island instead of shoveling our driveways.
Are you planning an exciting winter getaway? Tweet us your ideal destination by mentioning @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)