You’re sitting at your desk, casually browsing your calendar, when suddenly you realize that the Fourth of July weekend is coming up and you have vacation days to burn.
At first, you feel elated at the thought of a long weekend away, and start fantasizing about plans to skip town. But that joy is soon replaced with dread, because you realize the holiday is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year and booking something last minute seems impossible.
But there is hope. Self-proclaimed travel hacker Bryce Conway is a professional when it comes to booking travel last minute and scoring deals. Here are a few of his tips for saving money on last-minute summer getaways.
|Book Your Trip as Soon as Possible|
Make the decision about whether you’re going to leave town NOW.
Conway said summer is peak season for most tourist destinations and prices are only going to go up as your vacation comes closer.
|Claim Your Points or Miles|
Check your credit card rewards program to see if you can cash out any points or miles for the trip. “They can add up fast for a significant savings on your next vacation,” Conway said.
|Use Ride-Share Services|
Instead of renting a car, Conway said ride-share services can help save you money getting to and from your destination because you avoid rental fees, hefty parking charges and high gas prices.
|Consider Using Hotel Alternatives|
Instead of trying to book a room at a hotel, look to home-share websites like Airbnb or even Craigslist, Conway suggested.
“Many times these services offer you a lot more space for a much cheaper price, especially with summer hotel rates being much higher,” he said.
|Watch Out for Hidden Fees|
If you do end up going with a hotel, Conway said to be careful of hidden fees, such as resort fees, Internet fees. or special taxes. He said it's important to compare the all-in costs of hotels before booking.