Getting the lowest airfares often means planning ahead for months. What if you’re planning at the last minute? What if an opportunity for a weekend getaway presents itself and you’re happy to take it? Can you still get the lowest airfares for last minute travel?
You can absolutely find good deals on lower pricing, even if you’re going to be traveling at the last minute. The key is to use the same logic that the airline will use.
Travel fares are based on demand. If you’re considering a last minute getaway and you’ve not yet decided where to go, use that demand and airline logic to your own advantage. Ask yourself what cities might have the highest flight demand and avoid them.
Middle flights cost less nearly every day, even if you’re booking for tomorrow. Consider a flight that leaves in mid-day as opposed to early morning or late at night. fly out in mid-week to avoid the Monday and weekend rushes. You can generally get a better fare for these types of flights. Getting the lowest airfare doesn’t mean not going where you want to go. It means being creative about getting there when the travel is last minute.
One way to get great prices is to let yourself go in multiple steps. Most people want a non-stop flight. If you are willing to let yourself be given several steps in the process, chances are you’re going to be given a better price for it. Bring a good book and a snack and ride it out if the price is right and it gives you the lowest airfare.
Likewise, you’re going to get better prices if you have layovers. If you’re in a hurry to get where you’re going, you obviously don’t want a layover, but if you place a premium on price and not as much on time, you can get a seriously good deal by taking the flight that leaves you sitting for two hours in Denver for example, as opposed to taking you straight through to D.C. It stands to reason that those are the flights most people would rather not take. If you don’t mind a couple hours in an airport then you’re going to get the lowest airfare–probably a lot better than the guy who does.
Several top name websites offer you the lowest fares you will probably get on last minute travel during peak times.
They put up a calendar that lets you know when they have the lowest fares on last minute travel and usually it will be midweek or mid day. Still, don’t stop looking if you want those last minute good deals. You may not always get a fantastic price, but the odd anomaly does happen. You could find the lowest airfare of the week on a Friday afternoon.