performed or occurring as a result of a sudden impulse or inclination and without premeditation or external stimulus.
It is a myth that last minute overseas trips are the most expensive. By having an open mind and exercising flexibility, you will be able to tick off those bucket list destinations and save yourself plenty of money.
Here are my suggestions on how save on your next spontaneous adventure.
Don't restrict yourself with ONE destination
If it’s a holiday you need, then my first suggestion is not to limit yourself to a single destination. By keeping an open-mind, you can consider alternate destinations that offer a similar experience.
I once had a couple who had been planning and looking forward to their Bali holiday for months. The day before they were due to fly out, a volcanic ash cloud grounded all flights to Indonesia. Desperate to still go away, they changed their plans and flew to The Cook Islands instead. They still had an amazing holiday, and they experienced a destination they would not have usually considered.
Tips to save on flights
The disadvantage of booking last minute... is the flights!
Airlines don't work the same way tour companies do. The less seats available the more expensive the seat.
So how do you save? Shop around, check budget airlines, you may need to fly via 1 extra city to get there but it could save you a heap. If you tell your travel agent you are willing to explore ALL flight possibilities, they have the resources to find options you will not see online.
Tips to save on hotels
Make the most of 'last minute' discounts offered by hotels. Some companies discount hotels by up to 50% inside of a month of travel. You can find these deals on Expedia. Your travel agent can also access those discounted online deals so don't rush into booking things online yourself. Having all your reservations safe in one place has so many benefits; usually not realised until ‘unforeseen circumstances’ wreak havoc!
Try a small group tour
Majority of tour companies offer 'last minute' deals. They discount the hell out of the last few bums on seats to fill up the groups. These deals are only available in the quieter seasons when tourism is slower. The best discounts I have seen are from Intrepid and G Adventures who discount within 1-2 month of departure, saving you anywhere from $100 - $450!
Travelling in a small group is so much fun. You have the invaluable knowledge of a guide and a like minded group of 12-16 people to share the experience with.
Visa's shouldn't be a pain
Visa's in a hurry? No worries, as long as you have at least 5 days’ notice, any visa is possible.
There is an extra fee for hurrying through a visa but it can be done. I have managed to get a Vietnam visa in just a few hours before!
Find time to plan activities
When taking off on an overseas holiday last minute, research usually takes a back seat. My suggestion is to leave plenty of free time in your itinerary, and get hold of a good travel guide like Lonely Planet or RoughGuide. These books are absolutely invaluable and are a great time filler on a long flight, especially if your only option was to travel with a budget airline!
If you are wanting to travel light, download a travel guide on your device. There are so many apps now days that work offline. No need to lug that big book around!
It is my belief that if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to get on that plane and leave Australia! We have all heard the horror stories, which no one ever 'predicts'.
If you are a spare of the moment traveller, and you do go away 2-3 times a year, consider an annual policy. They cover you for 365 days of the year with the only restriction being the length of the stay.