MUST READ! 6 tips for scoring the best last-minute travel deal
It’s always best to book ahead, right? Nah… not always. This year especially, booking at the last minute is often the best way to go. Not only will you have the most up-to-date travel info for your destination, but you can even score some great deals too. Here are six insider tips for how to get away ASAP without breaking the bank.
1. Be flexible
Channel your inner gymnast, minus the leotards and sparkles (or with them, if that’s what you’re into. You do you). The No.1 way to save on any of your travel needs (hotels, flights, holiday packages, car hire…) is to be flexible – whether it’s your travel dates, your flight times, or even your destination. Despite what some ‘experts’ say, there’s no one rule about the cheapest time to travel – it changes depending on the destination, the time of year, and any events happening nearby. For example, lots of people swear by midweek flights – and it’s true that they’re often cheaper than Friday and Monday ones (which a lot of us use for mini-breaks and long weekends). But those midweek flights can shoot right up if there’s some bigwig business conference happening at the same time as your visit. There’s no way of knowing when Synergem 18: Hacking the Omnisphere is going to crash your weekday getaway. My tip? Ditch your assumptions and check out deals for all your possible travel dates. You might be surprised and you’ll almost certainly save some cash 💸💸
PS: Not fussed about where you’re going? Check out our lastminute deals. They’re our hottest hotel, flight, and holiday package deals for this and next weekend, and we add more every week. You can find them by clicking #livelastminute at the top of the lastminute.com.au homepage.
2. Package it up
Picture it: A stressed-out You. Your boss is being a tool, everyone’s getting on your nerves, and you’ve had that fight with your partner again. You need a break, stat, but the last thing you want to do is spend hours looking for flights… then hotels… then a hire car… ugh. So save your time and cash by booking the lot together as a package. On lastminute.com.au, you can combine any hotel with any flight and/or any car hire to create your perfect getaway, plus we’ll give you a special discount that’s not available when you book separately. It’s quick, it’s easy, and can save you big. I’d call that a triple win.
To find a holiday package on lastminute.com.au, click Holidays at the top of our homepage, then select the type of package you need (Flight + Hotel, Flight + Hotel + Car, Flight + Car, or Hotel + Car). Pop in your departure city, destination, and travel dates, then we’ll serve up the options for everything you need. Too easy!
3. Think beyond the fare
We’ve all been there. You see some ridiculously cheap airfare and jump on it like it’s last call at happy hour. But what’s this? There’s a fee if you want to check in a bag… and another to choose your seat… and another if you want a snack… and one more to use in-flight entertainment… and yet another to be allowed to use the airplane toilet. Okay, so I made that last one up, but the rest are all ‘extras’ that you may have to pay for if you choose a super budget flight deal. Compare the fares. It might actually be cheaper to fly with a premium airline if you need more than just a seat on the plane.
4. Get sneaky
So there’s a little secret on lastminute.com.au that not everyone knows about. If you create a lastminute.com.au account and log into it before you search for hotels, you’ll see Sneaky Saver deals that’ll give you access to secret hotel deals in Australia and beyond. They’re not just for last-minute getaways – you can book them months in advance as well – but a bargain is a bargain whenever you find it.
While they’re hidden from most visitors (remember – you’ve gotta stay logged in!), Sneaky Saver deals are easy to find once you know where to look. If you’re on a search results page, just look for the ‘Sneaky Saver’ sticker on the hotel image and the discount amount above the price.
5. Look for perks
Hey, there’s more to save on than just airfares and accommodation rates. Bonus inclusions like free brekkie, complimentary wifi, and free parking can make your whole trip cheaper. Just think about what each of these things could cost separately. A decent brekkie with a coffee could easily set you back $20 a day; burning through your mobile data can blow out your next phone bill (especially if you’re roaming); Aussie CBD parking can be as much as $75 a day. When you do the maths (and I wouldn’t do it for anything other than holidays), a slightly more expensive stay with a couple of inclusions could be a much better deal than its basic neighbour.
6. Take the pledge
Time is money, amiright? So save your time by booking on a site that has a price guarantee. lastminute.com.au’s Price Pledge covers every one of our hotel and holiday package deals – that’s how confident we are that they’re the best. If you find a lower price online for the same hotel or package within 24 hours of booking it on lastminute.com.au, give us a shout and we’ll match it by refunding the difference. When you know straight-up that a deal is awesome, there’s no need to shop around 😉
Heads up – legal stuff and COVID-19.
Due to COVID-19, government restrictions are in constant review and travel guidelines may change. We strongly recommend that all travellers seek further information about destinations and attractions before scheduling trips or making bookings, take extra care and follow all rules.
Any deals mentioned in this post are subject to availability and may be discontinued without notice. Any discounts mentioned might not be available on all room types. Savings (correct as of 13 July 2020, 12pm AEST) are subject to change and may vary depending on the selections you make while booking. Blackout periods and minimum lengths of stay apply for some properties. Savings are calculated off the standard rate supplied by the hotel for the stated travel window.