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Tips to Book Last-Minute & Weekend Flights

Not all trips have to be months in the making. You can get out of town and stretch your wings on an affordable last-minute flight if you’re a smart consumer. Follow these tips to put a last-minute trip within reach while saving money on airfare:  

  • Our No. 1 tip is to be flexible about days of the week for your trip. A traveller’s instinct often is to look for Friday afternoon or evening flights out with flights back on Sunday night or Monday morning. However, the best fares, the ones that really inspire last-minute travel, are more often found for Saturday departures and Tuesday and Wednesday returns.
  • Be flexible about carriers. This isn’t a time to worry about accruing frequent flyer miles on your favorite airline, but a time to look for the lowest fares with the best times and most availability. The dollars saved can go to a hotel stay, a dining or spa Local Deal while you’re away or even future trips.
  • Consider leaving early or late: it’s key to be flexible with your departure times. These flights are often the ones that have seats to fill, so the best discounts can often be found on early-morning departures and red eyes. Be sure to search with a wide time window when looking for discounted fares.
  • Don’t just look for fares at your regular airport; look for nearby ones. Flying from regional airports may help you save money, and there is even a chance they’ll be less crowded and have more flights that have unsold seats.
  • Consider booking an itinerary with a transfer. Don’t just look at nonstop itineraries when looking to make a last-minute trip. An extra hour at a connecting airport often translates to big savings as flights with connections are often cheaper than nonstop flights.
  • Don’t forget to sign up for Travelzoo’s Top 20 newsletter and bookmark SuperSearch for when we find competitive last-minute fare sales and discounted flights for the upcoming weekend.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, San Francisco
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
See more Tips from
Haifa Sweeny