How to plan a last minute summer getaway on the cheap

Some people plan their holidays far in advance, have every day of their getaway scheduled down to the minute, and love nothing more than basking in the glory of their superior organisation skills. And that’s great.

But some of us are more used to winging things by the seats of our pants, and come summer find ourselves desperate for a break but with nothing booked and no plan to speak of. If this sounds like you and you’ve been so wrapped up in life shizzle that you’ve neglected to arrange yourself a vacay, then don’t worry. You’ve still got time.

1. Work out your budget

Everyone’s idea of what “cheap” is will be completely different. But regardless of whether you’ve got a couple hundred or a fairly fat stack stashed away, it’s important for you to nail down exactly how much dollar you’ve got in your coffers. It’s gonna play a big part in determining where you can go and what level of comfort you travel in and help to set your expectations at the right level from the get-go.

2. Be open-minded around location

If you have your heart set on a specific location then, by all means, check prices for that out first, but try not to limit your options too much. By keeping an open mind about where you go you can be ready to snap up any great deals that come along, and the thrill of the unexpected can be an added bonus.

3. Research your destination costs before booking

Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of booking the first cheap flight that you see. If you’ve not researched the costs of your destination then a bargain basement flight could actually lead to a nasty and expensive surprise. Some of the cheapest places to get to are actually super expensive, so do some digging on everyday costs before you push the button.

4. Be flexible on dates

Flexibility is essential when it comes to bagging a great deal and just a day or two’s difference can lead to hundreds in savings on everything from flights to accommodation. It’s usually cheaper to fly on a weekday and flights at less desirable times are almost always less expensive.

5. Compare deals

Unfortunately this part takes time, but it’s well worth the investment if it can put a few extra bucks of spending money in your back pocket. Don’t limit yourself to just one travel search engine, use a few and compare what’s on offer, you might be surprised at the difference in price for the same package.

6. Pack light

Purchasing baggage allowance on budget airlines can often be more expensive than the flight itself, so save yourself the extra cost and go carry on only. Even on the cheapest economy carriers, the carry on luggage limits are usually pretty generous. Don’t forget to read the fine print so you can take full advantage of the allowance. This tends to include one main bag, one smaller bag, plus a personal bag or handbag, that’s plenty of space for your summer garms.

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