• Adam Stapley

Money Saving Tips for Last-Minute Travel

If you’re one of the millions suffering from COVID fatigue, you probably can’t wait to book that next dream vacation. Considering the impact the Coronavirus is having on many Canadians’ finances, you might also be struggling to save money. This article will explore money saving tips for last-minute travel. Read through and learn how to save money to take advantage of cheap all-inclusive travel deals that will be available once this pandemic is through.

Woman travelling: Use these personal finance tips to save for last minute travel plans

Automate Your Savings

Schedule your savings

The best way to save money is to save without thinking. You can use the convenience of online banking to set up automatic transfers to your savings account to occur whenever your paycheque arrives. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 20% of each paycheque towards your savings.

“Round-up” your savings

Another way to increase your savings without thinking about it is to round up each purchase you make to the next dollar and deposit the change into a savings account. You can do this manually by monitoring your account statement each month and calculate what you should transfer into savings. Want an easier way to round up your savings? Learn more about Moka and why it is the number one investing app for millennials.

Build A Budget (and stick to it…)

You’ve probably heard that the key to saving is sticking to a budget. But if you’re one of the 51% of Canadians who still don’t have a budget, you might not know how much you’re spending and will have difficulty saving. If you don’t know how to build a budget, check out this article to get started. You can also just cheat and download this budget organizer for free!

Search for the Best Travel Deals


Aircraft wing above sunrise: Search for the best travel deals with budget airlines and accommodation sites

One of the best ways to save money when planning last-minute travel is to choose the cheapest flights using Skyscanner.net. I’ve found that this is one of the cheapest online flight booking websites there is. This site has saved me thousands of dollars when traveling and you can always find the best deals when booking your next trip.

Stay at hostels

Hostels often offer a more authentic and affordable travel experience than cheap all-inclusive resorts. You’ll also find plenty of activities and like-minded travellers when staying in a hostel versus a travel resort.

Keep in mind that you’ll want to find the hostel with not only the best price but also the best value for your money. Using sites like Hostelworld.com and Hostelbookers.com ensures that you can rely on high-quality reviews. Read the reviews carefully and choose only reputable hostels with high ratings of safety and cleanliness.

Person rolling carryon luggage: Travel light to save money on last minute travel plans

Travel light

With the cost of checking baggage increasing each year, one of the best ways to save money on last-minute travel is to pack light. Avoid baggage fees by choosing to pack only what you need most. Planning on staying a few weeks? Most travel destinations will have local laundry services which may be cheaper than carrying extra luggage with you on each flight. As a bonus, when you only pack carry-on suitcases, you won’t have to worry about the aggravation of lost luggage on your next trip!

Negotiate accommodations

If you’re not planning on staying in a hostel, you may find that negotiating your accommodation directly with the hotel is your best bet. I understand that booking a place to stay via the internet is convenient, but the truth is, most of those booking sites are earning a referral fee for sending you to the hotel. Speaking directly to the hotel staff might land you a better deal than you’d find online. In addition to that, booking last minute has its advantages. Hotels hate empty rooms and will often settle for a lower rate than a vacancy.

Opt For Public Transit

Tuk Tuk on quiet street: Opt for public transit versus renting a car when travelling

Booking a car gets expensive. Calculate in all the fees, insurance and fuel required to get you about, and you’ll quickly spend a lot of your hard-earned cash. Taking advantage of public transit is not only cost-effective but will also allow you to take in the sights and sounds of your travel destination, without having to worry about the traffic.

Free Goes Far

When you’re looking for entertainment on your cheap all-inclusive vacation, nothing gets cheaper than free. Search for local venues and entertainment which you can take in for free. Many museums and galleries are either free to enter or have days & hours which allow you to attend for free. Some festivals will often offer free entertainment amongst the venue’s stands and shops. Free goes a long way when you travel, use it as often as you can!


Last-minute travel is best planned for long in advance! Automate your savings and stick to a budget so that you can build up savings towards your vacation when you’re ready to go. Spend lots of time planning your trips and exploring the cheapest travel options while finding free activities for entertainment.

Memorable vacations don’t need a lot of money. Dishing out money on luxurious accommodations and souvenirs that get thrown out at the next yard sale is overrated and often less exciting than immersing yourself in the local culture.

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