Sometimes it pays to procrastinate. You can get some great last-minute travel deals…
1. Follow the deals: Never considered Iceland, but the price is superb? Why not! Three days in Vegas for a song? Doesn’t matter that you don’t gamble, really! For cruises leaving within 90 days, try www.VacationsToGo.com. Air/hotel packages at the last minute can be found through all the major companies (Priceline, Expedia, etc.), as well as specialists such as LastMinute.com.
2. Get Tweet bargains: Twitter has become the best source for last-minute airfares. Instead of losing a hefty commission fee to third-party Web sites (such as Orbitz or Travelocity), the airlines post “flash sales” on Twitter to move unsold seats through their own Web sites. The most prominent tweeter is @JetBlueCheeps, which posts sales for the coming weekend. @VirginAmerica and @AllegiantAir also are excellent sources, though even biggies such as American Airlines and Delta will tweet flash sales occasionally.
3. Go for this app: One hotel app (available for smartphones and tablets) tends to beat the pants off the competition. Called Hotel Tonight, it can be used only starting at noon on the day of travel and for 55 American cities (plus a handful in Canada, the UK, Holland and Ireland). It finds the cheapest rates three out of four times (at some very cushy properties), prices that are as much as 70% off the lowest rate. Example: A $249 room at a Houston hotel recently went for $99, for a savings of $150.