Traveling at the Last Minute?
Whether you're doing it intentionally or it's just an unfortunate twist of circumstances, traveling at the last minute can be nerve-wracking. That is, if you come with an unprepared mindset. Since traveling unprepared can sometimes give you trouble regarding hotel bookings, here are tips on how you could land a place to stay even if you're making travel plans at the last minute:
Look for hotels at local websites.
Websites offering tips and last minute booking deals abound but not many of them can be very helpful if you're trying to actually get accommodated. Instead of using websites that cater to a national or even international crowd, consider using local websites. These sites oven offer better (read: better) listings of hotels if you're traveling last minute. Global sites are often simply too expansive to actually give you the good deals.
Use multiple sites.
It's rare to find last minute hotel bookings that offer reasonable prices in only one site. Use several different sites so you can compare. You might even come across really great deals – terrific if you're traveling on a budget.
Look for a local travel agent.
Don't rely too much on your trusty travel agent. Even they sometimes don't get to help in terms of last minute hotel bookings during your travels. Instead, look up travel agencies in the locality where you're traveling to. You could probably find them online, at tourism websites or online yellow pages.
These local travel agencies have a better access on the actual availability of hotel rooms in their area. They should – they're located there. Call them up or send an e-mail to inquire.
Ask the local tourism office.
If you're traveling to a popular destination, they usually have local tourism offices that you can turn to for assistance. It's the local government's way to show hospitability in order to encourage tourists to come visit. If you need booking for last minute hotels for your travel, try checking those in charge of local tours. They could guide you in finding a nice, safe place to stay for the duration of your trip.
An advantage here is that not many people do this often – they prefer the more beaten path of calling hotels, airlines and travel agencies. And since you'll be talking with the tourism office, you might want to get a few tips on finding the best hotels where you could experience the local flavors and offerings of your destination.
Check offers from low cost airlines.
Many low cost airlines have affiliated hotels. These range from 4 to 5 star hotels to more simple accommodations courtesy of inns and hostels. You might want to check their websites for availability in case you're traveling any time soon. Many of these affiliated hotels can accept last minute bookings. An advantage: if you use the low cost airline for travel, you get all the information you need including hotel bookings from only one website.
Check out package tours.
Sometimes, last minute hotel booking problems can be solved by simply checking out bundled tours. Some airlines, such as major carriers, might offer package tours that include not just hotel accommodations but also rental cars.
If you book a flight with any of these airlines, you could take advantage of their offers, get an airplane ticket, book a last minute hotel room and even have a car pick you up from and to the airport.