The 10 Best Apps for Last-Minute Travel
If you’re feeling spontaneous and want to head out of town for a last-minute getaway, you’ll need some help finding the cheapest airfare and hotel room. Download these tried and true apps to get you on the road—and help you save money along the way. Unless noted, all apps are free and available for Android and iOS.
Cruise Finder by iCruise
You normally have to book cruises well in advance—sometimes even a year out. But those looking to hop on deck on short notice can use Cruise Finder's Hot Deal feature to find last-minute savings. A recent search shows us a four-night cruise in the Bahamas on Carnival with ocean-view rooms for $479 per person, just two weeks ahead of travel.
Whether you want a flight, hotel room, car rental, or total trip package, Expedia’s easy-to-navigate app has thousands of last-minute choices for any destination. Though prices are usually around 20 percent cheaper than published rates, it’s not unusual to find savings of up to 50 percent.
Type in where you want to go, and this app (or its website) offers up the lowest available fares over the next several months. Being flexible about your destination pays off: if you want to skip town this weekend, simply select your dates, and Fareness will display a list of the cheapest airfares to various cities.
GTFO (Get the Flight Out)
If you’re looking to book a flight tonight or tomorrow, this app from flight tracker Hopper is your go-to helper. The inventory is from major airlines as well as low-cost carriers, and the prices are always favorable. A recent search found a British Airways round-trip flight, with a same-day departure, from JFK Airport to London’s Heathrow for $500. iOS only.
Snag a discounted hotel room for the same day or up to a week in advance in more than 1,700 cities. Look for properties with special Geo Rates, which target users based on their GPS location. For example, while you’re waiting for a flight at the airport, search for a room at your destination—you can sometimes get a better deal than if you wait to book after you’ve landed.
Last Minute Travel
Members who pay the $50 annual fee can score up to 65 percent off hotel rooms, flights, cruises, car rentals, vacation homes, and trip packages. The app covers destinations all over the world and has a sister app for sightseeing tours and boat trips.
This last-minute hotel-booking tool includes dozens of luxury properties in Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas. Beginning each day at 3 p.m., One Night users can book a hotel room for that evening and are guaranteed the lowest available rate (recently, a room at the Standard in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District went for $129).
This app lists last-minute deals for upscale hotels—sometimes as much as 70 percent off published rates—at properties all around the world. Travelers can also use it to book air and hotel vacation packages.
Travelzoo’s app not only lists discounts on packages, hotels, cruises, and flights but also has an extensive range of special offers for restaurants, spas, and activities.
This app is loaded with suggestions for dining, activities, and events, which you can search based on your travel preferences. It also offers savings on hotel rooms that average around 25 percent off published rates.