How to Book a Spontaneous Summer Trip
Summer is halfway over, but there's still plenty of time to get out there and enjoy some sunshine, patios, and beaches. No beaches nearby? Well, they're just a plane ride (or road trip) away!
Some of us (like The Everygirl editors based in Chicago) have been dealt a hand of sporadic sun, thunderstorms, and temperatures in the 60s and 70s this summer. Not exactly what we were dreaming of when it was -10 during last winter in the #SnowPocolypse.
Two weeks ago we were in desperate search of some sunshine after the wettest June Chicago has ever seen. And if we're being really honest, we just wanted to lay by the pool with a margarita so we decided to book a spontaneous trip to do just that.
Itching to do the same? (Who isn't?) We say, go for it! But first, read our five tips for booking a spontaneous trip this summer:
1. It's all in the timing
Tuesday mornings are usually the best time to find the best possible rate when booking a flight, so we spent the morning searching for cheap flights to a few (warm) states and decided on Florida (just $300 round trip booked one week in advance—score!) Beaches, pools, culture, and great restaurants. Done.
2. Be flexible
Flexibility is the key to scoring a great deal. We originally had Miami in mind as our destination of choice, but found much better deals in Ft. Lauderdale. (It met our qualifications of "warm" "beach" and "cocktails," remember?) That flexibility alone saved us hundreds.
We used Booking.com to find the perfect hotel. It's our favorite travel site with almost 700,000 hotels, apartments, and villas to explore. They had over 380 properties in Miami Beach alone!
We checked all the necessary boxes while searching for a hotel—pool and WiFi were a must. (Plus, we wanted something that felt like a resort!) We found everything we were looking for plus an amazing deal: pay for 3 nights, get one free at the 1 Hotel in South Beach.
Want even more savings? Flexibility is also key to scoring the best flight—if you can spare an extra day off, you'll pay half as much returning on a Monday or Tuesday versus a Sunday! (Or maybe you could work remotely? Hey, if your hotel has free WiFi...)
3. Look beyond hotels
While we found all we wanted in the 1 Hotel, it's also worth looking beyond hotels for extra savings. Great scores can also be found in apartment rentals. Or if you are traveling with girlfriends, renting a villa could be a more affordable (and fun!) alternative. Plus, with those options you can cook your own meals, which equals major savings.
4. Read the reviews
Booking a hotel can be scary if you don't know what you're getting into. Reading reviews from real people gives you great insider info and ensures you're not getting a four-star hotel with two star service. (Yikes!) We like that Booking.com has over 51 million reviews, which put our minds at ease and made the decision making process much easier.
5. Read the fine print and look for "little extras"
The 1 Hotel offered a free fruit buffet every morning, which helped us save money on snacks! We threw a couple apples in our bags and we were off to the beach. Booking.com has a smart search function that allows you to browse hotels that offer little extras like "free breakfast" or "airport shuttle," which can add up to big savings.
Now, drop everything and head to Booking.com or download the Booking Now app and plan a spontaneous summer trip!
What spontaneous travel ideas have you been thinking about? What are you waiting for?
This post is sponsored by Booking.com. Wing everything. Except your accommodation.