With so many methods for finding last-minute travel deals available at travelers’ fingertips, ranging from deal hunter apps to package aggregator websites to destination-specific booking engines, your clients might not be sure how to best go about planning an inexpensive, last-minute summer trip. Here are some key recommendations to help get them planning and on their way to enjoying one last, quick getaway before summer comes to a close.
Suggest They Stay Open
Advising your clients to remain open in terms of their travel dates and their destination can help them find the best last-minute deals. Many travel websites allow travelers to view fares for calendar months at a time so keeping their travel dates flexible will allow you to help your clients choose the best option for their budget. Most airlines include surcharges for flights on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so avoiding flying on weekends may be especially advantageous.
Some destinations, like Europe, are most expensive during the summer months while others, like Mexico, are more popular during colder times of the year and offer summer savings. Your clients’ dream destination may not be among the many last-minute deals available this season, so suggesting that they choose to book their trips to highly-anticipated destinations for when they have the time to enjoy the planning process can help them make the most out of their last-minute booking. Settling on a type of destination (such as a mountain resort, beach vacation or a new city) can work well for planning a last-minute trip. If your clients are feeling especially spontaneous, they might want to simply let the deals decide for them and try a destination they’d never think to visit otherwise.
Leverage Your Expertise
You’re one of your clients’ greatest assets; use your skills! Travel agents are able to book directly with travel suppliers and their reservation systems, meaning you not only have access to exclusive deals but you also have access to fares that your clients might not be able to find online. In combination with years of first-hand experience and specialty insight, a travel agent’s knowledge is invaluable to clients looking to take a last-minute summer trip.
Research the Market, Stay Tuned and Keep Your Clients Informed
There are plenty of great websites to use to search for and compare deals. Tech-savvy travelers can find a great package or piecemeal their trip together entirely online and a number of apps designed to deliver the best last-minute prices are available. For real-time updates, travelers can subscribe to alert services and monitor social media channels. With so many ways to stay informed, travelers should be prepared to buy when the right deal pops up, so be sure and let your clients know when you’re showing them a great find.
Use Their Points and Miles Wisely
If your clients are hoping to snag a last minute deal on airfare with rewards points or miles, its recommended to wait until a week prior to departure when airlines make unsold seats available to rewards members. If your clients don’t have a rewards or points account, it might not be too late for them to sign-up and take advantage of special offerings.
Call Suppliers Directly and Ask For Discounts and Upgrades
If your clients are booking their own airfare, speaking with the airline over the phone may grant them access to more flights than they’re seeing online. Booking hotels over the phone and asking for a discount can also result in unadvertised savings. If your clients are interested in free upgrades, not being afraid to ask for them might produce favorable results when they are boarding their flight, picking up their rental car and checking into the hotel.
Passing these considerations onto your clients could help them score the best last-minute deals this season and enjoy a spontaneous, unexpected trip before the end of summer. And don’t forget to offer a well-rounded travel protection plan from CSA Travel Protection before you finish the booking!
Travel insurance plans are administered by Customized Services Administrators, Inc., CA Lic. No. 821931, located in San Diego, CA and doing business as CSA Travel Protection and Insurance Services. Plans are available to residents of the U.S. but may not be available in all jurisdictions. Benefits and services are described on a general basis; certain conditions and exclusions apply. Travel Retailers may not be licensed to sell insurance, in all states, and are not authorized to answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance and cannot evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance. This plan provides insurance coverage for your trip that applies only during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home and automobile policies. The purchase of this plan is not required in order to purchase any other travel product or service offered to you by your travel retailers. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer, insurance agent or broker. This notice provides general information on CSA’s products and services only. The information contained herein is not part of an insurance policy and may not be used to modify any insurance policy that might be issued. In the event the actual policy forms are inconsistent with any information provided herein, the language of the policy forms shall govern.
Travel insurance plans are underwritten by: Generali U.S. Branch, New York, NY; NAIC # 11231. Generali US Branch operates under the following names: Generali Assicurazioni Generali S.P.A. (U.S. Branch) in California, Assicurazioni Generali – U.S. Branch in Colorado, Generali U.S. Branch DBA The General Insurance Company of Trieste & Venice in Oregon, and The General Insurance Company of Trieste and Venice – U.S. Branch in Virginia. Generali US Branch is admitted or licensed to do business in all states and the District of Columbia.
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