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Planning a Last-Minute Vacation

How to Save on Summer Travel

Article by Adapted from Northwestern Mutual’s Life & Money Article By Jacqueline DeMarco

Photography by Stock Imagery

School is out, kids are home for the summer, and for those of us who didn’t plan ahead and book vacations in advance, the idea of planning last-minute summer travel can feel daunting. If you’re looking to get away for a few days without spending a fortune this summer, try booking travel with a shorter lead time and following these insider tips on saving on last-minute travel.

Tip #1: Be Flexible

When it comes to saving money on travel, Brett Holzhauer, travel writer at, says you can save "hundreds” if you can be flexible with your travel dates.

Christien Johnson, a luxury travel expert and the co-founder, CEO and CMO of Villa Punto de Vista, recommends looking at weekdays and off-peak seasons when booking flights and hotels. “Just like with flights, hotel rates can vary depending on the season and day of the week,” Johnson says. “Being flexible with your travel dates can help you find better rates.” When flying, looking at connecting flights or alternative airports is another great way to find potential savings.

Tip #2: Get Social

Holzhauer recommends also following social media accounts of local travelers in your area that post flight deals. “Airline deals are hard to come by post-pandemic,” he says. “This is a great way to meet local travelers, as well as see what kind of deals are available if you’re open to new destinations.”

Holzhauer’s favorite Instagram travel account to follow for finding flight deals is @flightwis. He also keeps an eye on sites like The Points Guy and other points bloggers, but advises skipping third-party travel bookings brands like Expedia or Priceline. These sites advertise deals but can be more trouble than they’re worth due to a lack of helpful customer service processes.

When you know your travel dates, Johnson also recommends regularly checking airlines' social media accounts, as they sometimes advertise last-minute deals there.

Tip #3: Turn to rewards

If you can’t find any last-minute deals on flights or hotels, credit card or loyalty program rewards can help bring down the cost of travel bookings. Holzhauer says vacation costs can be cut by at least 50 percent when applying rewards to flight and hotel costs. In addition to using credit card rewards to help lower travel costs, try joining hotel loyalty programs that offer exclusive discounts, perks, and points.  

Tip #4: Be ready to move quickly

Before embarking on your search for deals, it's crucial to establish your budget and identify the dates you have available for travel. When it comes to saving money on last-minute travel, being prepared to act swiftly is essential. By doing so, you'll be able to seize a great deal as soon as it arises. “Last-minute deals often sell out quickly, so if you find a good deal, be prepared to book it right away,” Johnson advised.

Whether you’re traveling or staying put here in Frederick this summer, our team hopes that you and your family have a fun season filled with rich experiences!

Citation: This article was adapted from Northwestern Mutual’s Life & Money Article By Jacqueline DeMarco.

Watch our introductory video to learn more about us and our approach to financial planning. Still have questions? Contact us. 

Disclosures: Dan Schiffman uses Capital River Wealth Management as a marketing name for doing business as representatives of Northwestern Mutual. Capital River Wealth Management is not a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, insurance agency or federal savings bank. Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Dan Schiffman, Annette Tinder, Luke McLaughlin, and Matt Evich are Insurance Agents of NM and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, (long-term care insurance), a subsidiary of NM. Investment advisory services provided as an Advisor of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company®, (NMWMC) Milwaukee, WI, a subsidiary of NM and a federal savings bank. Investment brokerage services provided as a Registered Representative of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS), a subsidiary of NM, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser and member FINRA and SIPC. The products and services referenced are offered and sold only by appropriately appointed and licensed entities and financial advisors and representatives. Financial advisors and representatives and their staff might not represent all entities shown or provide all the products or services discussed. Not all products and services are available in all states. Not all Northwestern Mutual representatives are advisors. Only those representatives with “Advisor” in their title or who otherwise disclose their status as an advisor of NMWMC the titles "Financial Advisor" or "Wealth Management Advisor" are credentialed as NMWMC representatives to provide investment advisory services.  

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