7 On Your Side tips to save money on last-minute spring break travel deals

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Thursday, March 2, 2023
Saving money on last-minute spring break travel deals
7 On Your Side and Nina Pineda have tips to find last-minute travel deals and save money for spring break 2023.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- If you've priced out flights and hotels for spring break, two probably words sum it up your reaction: sticker shock.

But 7 On Your Side has the antidote with cool deals on some hot last-minute getaways.

Rates are only going to increase between now and spring break, which is based on mid-March to mid-April.

"It's not too late but you need to book now," said Hopper lead economist Hayley Berg.

Berg, a travel expert, says get hopping if you don't want to miss out on spring break -- high demand has pushed airfare for domestic flights about 20% higher than last year.

"Depending on where you go, you may feel some sticker shock, a little extra burn in the wallet, when booking those flights," Berg said. "Airfare to Mexico and Central America, very hot spring break destinations, are about 60% higher."

Their research shows flights to Florida, Phoenix and Vegas will be good deals. 7 On Your Side scored a roundtrip flight to Miami on the spring break flash sale for $112, departing March 14 from LaGuardia -- plus our code gave an additional $20 off.

Scott Keyes from Scott's Cheap Flights said the best ways to save money on spring break travel is to think outside the box. Instead of deciding where you want to go before looking at dates and fares, flip it.

"Reverse your search: step one, look where are there cheap flights available right now out of my home airport, and by setting price as the top priority instead of the last priority, that's how you get a cheap flight especially during peak travel times," Keyes said.

Here are some other tips to shave some costs no matter how you book:

-Look for alternate destinations in same region -- it may be cheaper to fly in or out of Lisbon instead Madrid, or Tampa instead of Naples.

-Depart from a smaller regional airport, consider low-cost carriers and look for fare-lock options to hold fares for a fee and give you a lower price if the price drops.

"The key to a good deal is being flexible," Berg said. "If you can go midweek, you can save $100 on a domestic trip, $130 on international. The cheapest days to fly are on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday."

Avoid Saturday flights and Saturday overnight stays -- especially now.

Berg said hotel prices have skyrocketed up to 64%, but she has a hack for accommodations.

Consider a rental home -- a property for rent can be cost-efficient, especially for large families or groups.

Or opt for a staycation as hotels and inns might offer locals special rates.

"They're called geofenced rates, discounts just for residents of the city," Berg said.

7 On Your Side took resident rates for a test drive for staycations.

For example, at a spa in Connecticut you can save $53 a night with the resident rate at the three area locations of the Delamar Hotel.

And in Manhattan the West Gate at Grand Central will discount a room for two up to 15%

When you check in, all you need to do is present your tri-state area ID to save.

One of the most important hacks experts had was to avoid the "fare bucket" dump. That is when you search for a family of four and the website will dump you all into the same fare bucket to keep you together which may be more expensive.

Instead, try breaking it down and searching for two parties of two. The fare will sometimes drop into a lower fare bucket.

No matter what, don't delay.

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