7 WAYS TO GET AROUND THE MIAMI AREA FOR FREE!

Image result for miami metromover

Feel like you’ve already spent too much on your stay in Miami? Don’t fret. There are a number of options to get around this area that are truly free!  Some of these options include busses that, in addition to being free, offer air-conditioned rides and can connect you to other transportation options in the area. Planning your route and checking the schedule is highly suggested, as some routes may only be serviced once or twice an hour. All you need is access to a map (printed or on your phone) and a good understanding of the routes serviced by the options below.

 

1.  FREEBEE

It would be hard to miss these innovative electric cars with oversized ads on their roofs driving around Miami (Miami Beach, South Beach, Brickell, Downtown, Wynwood, Edgewater, Midtown, Design District, Coral Gables and Key Biscayne). They are extremely useful in the heavily congested areas, especially where parking is very difficult. Here’s a plus: Freebee is a “going green” advocate, so when you ride Freebee you too become a part of the solution in the efforts to reduce carbon emissions from miami’s beautiful local neighborhoods. Using their own app, you can request and customize a ride. A car will come pick you up from your location and drop you off at your requested destination, provided it is within the operating zone. The Freebee cars (A WinqBid partner!) don’t make stops like trolleys and buses do, so this option is extremely convenient.

Hours of operation: Varies for different service areas, check website.

Click here for website and additional info.

 

2.  METROMOVER

An electric rail system riding on a 4 ½ mile loop above ground whisks riders throughout the downtown Miami area free of charge! Popular stations include the American Airlines Arena, Bayside Market Place and Miami-Dade College. There are two separate loops, an inner loop and an outer loop, so be sure to check the service map before planning your ride. You can also connect to the Metrorail and Metrobus, although keep in mind that those are not free.

Hours of operation: Monday-Thursday from 5am to 11pm; Friday from 5am to 12am; Saturday 6am to 12am; and Sunday from 6am to 11pm.

Click here for website and additional info.

 

3.  TROLLEYS

What began in the City of Coral Gables has now spread to other cities in Miami-Dade County. The Miami trolleys are a reliable and free option of transportation.  Pickup locations compliment the transit routes stopping at commercial locations frequented by commuters, such as along Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables and along Calle Ocho.  Many of the trolleys have that vintage streetcar look with designs that coordinate with the colors of the city, (for example, Sweetwater is blue and white, while Coral Gables is orange and green).  They are air-conditioned, provide wi-fi and generally one doesn’t have to wait as long as a bus to catch one (usually between 10 and 30 minutes apart).

Hours of operation: weekdays from 6:30 am to 11pm; Sundays from 8am to 8pm

Click here for the website and additional info.

 

4.  MIAMI LAKES MOOVER

This FREE bus is the perfect addition to the already existing metro routes. The Miami Lake Moover provides connections to the metrobus and metrorail. The buses run during peak morning and evening hours with travel periods circulating every 35-40 minutes. The routes connect Main Street, Optimist Park, Miami Lakes Educational Center, Business Park East, Royal Oaks Shopping Plaza, Bob Graham Education Center, Royal Oaks Park, Barbara Goleman Senior High School, Business Park West, Miami Lakes K-8 Center, and Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School. travel periods circulating every 35-40 minutes. Each circulator is equipped with bike racks, flip seats, and ADA-compliant wheelchair ramps. An advantage: riders can now track the Moovers in real-time online.

Hours of operation: Monday- Friday during peak morning (6:00-10:00AM) and peak evening (2:15-7:00PM)

Click here for the website and additional info.

 

5.  PALMETTO BAY IBUS

“IBus” is a play on the word ibis which are large beautiful wading birds that frequent Village parks and neighborhoods. This FREE service was designed to increase the number of destinations that can be reached by a fixed route schedule throughout Palmetto Bay and surrounding areas, and to connect with Miami-Dade Transit routes. All Village buses are air conditioned, wheelchair accessible and bike rack equipped. The IBUS operates on weekdays along two routes (A and B) in the Village of Palmetto Bay and connects passengers to the Miami-Dade Busway and Metrorail (both charge fees).

Hours of operation: Mornings – 6am to 9am Afternoons – 4pm to 7pm

Click here for the website and additional info.

 

6.  NORTH MIAMI NOMI EXPRESS

The NoMi Express is a free community bus service provided by the City of North Miami. Buses transport passengers along routes within the city on weekdays (except holidays). There is a total of 27-28 stops along each route, differentiated by green, blue, yellow and red.  Passengers can view the buses arrival schedules in real time on the NoMi Express app.

Hours of operation: Monday – Friday 7am to 7pm; Saturday – Sunday 10am to 6pm

Click here for the website and additional info.

 

 

7.  AVENTURA EXPRESS

 

This FREE shuttle bus provides transportation along routes within the city of Aventura on most days (except Sundays, New Years Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). Six routes divide the city into three sections: north (blue route), south (purple and yellow routes), and central (green, red and silver routes).

Hours of operation: Monday – Friday (Blue, Green, Red, Silver, Purple) from 6:45 am to 7:30 pm; (Yellow) 7:45 am to 7:30 pm
Saturday – 7:45 am to 9:15 pm

Click here for the website and additional info.

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Ideas

Summer is quickly drawing to a close but there’s still time for some fun, last-minute getaways! Take a look at these five hot vacations for the summer and top ideas of what to do when you get there.

1. New York
Take a trip to the Big Apple and experience the sites, sounds and tastes of this famous city. Beyond touring the Empire State Building, catching a world-famous Broadway show or walking through sprawling Central Park and Times Square, here are a few other points of interest to consider when planning your trip.

Classic Harbor Line
Sail to the Statue of Liberty for a leisurely afternoon with a free glass of champagne.

One World Trade Center
Pay tribute to one of America’s most powerful and emotional monuments. Avoid the line and buy tickets online to tour the museum at ground zero.

Top of the Rock
Catch breathtaking views of the city lights from the top of the Rockefeller Center’s observation deck.

Bike the Brooklyn Bridge
What’s a New York vacation without an iconic bike tour across the Brooklyn Bridge? Enjoy the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty from across the East River.

2. Miami
Keep things hot and full of flavor with a trip to Miami. Maintain your summer glow on one of the many white sandy beaches and explore the Cuban-infused culture of this tropical city.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Take a tram through 83 acres of beautiful gardens including collections of rare tropical plants, water features and a butterfly exhibit.

Little Havana Food and Walking Tour
Discover the history, music and flavors of Cuba as you explore Little Havana, visit artists and cigar makers and do tastings at five authentic restaurants and cafes.

Miami Beach Jet Ski Company
Enjoy a more intimate Jet Ski tour with smaller groups and more time on the water seeing the sites!

3. New Jersey
The beaches of Jersey Shore are home to fun attractions to explore that are both family friendly and relaxing.

Asbury Park Boardwalk
This boardwalk includes restaurants, shopping and a live music venue that brings in big acts all year long.

Point Pleasant Beach
Enjoy clean, beautiful beaches in this area as well as family fun at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk and Aquarium where you can enjoy rides, games, animals, fireworks, movies and concerts.

Lighthouses
There are 11 lighthouses stretching from Cape May to Sandy Hook. Take a trip to the top of these nautical icons and collect souvenirs along the way.

4. Boston
Boston’s rich history creates a diverse backdrop for your last-minute summer plans.
Walk the cobblestone streets and discover the heartbeat of one of America’s most historical cities.

Fenway Park
Catch a Red Sox game at this legendary ballpark that opened in 1912 making it the oldest Major League Baseball stadium in the nation.

Freedom Trail
Take a tour on Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile collection of museums, churches, meetinghouses, burial grounds that tell the story of the American Revolution.

Adams Brewery
This free brew tour is a must-see in Boston. After learning the history of the brand, stop in the tasting room to sample several products like Angry Orchard Hard Cider and Twisted Tea Hard Iced Tea in addition to the famous Samuel Adams Boston lager.

5. Washington D.C.
Museums
Rediscover the history of our nation in D.C.’s many museums including the Smithsonian, National Air and Space Museum and Washington and Lincoln memorials.

The White House
Take a picture in front of this iconic landmark and take a 45-minute self-guided tour if you schedule in advance.

Site-seeing cruises
Choose from a variety of cruises on the Potomac River including views of fireworks, cherry blossoms and guided national monument tours.

Bid on great hotels

Need a hotel for your last minute travel plans? Winqbid has you covered. Find and book the best hotels in New York, Jersey Shore and Miami for a fraction of the cost when you use the Winqbid app to bid on rooms that would otherwise be left vacant.

Just download the app (available on iOS and Android), enter your payment info, bid on an auction and win your hotel room! You will only get charged for the rooms you win. Enjoy five-star hotels with a variety of amenities for three-star prices. Don’t forget to use Winqbid for all your last-minute travel deals. It’s a win-win!

Why You Should Bid to Travel

Why You Should Bid to Travel

When it comes to traveling, your priority is always to save time and money, right? Then bidding for your hotel room is going to seriously be a game-changer. You may have never bid to travel before, but if you can be flexible with your schedule, or want to add an extra night to your existing trip, hotel bidding is the best way to get a 5-star hotel room for a 3-star price!  

How does it work?

No one wins when a hotel room is left unsold. Hotels want to fill those empty rooms and that’s where Winqbid comes in. From your smartphone, you can bid for a better quality experience with more amenities often for the same price as a standard room. When you bid on Winqbid, you have complete control over how much you’re going to pay and the kind of experiences you’d like to have during your travels. 

How do I get started?

 

With the Winqbid app, you can use live, real-time hotel bidding to win and book rooms for a fraction of the original cost. The current inventory includes hotels in New York, Miami, Jersey Shore and more cities to come very soon!

1) Download the app

To get started, you’ll need to download the Winqbid app from your app store, available for iOS and Android devices. 

2) Enter payment information

Before you can start searching and hotel bidding, you’ll need to enter your credit card information so Winqbid has it on file. You will only be charged if you are the winner of the bid. 

3) Search for hotels

To start searching, tap the geo location arrow to see hotels near you. You can also search for hotels in another destination by city, zip code, landmark or by nearby airport or attraction. You can also use the sort button to sort by price, ratings, distance, hotel type and amenities. 

4) Choose your dates

Next, tap the calendar. Enter your check in and check out dates and number of guests. Available hotel options will appear for you to scroll through. If there is no hotel available for your selected date, then you can set a reminder to alert you when a hotel is available for bidding. 

5) Start the Bidding process

In the bidding section you will see the name of the hotel, its star rating and bidding price. The tonight tag means you’ll be bidding on a room only available tonight. A “last minute” tag means you can bid on a room up to one week in advance. 

Once you select the hotel you want to bid on, you can view photos, room types and bid amounts. A map, amenities list and user reviews are also available to help inform your decision.

When you select the room you want to bid on, you will see a confirmation of the bidding price, dates and number of nights. There is also a countdown timer showing the end of the bid.

There are two options to bid. You can choose “quick bid” which will automatically populate a bid in the lowest increment available (like $5), or you can put in a manual bid, which just has to be the same price or higher than the quick bid amount. 

A push notification lets you know when your bid has been placed and that you are now the highest bidder. If you’ve been outbid, you can raise your bid if there is still time on the clock. 

If you are the winning bidder (congrats!), you will be notified and will have five minutes to complete payment to secure the winning room. If you do not win the room, your card will not be charged.

If you’d like to skip the bidding process altogether and book your room for the lowest available rate the hotel offers, you can do on that on Winqbid too. Once you click on the “book now” button, your reservation will be secured. Now it’s time to start packing!

 

Make hotel bidding a lifestyle.

Once you start scoring awesome hotel rooms and amenities, it might get a little addicting. With the extra money you’ve saved on rooms, you can finally splurge on a nice dinner, drinks or entertainment. You could even treat your friends! Traveling is all about creating experiences that will last a lifetime, so why not upgrade them?

When’s the best time to book travel?

When’s the Best Time to Book Travel? 

Ever wonder when’s the best time to book a flight and hotel?

Traveling is the best way to discover the world around you. But travel comes at a price. Lodging and transportation eat up a big chunk of your budget. Before you so much as board your plane, you’re already looking at a lot of upfront costs.

The key to affordable travel is knowing when to book.

Flights, rental cars, and hotels are sold in dynamic marketplaces. That means the prices are always changing.

Book too early and you might miss out on a sweet last-minute sale. Book too late and … well, you won’t have a plane ticket at all.

The best times to book your travel
Travel booking requires impeccable timing. Follow these quick tips to book your travel at the best times for the best deal.
Booking flights
A study by CheapAir analyzed over 917 million fares to find the best time to book a flight. They saw fares change an average of 62 times over 11 months. With all of those changes, when is the perfect time to book a discounted ticket?

The answer?

It depends.

On average, the best time to book your flight is 70 days before departure. But as long as you’re within what they call the Prime Booking Window (3 weeks to 4 months ahead of departure), you’re golden.

However, there’s a riskier option that could pay off big time.

If you book a flight 14 days out, you can sometimes score a sweet last-minute deal. This happens when airlines realize their flights aren’t full enough.

However, if your timing is off, you could be paying $85-$200 more for a last-minute ticket. Time your buy wisely.

According to a separate study by Skyscanner, the best day to reserve your plane ticket is Sunday. The best time to book is 6 am Eastern.

If you can’t wake up at 6 am on a Sunday (we don’t blame you), then avoid prime buying times. Don’t purchase tickets between 7 – 10 pm, because that’s when more people are buying, hiking up the demand and price.
Booking car rentals
Car rentals are really pricey! But if getting a Lyft everywhere isn’t an option, it’s a necessary evil.

While there’s a best time to book flights and hotels, the general rule of thumb for reserving your rental car is to do it ASAP.

Booking 3 – 6 months ahead of time will get you the best rental car rate. It will also make sure there’s enough inventory so you aren’t left stranded.

But don’t get too antsy! Booking rental cars 12 months in advance is actually more expensive.

Try reserving your car via the rental agency’s website. Use shopping portals and membership sites like AAA to see if there’s a difference in the rate. Sometimes you can shave a few bucks off your total this way.
Booking hotels
Just like planes and rental cars, hotel room prices fluctuate over time. Generally speaking, to get the best rates, you either need to book early or book at the last minute.

The good news is that most hotel reservations are refundable. We recommend booking ahead of time to make sure you have a room.

Then, when a better deal comes along, you can swoop in, reserve it, and cancel your “just in case” reservation.

Hotels slash prices at the last minute when they realize they aren’t full. According to a global hotel study, booking 1-3 days ahead of check-in can save you up to $20/night.

You can save even more when you book your hotel over the weekend when people tend to not be looking for a hotel.

Try to adjust your check-in times, too. The cheapest option is to check in on Sunday and check out on Monday or Tuesday.


There’s a Better Way
Are all of these times, dates, and rules making your head spin? Unless you’re some traveling genius, it’s hard to keep everything straight when booking your travel.

The good news is that you don’t have to subject yourself to arbitrary timelines or Sunday-morning alarms.

To save on your hotel booking without the headaches, try bidding on vacant rooms. WinqBid gives you the power to bid on vacant hotel rooms directly from your smartphone so you don’t have to remember the best times to book flights, hotels, car rentals, on top of everything else you have to remember in your life! Available in New York City and Miami, Florida, score five-star hotels at great prices to travel in style—without worshipping your calendar.

Top Places to Visit in New York City

Top 6 Places to Visit in New York City

New York City is a tourist destination of worldwide fame. Wondering where to go? The Big Apple has something for everyone. This city is filled with top-notch dining and shopping, historical landmarks, museums and famed musical theatre. Before you get caught up in this city’s hustle and bustle, be sure to come up with a list of your must-see destinations to visit while you’re there. Here are some of our top picks for places to visit in New York City:

Statue of Liberty

Located in New York Harbor on Liberty Island, you’ll find guided tours of this iconic statue. Get access to the grounds of Liberty Island and Ellis Island and both museums or arrange a reservation to visit the statue’s pedestal or crown. Keep in mind that pedestal and crown access are limited so get your tickets in advance. A walk from the ground floor to the Statue of Liberty’s crown is equal to walking up a 20 story building! 

Central Park

Take in the surroundings of the most visited park in the U.S. and one of the most visited tourist attractions worldwide. Covering 843 acres in Manhattan, the park sees between 37 and 38 million visitors annually and is one of the most filmed locations in the world.

Central Park is home to the Central Park Zoo, the 20-acre Lake and Belvedere Castle, which provides some of the best views of the park. Sail a model boat at the Conservatory Water, ice skate in the winter on Wollman Rink or visit the French-style Conservatory Garden during warmer weather. Take in the different landscapes from the American elms in The Mall and wide-open spaces of the Sheep Meadow. These are just some of the few famous landmarks Central Park boasts.

Empire State Building

Stand high atop Manhattan as you visit this legendary skyscraper. The art-deco building draws four million visitors each year to its 86th and 102nd floor observatories. In the city that never sleeps, it keeps the observatory hours from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. 365 days a year. While you’ll find the view of city breathtaking, this cultural symbol of American architecture has more to explore from its iconic lobby featured in films to the 80th floor Dare to Dream Exhibit that highlights its planning and construction. 

The Financial District

The neighborhood known for Wall Street is the leading financial center of the world and home to the largest global stock exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Don’t let the Financial District’s name fool you. This part of town is a hotbed for tourism. Take in a photo op with the bronze charging bull and fearless girl statues, eat at one of the many restaurants and bars on Stone Street or at South Street Seaport and take in some shopping at Century 21 as you find deals on all your designer must-haves. 

The Financial District is a combination of old and modern architecture. At one end of Wall Street stands Trinity Church, the oldest in Manhattan and the final resting place of Alexander Hamilton. To visit the newer buildings in this area, look no further than the World Trade Center site. More information on these post 9/11 landmarks is in the next section.

 

9/11 Memorial and Museum

Ground Zero is a highly sought-after tourist destination in New York with the notable 9/11 Memorial Plaza and Museum to visit and pay respects to. Located at the site of the former World Trade Center complex, the memorial features two enormous waterfalls and reflecting pools along with the names of every person who perished in the terror attacks of Feb. 26, 1993 and Sept. 11, 2001. Next door you can visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum which further explores the events and implications of what happened on that infamous day. 

 

Wellington Hotel

This hotel might not be as famous as some of the attractions listed above, but a great stay in New York starts with a comfortable yet elegant place to stay. We highly recommend this historic hotel in the heart of Manhattan that’s been welcoming guests from around the world for 116 years. If those high New York prices have your flustered, look to your trusted Winqbid app for Hotel Wellington rooms at a deal. You can bid on one of their standard or deluxe rooms and stay below the nightly rate. With so much to do in the city that never sleeps, that extra money you’ll save will come in handy.

Money-Saving Travel Tips

Money-Saving Travel Tips

Saving money, especially while you’re traveling on vacation might seem impossible, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be wise with your spending. While some view their next great adventure as a time to splurge, there are a few areas where you can spend less and get a better travel experience out of it in the process. Here are some of our money-saving tips to practice while traveling.

Keep Track of Every Dollar Spent

If you’re looking to save money, you have to have an idea of what you’re spending first. With so many travel budget apps out there it’s easier than ever to keep track of your expenses. For those traveling without reliable internet, check out Tripcoin. The app works in remote areas so you can view and budget without worry. For those looking for something “extra” out of their travel app, Spent has a cash back rewards program for purchases. Simply link your credit and bank cards to the app and it applies the cash back bonus when shop at participating stores and restaurants.

Take Public Transportation

Sometimes your travels take you to places where you might not be able to walk, or maybe you’re just really tired of walking to reach certain destinations. Instead of renting a car or hailing that taxi, Uber or Lyft, consider public transportation. Not only is most public transportation considerably cheaper, you open yourself up to new experiences and have the opportunity to travel like a local. If you’re visiting a metropolitan area, research your pass and ticket options. Some cities offer multi-ride passes you can pay one low sum for and use multiple times during your trip.

Eat Where the Locals Eat

Looking for dining options that are cheap but delicious? Let the locals lead the way. Do some research first to discover the types of cuisine your travel destination is known for. If you’re passing restaurants, cafes or street carts along your journeys, take note of how popular they are with the locals in that area. If you do need to ask for dining recommendations, try to avoid the taxi drivers, hotel staff and other personnel-related to the tourism industry. While a hotel staffer or driver might recommend a local gem, chances are they will suggest a place that’s designed more for tourists and overpriced for the out of town crowd.

Shop At the Markets

From the travel essentials you need to pick up to the souvenirs you can’t leave without, check out the local markets before shopping the tourist traps. Aside from spending more than you probably need to, you’ll be introduced to unique finds and benefit your travel destination’s independent artisans and small business owners. In many markets overseas, haggling is the norm which means an even better bargain for you if saving money is your number one goal.

Use Winqbid for Hotel Deals

We look at deals to save us money on our flights and our rental cars, but did you know that you can do more to save on your hotel stay? Unlike the travel sites where you need to constantly search for the best deals and settle on one that fits your budget, with the Winqbid app, you set your own price by bidding on your hotel room. You win by setting the limit of the price you’re willing to pay and hotels win because they fill their rooms. Think about all of the time you’re saving too in addition to money. Live bidding on rooms happens in real-time and you get live notifications on your phone to help you keep track of your biddings and winnings. Saving money on travel shouldn’t mean settling for less. Make sure to set up the “auction alerts” function on the app so you can set up an alert for the dates & cities you want to be aware of if there’s a live hotel or auction available. Download the WinqBid app today!

Hotel Perks You Never Knew Existed

Hotel Perks You Never Knew Existed

Hotel guests like to know they’re getting the most out of their hotel stay for the money they’re spending. What a savvy traveler knows that most do not: Hotel perks are rarely advertised and in some cases, you need to request them. There are lots of free stuff at hotels other than bathroom toiletries, along with other complementary services for their guests. Here are just a few you can inquire about for your next stay:

Hotel Perk #1: Hotel Toiletries

Before you head to the gift shop or a nearby drug store for those hotel toiletries you forgot to pack, check with the hotel front desk first. Hotels often have items they regularly don’t put out in each room. Whether you’re in need of wet wipes, deodorant, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, makeup remover, lip balm or hair styling products, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Unless it’s priced as a separate amenity, some hotels offer complimentary shaving and sewing kits. Some hotels that cater mostly to business guests even provide free lint rollers and shoe shine kits, or they can send up the polish and brushes to your room to keep you looking sharp.

Hotel Perk #2: Fitness Stuff

For those who love to stay in shape even away from home, look beyond the standard treadmills and elliptical machines. Some hotels are now offering yoga mats, in-room fitness programming, and athleticwear so travelers can pack light but still get a great workout in. Hotels like the W in Miami even offer free fitness classes for their guests. With perks like these, it’s good to research ahead of time on their website or simply call the hotel before making reservations.

Hotel Perk #3: Free Happy Hours

Before you search for that nearby bar, see if your hotel offers a happy hour. Embassy Suites by Hilton locations host a complimentary reception in the evening with alcoholic beverages, snacks or a light appetizer for registered guests. Kimpton hotel locations host a wine hour featuring local wines and some even host bigger events which include craft beer tastings, live music, spa services and pet adoption meet and greets.

Hotel Perk #4: Kids Amenities

If you’re traveling with children, research some of the amenities your hotel has specifically for kids. Some hotels offer small welcome gifts or goodie bags with items like fun games and coloring books with markers to free on-site activities for your little one. A popular offering of luxury hotels used to be milk and cookies before bedtime but these days, they’re going above and beyond with gifts, snacks and memorable activities such as family movie nights. Hotels like the Four Seasons and Starwood Hotels & Resorts locations are providing a desirable complementary perk to parents as well with the short-term use of a stroller. For family vacations that require air travel, this is a game changer.

Hotel Perk #5: Free Room Upgrade

When you check into your hotel, be sure to politely request a room upgrade. Often times more desirable rooms are still available – and free of extra charge to you. If you’re staying in the hotel due to a special occasion, be sure to tell them. Is it your honeymoon or anniversary? Let them know at check-in. Even if a room upgrade isn’t available you might find a complimentary bottle of champagne or wine delivered to your room.

Don’t forget to DOWNLOAD the WinqBid app to join a live auction and win your next hotel stay, at a reasonable price!

Your Guide to Making Last Minute Travel Happen

 

Your Guide to Making Last Minute Travel Happen

Planning last minute travel doesn’t seem logical for most. There’s the worry of spending too much money, not finding reasonable airfare or a decent hotel. There are people who feel like if they’re not planning ahead, they can’t make a vacation happen at all. We’re here to tell you that last minute travel is possible with the right tools and mindset. Take a look at the last minute travel tips we like to follow when planning a getaway on a whim.

The Benefits of Last Minute Travel and Where to Start

It’s time to turn that “why” into a “why not”. Booking an unexpected vacation is exciting. It adds some spontaneity to your mundane routine, allows you to live in the moment and think of all the time you saved rather than planning a trip months out.

The first step is knowing your budget. Once you have an idea of what you can spend, the next step is researching and picking a destination. Part of planning a trip this quick is being realistic. For example, if you know your budget absolutely won’t cover airfare overseas, it’s safe to say a vacation to Paris is out.

In addition to being realistic, last minute travel also means being flexible with not only your destination but your dates. Considering a trip to the Caribbean? The islands with larger tourism often mean better deals but don’t count out some of the off-the-radar islands either. They may offer the best travel deals to push their tourism business further. When it comes to your calendar, keep in mind some days of the week are more expensive to fly than others. Also stay open to the length of your stay. Who doesn’t want their fifth night at the hotel for free?

Be Open to a Non-Concrete Travel Itinerary

You’re making a lot of plans in a short amount of time. Take it easy when it comes to your travel itinerary. The whole point of a vacation is to relax and enjoy yourself, so don’t make trip planning into more work than it needs to be. Depending upon how long your stay is, pick out one to three activities that really excite you and keep an open mind. You’re already living in the moment taking this vacation, keep it that way until you return. By doing this you’re not stressing yourself out and you might be surprised by the great adventures and experiences you can have by not limiting yourself to what only fits in your schedule.

Don’t Travel During Peak Season

A quick lesson in travel jargon, there are three seasons of travel: Peak season (roughly mid-June through August), shoulder season (April through mid-June and September through October), and off-season (November through March). We know that the point of last minute travel is making a getaway happen on a whim, but beware when that wanderlust hits you during peak season.

Obviously peak season means higher hotel and airfare rates but also consider how traveling during another season will improve the quality of your experience. Traveling during lower seasons means less people at your destination. Instead of bumping shoulders with obnoxious tourists, you might connect with genuine travelers and friendlier locals for a truly enriching experience.

Download the WinqBid App to “Bid It to Win It!”

Control how much you’re willing to pay through WinqBid live auction! The WinqBid app strives to make you feel like a winner when booking your hotel. Staying true to your budget, our app helps you control how much you’re willing to pay and the type of hotel experience you’re looking for. This is the ultimate app to help you search for hotels with unsold rooms at low rates. Search hotels, select the one you’re interested in, choose your room type (i.e. king, queen, double beds) and place your bid. You can even participate in multiple auctions at the same time. Once the auction is over and winners are announced, you can choose to book the winning room of your choice and forfeit the others. To keep ahead of other bidders, use the “QuickBid” option to raise your bid incrementally.