Whether it's a quick weekend away or an emergency business matter, nothing strikes fear into the heart of a budget-minded traveler like a high-priced, last-minute plane ticket. Many people assume that the best flight deals are available only three weeks or more in advance, but there are surprisingly good bargains for those who wait. With some research, patience and persistence, cheap last-minute travel can become a piece of cake.

Step 1
Be flexible with your flight dates. A cheap flight often requires some flexibility on departure date or the willingness to wait on standby at the airport for an open seat. Since reward often comes with a higher level of risk, the savvy last-minute flier must embrace spontaneity.
Step 2
Use Internet travel search sites to find flights departing from a range of local airports. Just a bit of flexibility in distance can save you hundreds of dollars per ticket. For instance, rather than conducting a search for flights leaving only from Newark, New Jersey, look up departures from the New York City metro area. You will see prices for Newark, JFK, LaGuardia and other area airports. This technique could save hundreds of dollars, especially for those willing to drive an extra half-hour or so.
Step 3
Embrace late nights or early mornings for cheap tickets. "The Washington Post" states: "The cheapest flights also tend to be first thing in the morning or late at night." These flights also have a high number of standby, or absentee, seats.
Step 4
Shop last-minute airline ticket discount sites that specialize in a particular region of the world. One site, Airtech.com, offers last-minute, flexible schedule tickets to Hawaii and Europe, and often finds tickets from smaller carriers that larger sites don't list. Kate Siber of Away.com writes, "Think of it as the budget traveler's way of flying on standby. If you need to be in a certain city at a certain time, Airtech ain't for you."
Step 5
Travel alone. It's simple to nab one cheap ticket, but much harder to find four or five. If traveling in a group, coordinate a meeting at the destination and allow a liberal window of time for arrivals.

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BonVoyage1000 Discount Travel Portal
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