If booking a plane ticket is too pricey, try taking the bus. New "premium" coach companies, like Megabus.com and BoltBus (boltbus.com), combine low prices with amenities such as onboard Wi-Fi. Travelers can land fares for as low as $1 for a one-way ticket from NYC to Boston or DC, though $14 and $20 is the average price.
Recently opened hotels typically reduce their rates to attract customers. Check out Hotelchatter.com, a daily webzine, for information on the latest bargains.
Want to take off anywhere next weekend? Go to farecompare.com/dealfinder (a ticketing and travel-advice site) and choose your departure city, the month, and how much you want to spend. The site will show you where you can fly in that price range. For the biggest savings, leave on a Saturday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Also, do your booking midweek, as airlines often announce sales Tuesday mornings that must be reserved by Thursday.
Cruise lines insist on being solidly booked before setting sail, so they usually offer steep discounts (as much as 60% off) starting as early as three months before the departure date and up until two weeks before sailing. Check lastminutecruises.com for specials.
For more information on last minute travel visit realsimple.com.
Kristin Appenbrink & Erika Wortham