New Year’s Day is just a few days away and with that comes the hustle and bustle of holiday travel. You may have gone somewhere for Christmas break and getting back to your final destination or planning that terrific New Year’s Day at a warm destination, whatever the case may be with it sometimes comes last minute planning. If you have ever tried to book travel last minute, meaning within 14 days of your arrival date, you know that it is often coupled with high prices and big headaches.  If you are a chronic procrastinator or just have to take a last minute trip, these tips could be your saving grace. 

Basil Elotol is the founder and CEO of Triphop, a leading online travel company, which gives travelers the freedom to reward themselves by providing an unrestricted, immediate, and extremely generous cash rewards program. Triphop has grown to become the most rewarding online travel website in the hotel booking marketplace. With over 15 years in the Travel and Technology industry, Basil has become a leading expert in the space. Prior to founding Triphop, Basil was part of the executive team of a Travel and Roaming Technology startup and played an instrumental role in successfully growing the company to over $200 million in annual revenue.

He has these 10 Last Minute Travel Tips to Make Your New Years’ Stress Free:  

1. Consider mid-week travel:

Whether you are booking a flight or a hotel room, travel can be less expensive mid-week. Flights can be one third of the cost if you can or are willing to book on a Tuesday rather than a Friday.

2. Shop around online for the best hotel deals:

Look around on travel sites for the best hotel deals and make sure you Google for positive reviews before you book. Hotel costs can vary on different sites to the tune of a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. Some sites even tack on hidden fees. Do your homework!

3. Ensure the travel booking site you use gives you incentives or perks:

Ever join a hotel travel club only to find out that the rewards and incentives they provide you are just not that rewarding? There are several booking sites that promise fruitful travel rewards, you just need to know where to look. Newer sites like Triphop, a leading online hotel booking company, provides travelers the freedom to reward themselves by providing an unrestricted, immediate, and extremely generous cash rewards program.

4. Pack light:

 This goes without saying but with last minute travel invest in a light carry on so that you don’t have to embark in hefty booking fees. You do not want to carry bulky luggage if you are going for a quick business trip.

5. Mix business with a little fun

Maybe you are going on a business trip but at night you have a little down time to explore the town. In advance, start researching restaurants or maybe fun shows such as theater, a comedy club  or any other activity that takes your mind off the stress of travel. Apps like Groupon allow you to discover things to do where you are and try them at a discounted rate. As they say, work hard, play hard.

6. Check and double check all reservation dates:

You made your hotel reservation, but do they really have your info in the hotel system? Prior to leaving on your trip, call the hotel and ensure that your name and dates of travel match up to what they have in the system. There are certain sites that will do this for you, but not all sites are created equal. As a precautionary measure its good to just ensure you are in the system for an overall peace of mind.

7. Provide your travel info to a close family member and friend:

There should always be two points of contact that know your travel dates and where you are traveling to in case of emergencies. Forwarding travel itineraries to people you trust can help if you need to reach someone and there is a travel delay on your trip.

8. Check hotel reviews prior to booking:

You are at the point of booking, but how do you assure that the hotel you booked is worth staying at? Doing a quick search and reading through some traveler reviews will help determine if you made the right choice.

9.  Learn everything about the destination before takeoff:

If you are headed to a foreign country read up on cultural norms and check the weather conditions for the next few days. Every country is unique and you want to be sure that you are mentally and physically prepared for what you are about to experience.

10. Next time plan ahead:

While last minute travel deals can be found, our number one tip is to prepare in advance if you can the next time you travel. It always helps to alleviate stress and ensure that things go much more smooth when you are on the road.