Consumer Alert: How to plan that last-minute spring break trip without breaking the bank

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — In just over a week, your kids will be out of school for Spring Break. Have you planned a get-away? Generally, the rule is the later you plan, the more you pay. But even at this late date, you can plan a vacation that won’t break the bank. The key lies in the f-word. Flexibility.

On Tuesday I explained your rights when you fly.

I reminded you about last weekend when more than 10,000 flights were canceled. If that debacle didn’t scare you away from flying, a good website to find cheap last-minute flights is

Remember, at this late date we have to be flexible. So on Momondo, I chose the option “anywhere” as my destination. After that, I’m taken to a map with the least expensive flights from Rochester to cities across the country.

I then tried flights out of Syracuse and again chose anywhere as my destination. I found quite a jewel—roundtrip tickets to Nashville for just $210. A few days in the Music City for a couple hundred bucks is a real find.

While experts for the website The Points Guy say sites like Momondo are great to get a sense of what’s available, Melanie Lieberman, The Points Guy Global Features Editor advises travelers to book directly with the source rather than using a third-party site.

She also advises procrastinating travelers to take a look at what that plastic in your wallet has to offer.

“If you’re looking for credit card offers, you can go to your credit card website or credit card app and look for deals that might include cashback on certain purchases or extra bonus points,” said Lieberman. “One thing that we talk a lot about at The Points Guy is looking for ways to make every trip a little bit more rewarding." She says that by being aware of your credit card perks, you can have a rewarding experience while also enjoying the financial rewards of credit card programs.

So here’s Deanna’s Do List for last-minute travel:

  • Be flexible
  • Leave on Tuesday or Wednesday. You’ll save some cash.
  • Be willing to take the red-eye.
  • Use your miles as well as those credit card rewards and bonuses.
  • Sign up for airline newsletters. I know clogging your inbox is a pain, but often they’ll offer flash deals you’ll only find in the newsletter.
  • Follow airlines on Twitter.

And don’t forget about train travel. It’s often cheaper than last-minute plane tickets. When my oldest was little, I found train tickets to Chicago for dirt cheap. At the time, my kiddo loved Thomas the Train, so the experience was magical.

You can create a great experience without dipping into the kid’s college fund.