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How To Plan A Getaway THIS Weekend, On The Cheap

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    Photo: Courtesy HotelTonight.

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    The humidity in your apartment is unbearable, and your roommate is driving you nuts. You need to get away this weekend. Stat. Don't fret, we’ve got just the thing you need, so you can do just that without draining your bank account.

    With the right apps and websites, you can save up to 60% on a weekend trip, whether that involves a short plane flight and a hotel stay, or a car rental, and some camping. Hotels and airlines want to get rid of those last few unsold seats and rooms — and if you know where to look, you can get them for a steep, steep discount.

    So step away from that broken air conditioner and pack up your suitcase with a swimsuit and a cocktail dress. You’re heading out this weekend on a last-minute adventure. Now you can refresh, recharge, and relax — confident that you did so for way less than everyone else around you. Who knows, maybe you’ll have saved enough that you can do this again next weekend, too.


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    HotelTonight
    Use HotelTonight’s new Escape feature to find great hotel deals for tonight, and the weekend ahead (Friday through Sunday), based on your current location. Someone in San Francisco might see great deals in Carmel or Portland, while a New Yorker might get deals for a weekend trip to Philadelphia or Washington, DC. You’ll get deals 30% to 40% cheaper than normal rates.

    HotelTonight also has a nice feature called GeoRates for same-day bookings. These are the rooms that hotels really, really just want to get rid of, so you may find great discounts. Listed in green, they'll pop up after 12 p.m. each day when you’re near a hotel. For even steeper discounts, you can check after 6 p.m. HotelTonight sources rates from 15,000 hotels in over 500 global destinations.

  3. Photo: Courtesy of Last Minute Travel Deals.

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    Last Minute Travel Deals
    Like the app name suggests, Last Minute Travel Deals is well, all about finding amazing last minute travel bargains. It claims you can save up to 60% more than with other travel booking apps on things like flights, hotels, car rentals, and activities once you reach your destination — and there are thousands to choose from. At the least, you receive $25 off your first hotel booking through the app — another great way to save. It also pulls reviews from TripAdvisor, so you can scope out what other people think of a place before you book a stay there.

  4. Photo: Courtesy Wanderu.

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    Wanderu
    So, you want to get away this weekend, but you don’t want to drive, and don’t have the budget for air travel. No worries — Use Wanderu (free on iOS and Android) to find a cheap bus or train deal. The app pools from hundreds of companies including Greyhound and Amtrak, and once purchased, it keeps all of your upcoming reservations in one place so you don’t have to worry about digging out your tickets. If you’ve always wanted to scope out our great nation by land, it’s never been easier.

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    InvisibleHand
    InvisibleHand is a browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. It sits in the background and waits until you start searching for flights, hotels, rental cars, or shopping items from one of its nearly 700 included retailers and 600 airlines. Then, it springs into action, showing you where cheaper prices can be found for that same search item. It’s an unobtrusive way to save a little money here and there — especially if you’re feeling too lazy to search a hundred discount sites yourself.

  6. Photo: Courtesy Expedia.

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    Expedia
    In Expedia’s Last Minute Deals section, you can receive last-minute bargains on cruises, flights, hotels, or a combination of the two. Looking at the offerings on a Thursday, I found round-trip airfare from SFO to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for as low as $439 round trip, and a $139 / night hotel rate for the Hyatt Regency in Washington, DC. It also offers mobile-only bargains through its iOS and Android apps. If you use the mobile app to book a hotel and spend more than $100, Expedia will give you $25 off with a discount coupon code.