Anyone else plan last minute trips?

In the past several months I’ve taken several quick trips 3-5 days down to WDW. I’ve gone solo, with DW a few times, w/ each of my 2 DD’s seperate and once with both together. Altogether I lost track but at least 7x since Dec. 2019.

Some where just resort trips and some I had tickets in my acct. Some I didn’t plan on going to the parks and then decided to go and purchased convention tix.

In general they are all last minute type of trips. Usually decide 30-60 days out. I need everything to sort of line up in order for them to happen. I’ve planned a couple that never materialized due to things not coming together. In fact, I was due to leave tomorrow but the weather in my area had me concerned and I couldn’t find a good enough deal to stay on property and really didn’t feel like staying off-site.

The first factor is time off from work. I make my own schedule and have appx. 5-6 weeks of PTO yearly so that’s not ever really an issue. As long as the trips are short and sweet. Being away too long causes the workflow to back up so shorter trips work best for me. I generally plan midweek to midweek or long weekends which start at end of one week and roll into the next which saves some days.

The next thing I look at is cheap flights I can either rebook, refund, or the cost is under $40 so if I do cancel I’m not out a ton of cash. Having a few airports at my disposal which offer budget airlines helps. Plus I always have points on my SW and JB cards. I always book one way flights there and back. Mostly on 2 seperate airlines.

The next thing that needs to line up is affordable accommodations. I like to stay on-site and utilize DME and Disney transportation to keep costs in line. Mostly value resorts on a good Hotwire or Priceline deal.(under $100 pn) Ive also rented points and gotten some very good deals and had the opportunity to stay in some Deluxe Resorts. But the deal has to be good.(under $250 pn) I’ve also stayed moderate at CSR when the deals where good. ($100-$150pn). The stays are generally shorter when the accommodations are more costly.

I always have a budget in mind. (I generally always go over, LoL. but I keep the budget low to start knowing if I go over it won’t be crazy) For example: as I mentioned I just canceled a trip. I had planned on going for 4 days 3 nights. It was a solo trip and I had a budget of $600. I planned on staying Value and purchasing 2 after 5pm convention tix. Flights were on points so no cost there. The tix would be $130 total so that left me with $300 for accomodations and $170 for food. Problem was I couldn’t score a good enough deal onsite and the weather in my area was also a factor.

No harm no foul. Cancelled the flights and got the points back. I did purchase one of the after 5pm convention tickets so I have that in my account for next time. Already looking for the next short trip. Still have another week of PTO left to use, and flight prices are looking good ($40 and under/ or points) for mid November or early December. Just need some affordable accommodations. I might need to either expand the budget slightly or shorten the trip to a 2-3 day long weekend.

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I used to do this a lot in the before times. I have an annual pass so tickets were covered and if I saw a good deal on a travel site I’d easily pop down for a weekend here or there. I was actually on track to be in WDW at least a day each month when the pandemic hit. I managed 5 months in a row and then nothing for almost a year and a half. So much has changed since then (including my views toward WDW) so I’m not sure I could do that now on principle. It would take extremely good deals for accommodations once my dvc points run out (which seem to be nonexistent now).

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I had a trip to Tampa that was off again / on again three weeks ago. At one point when it was on, I realized that there were no rooms available at Disney, and I booked a refundable room at the Swan for October 8. My trip to Tampa was confirmed on Friday, October 1 for Tuesday, October 5 travel, so (other than my lucky hotel booking) I planned everything in a week! I was able to get a BOG reservation and an Oga’s too thanks to reservation finder and random refreshing. I would totally do this again, but I’m about to change jobs and not sure I’ll be popping over to Florida again. :frowning:

I did a live trip report if you are curious :slight_smile:

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In the beforetimes our trips were almost all last minute in that we were typically just over or just under the 60day mark. I have only once had a real Fast Pass day. Mostly had to stalk the site to get what I wanted because we were inside 60days when I booked the trip.

Last month I did a really last minute trip. On 9/25 I booked a flight for 9/26, rented some DVC points from a colleague, and took my first solo trip. It was awesome. I rope dropped MK and HS then used the “ride now” feature on Lines. Worked pretty well.

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I piggyback on a friend’s flight benefits so do this a lot with DLR. I have been know you fly down, Lyft to DLR for 8 hours or so and then Lyft back and fly home. It’s a long day but pretty fun.

My DD21 goes to college in SoCal so that also contributes to lots of mini trips down there. I just flew down last Friday! Spent the day at Disneyland and then Parents Weekend at her school. :joy:

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I had a weak moment last week and went online fully intending to book a trip over the holiday weeks. Luckily, there was zero on-site room availability online for the various dates I was looking at. We are a family of five, so that could have been why there was nothing? I honestly don’t know. I was a bit shocked that there wasn’t anything on property.

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I did a few in this last year for the first time because I couldn’t go anywhere else and the stress of covid, working from home, and teens, etc. I booked on 48 hours before for a 3 day weekend scoring hotwire deal and extremely cheap Spirit tickets. I did another similar one in August a couple of weeks out also scoring hotwire and SWA deals. I am going to Disneyland in Dec for Merriest Nites with $49 flight going out. I enjoy these little short escapes from reality very much. They also give some perspective of just enjoying the moment and not trying to fit it all in in a once every three years kind of trip. If I don’t do it this time no biggie, I did it last time and can do it next. I’ve also learned I really like just hanging out at the resorts and having a resort day. There is so much to do at them.

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I’ve noticed this since Oct. The year before tons of availability…now nothing. There are some days all that is available is a room with a view in the Swan and they want $1000/night and it’s not a suite or anything. I think 50th Anniversary and people who have delayed trips are all going now. I mean they have opened all resorts at this point and nothing. It wasn’t even like that precovid.

But this doesn’t seem to be the case Disneyland in case that’s an option for you but there all the on-site hotels are very expensive but there are a ton very close that are not so bad.

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@jennyturin I’m so glad that I’m not going crazy! This isn’t the first year that I have looked at a “last minute” (aka 60+ days out) trip over the holidays and there usually is something. I also wonder if they are still limiting room and park capacity. It has been over 10 years since I have ventured to Disneyland. We are definitely open to that, but don’t feel as comfortable/familiar with it like Disney World.

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Family of five is tough. We are only four but need three sleep surfaces. Makes it tough to find a room. You could stalk connecting rooms but that gets $$$.

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Boy am I kicking myself for not taking this last trip LoL. Day #3 of no power due to that Noreaster that hit on Tue night. Power company says possibly tomorrow. Ug!! Actually a blessing in disguise. DW and DD17 would have been home alone with no power and no heat.

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That stinks! At least it’s not the dead of winter I guess.

Amen to that!!

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This exactly how I travel. I generally meet a great friend that lives a couple of hours from WDW. My sister, a local friend , and my daughter are others that I meet there as well. My niece was a cast member pre covid so I visited her quite a bit as well.

I’m lucky that spirit is a quick and cheap flight from New Orleans. I just take a backpack. I’m always splitting the cost of a room with one of the above and we look for the same price points you do.

Some years I am an AP. More often than not , it’s cheaper for me to get a couple of Military Salute tickets and do two parks days several times a year.

Headed back in about two weeks. Still hoping a last minute dvc dedicated reservation falls in my lap! I have a family suite booked at ASMusic since my husband and adult son are going with my daughter and I this go round.

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