Do Your Research
There's a lot to be said for traveling on the spur of the moment. One of the biggest benefits to last-minute trips is the cost. Even during busy travel seasons, hotels can be underbooked. As they scramble to get rid of unsold inventory, you can snag a phenomenal deal.
To find unsold accommodations and attraction tickets along your route, check out some last-minute travel Web sites, like the appropriately named Last Minute Travel, as well as Hotwire and Orbitz. Other sites, like Priceline.com, will let you name your own price on last-minute hotels. The only catch is that you won't know where you're staying until after you turn over your credit card number. But if you're flexible and not too picky, you can save yourself a big chunk of change.
Last-minute travel sites are designed for trips planned within a couple of weeks before your departure date. Depending on the deals you find and the flexibility of your schedule, you might want to structure your entire trip around the biggest bargains you find.