Out of vacation days but hoping to fit in some more travel destinations this year? Airfarewatchdog’s newest search tool, aptly named The Weekender, is aimed at helping travelers uncover hidden deals on a weekend getaway.
Airfarewatchdog (one of SmarterTravel’s sister sites) says a recent survey showed that 57 percent of its users “would prefer to take multiple long weekend trips instead of one long vacation over the course of a year.”
Users can search for two- to four-day weekend trips—departing on Thursdays or Fridays, and returning Sundays or Mondays. You can also search for hotel-only deals if you don’t need a flight, or search for flight and hotel together to get a full picture of your trip cost.
“The Weekender allows you to enter your departure city and will generate weekend flight and hotel deals to nearby popular destinations, maximizing your time in that destination,”If you have somewhere particular in mind, you can enter specific routes as well.”
Plus, the tool has the potential to uncover hidden fares you probably won’t see elsewhere: “This new tool will find all the best deals, including unadvertised sales,” Thornton writes. “Delta often releases an advertised weekend travel sale, but those fares aren’t always the best deals around. We often spot better prices for last-minute or upcoming weekend travel that the airlines don’t advertise.”
The only catch? The tool really is built for last-minute travel, as there’s no option to enter dates. Instead, you get last-minute prices for the next two weekends, and that’s it. That will obviously limit the tool’s appeal, but for people planning a spontaneous weekend jaunt, this seems useful.
Readers, do you prefer to take a lot of short weekend trips, or one to two longer vacations during the year? Comment below.