So you spotted an amazing last-minute deal on a cruise that was so good, you had to jump on it. Only one problem: It embarks in just a few days! No need to panic; we’re here to help. We’ve got five last-minute tips that will get you ready to sail away without a care — and could even save you more money. Who says procrastination has to be a bad thing?
1. Rent out your home.
Sites such as Airbnb and Roomorama make it easy to list your property and find someone to occupy it while away — it’s even easier if you live in a major city where plenty of tourists would like to bypass expensive hotels and live like a local for less. Your location will ultimately determine the price tag of your place, but any amount can help offset the cost of your cruise. If you’re renting, just make sure there’s nothing in your lease agreement that prohibits it.
2. Book a last-minute, pre-cruise hotel.
If you’re flying in before your cruise and need somewhere to stay for the night, check out Hotel Tonight. It displays the day’s best deals on unsold hotel rooms and lets you book right from your phone. The app will pick up on your current location once you land, or you can search the city you’re headed to in advance and see predicted rates. Sure, it’s a risky move, but you can get an amazing deal.
3. Get a ride.
Before you jump in a cab at the airport, consider using Lyft or Uber. Both apps allow you to request a pickup, get a price quote, track the driver’s route and estimated time of arrival, and see personal information about your driver and the car he or she will be arriving in. (Each Lyft car has a fuzzy, pink mustache on the bumper, so you can’t miss it).
4. Take care of errands.
Eleventh-hour trips mean a lot of last-minute errands. Need to clean the house but don’t have time before you leave? Instead of stressing, post your request on TaskRabbit. Name the price you’re willing to pay, or have people bid for your odd job. You can even assign virtual jobs that don’t require face-to-face interaction, such as having someone research the best shore excursions on your itinerary and emailing you options. They only get paid once the job is done and you’re happy with it.
5. Pack like a pro.
Frantic packing can lead to forgetting items. You don’t want to get onboard and have to spend extra cash on things you could’ve easily brought with you. To remedy this, the Ship Mate app, which is owned by Cruiseline.com, offers handy checklists of suggested cruise essentials for your upcoming cruises. Check off the ones you have packed away, delete those that don’t apply to you, and add others that aren’t already listed.