For many travelers, reconciling wanderlust with a lack of time for planning a trip far in advance usually adds up to big bills. But thanks mostly to increased broadband usage, time-constrained consumers are embracing the concept of last-minute travel, with both leisure and business travelers booking trips - mostly on the Internet - at the 11th hour.

Travel specialists say there has been a proliferation of Web sites offering options on last-minute travel. Many believe that the airlines started the trend several years ago by offering weekend deals that were e-mailed to subscribers early in the week for travel that weekend. Helping the trend along has been the growing penchant for shorter vacations.

Now, even mainstream travel sites like Orbitz and Travelocity offer search options for last-minute travel.

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