Last minute holidays are fantastic. You can get excellent value for money and they are perfect if you are open to where you want to visit. The feeling of spontaneity can be exciting too!
Take advantage of some of the amazing deals available, and snap up a last minute holiday to somewhere you’ve never been before.
When is the best time?
People have different ideas as to when the best time is to book. Some people say that booking at the very last minute (just days before you fly off) is the best way to do it, while others believe the ideal time is around four weeks before you fly out.
However, the best time for you will depend on who you’re going on holiday with. If you are going on your own or as a couple, you might be more flexible and willing to snap up the odd seat by itself on the plane and the remaining double room in a hotel. In this case, waiting until the very last minute is a good idea.
On the other hand, if you’re travelling with children or as a large group, you may want plane seats grouped together or hotel rooms next to each other. In that instance, you’re better off booking approximately four weeks before you want to go to ensure you have the option to do just this.
Generally, flights get cheaper the closer you are to the departure date. That might mean being patient and holding out until nearer the time you want to travel, but keep an eye on comparison sites to see when prices start to drop. There are plenty of good deals to be found leading up to the departure date and prices vary during the day and it pays to be flexible on your departure and arrival dates.
“There are a range of useful websites online to browse through and find your perfect last-minute getaway”
Where to Look
Travel Agents on the high street are a great place to go if you need some inspiration or want to ask for some expert advice on places of interest to you. They can also offer good advice on where to go and when is the best time to book.
There are a range of useful websites online to browse through and find your perfect last minute getaway. Sites like Travel Supermarket (www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/holidays/) Holiday Pirates (www.holidaypirates.com/) and icelolly.com are all great for browsing thousands of late deals in one place, saving you valuable time. Travelzoo.com have a dedicated last minute tab, giving you the low down of your required destination, while BAHolidays.com is a great place for a last minute bargain, and even offer car hire and hotels too, giving you the all round package in one place!
Cruisecritic.co.uk are the one-stop shop for all holidays on water. They also have a Price Drop facility showing you the latest discounts of the week to help you spot price trends.
You can search for a late cruise, flight, flight with hotel, hotel only or holiday package deals, and even last-minute car hire. All holidays and holiday packages advertised on these sites are ATOL protected so you get piece of mind alongside a great price.
Should You Go All Inclusive?
All inclusive holidays market themselves on offering great value for money as everything is included in the price of your holiday including transfers, accommodation, food and drink. However, booking separate flights and a self catering hotel could actually be cheaper if you plan your holiday smartly.
If booking a holiday last minute, the chances are you may not have the time to plan your flights, hotels and transfers separately. In order to sell their spare rooms and flights, most travel agents offer good deals last minute to encourage holiday seekers to snap up the last seat on the plane and the remaining hotel room.
Alternatively, if you love exploring and spending a lot of time outside getting to know the area and eating out at different places, a half board or self-catering last minute deal may be the best option for you!
“Travel Agents on the high street are a great place to go if you need some inspiration or want to ask for some expert advice on places of interest to you”
Keep Looking for Deals and Don’t Get Ripped Off!
Once you have found the deal for you, don’t stop the bargain hunting there! Try searching online for discount codes. Sites such as Tui and Thomas Cook are always offering discount codes throughout the year. Enjoying an extra 10% off an already discounted holiday will save you some extra money to spend in the duty free or at the bar.
It’s important to remember too that you shouldn’t jump at the first deal you see; if it looks to good to be true, it probably is! It’s best to remember that some travel sites may take advantage of your last minute search for a holiday and disguise a normal price as a bargain. Make sure that the holiday you booked is ATOL protected and you’re fully insured in case anything goes wrong before or during your holiday.
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