Latest Travel Advice
The latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO). See how your travel plans may be affected
Getting a great deal on a quality holiday package is a wonderful win for any traveller, but there are certain steps you can take to secure the best deal to a destination you love. Here’s what our experts recommend for finding the best last minute deals:
Financially, last minute holidays are always worthwhile, because the deals you see are always holidays which have been reduced from their original price. This means you’re guaranteed to be booking a holiday for less than its true value. So, as long as you have the flexibility to take a holiday at short notice, and a love for the thrill of spontaneity, booking a last minute holiday deal will always be worth it. Keeping an open mind as to where you might visit on your trip means that you can enjoy a break which is significantly reduced in price, without having to compromise on the quality of your holiday.
As we suggested earlier, flexibility is key when booking a last minute holiday. Don’t go looking for anything too specific; if you’re just looking for a quick break, there is no need to get too picky about the date and destination of your holiday. Be open minded and choose your favourite deal from those available; this way, you will get yourself the best value deal.
If you’re only able to go on holiday on a specific date, then you are best off booking as far in advance as you can before prices increase, rather than gambling on finding a late deal which fits in with your circumstances. If you can travel mid-week or fly out either early in the morning or late at night, this can also save money.
Unless you have an infinite degree of flexibility, you shouldn’t always wait until the very last second to book. Many holidaymakers don’t realise how stressful it can be to organise a spontaneous getaway when booking one for the first time, as there will come a point when it is too late to organise a holiday which fits in with your desired travel dates. The best way to avoid this is to set a cut off point for when to book your holiday - even if this is as late as a week or two before you intend to travel. Understanding the latest date you can possibly book your holiday can help you to minimise stress and avoid disappointment.
Once you find a deal do your research on what you need, to ensure you have the best time away on holiday. Whether you need a vaccination or just a large bottle of suncream, researching what to take before jetting off ensures you have a really great time.
There is no guaranteeing when, or if, a particular holiday will drop in price, but package holidays usually begin to drop around 6-8 weeks before departure. If you’re feeling particularly spontaneous, last minute holiday deals can be booked as late as a week before departure. However, be aware that at such short notice choices will be limited, so you should avoid leaving it this late unless you have no preference on where you want to travel.
While short haul trips tend to be the most popular for last minute holidays, due to the ease and convenience of travelling to them at short notice, late holiday deals can become available to most holiday destinations around the world.
Among the most popular destinations is the British favourite - Spain. From stunning, sun-soaked beaches to famous landmarks and thriving cities brimming with culture and tasty food, this country truly has something for everyone. City breaks are also extremely popular and come up very often as last minute deals, so keep an eye out for short trips to fabulous destinations like Budapest, Paris, Amsterdam and many more.