If you’re flexible on dates and destination, it’s possible to get a great deal by booking last minute. Travel providers buy package holidays from suppliers in bulk to sell on to you, so they lose money on every package they don’t sell. Since any kind of profit is better than none at all, travel agents will drop the prices of holidays as the departure date approaches to encourage people to buy, which can mean huge savings for you!
This race against the clock makes travel agents more flexible on price the closer the departure date gets, so you’re likely to get your holiday package significantly cheaper than if you’d booked it months earlier. Aside from a price cut, there may be extra benefits to tempt you to book such as free room upgrades or welcome gestures at your hotel.
Why not get on the last minute bookers’ bandwagon and try it for yourself? Next time you have a week off, throw caution to the wind and be spontaneous – it could save you a bundle! Read on to find out the best tricks to finding a late deal.
How to Find a Last Minute Deal
Be flexible: When searching for a last minute holiday, flexibility is the key to getting a good deal. If you’re tied to specific dates or have your eye on a favourite resort you’d be better off booking in advance, but if you’re just craving a break in any form, there are some great deals out there. Searching ‘any destination’ with a flexible date range is the easiest way to find the cheapest prices, and from there you can use filters to narrow down your search.
Time your search: Prices for last minute deals usually start to drop around 6-8 weeks before departure, but if you’re feeling particularly brave you can still find bargains as late as a week before you travel. Of course this only works if you have no destination preference, as choices will be limited.
Shop around: Once you’ve identified a deal, it’s time to make the call. Calling several different holiday providers can pay off hugely when looking for a last minute deal – get a quote from one and then talk to a few other providers and see if they can beat the price with a similar deal. You can then take one of them up on their offer, or go back to the original provider and use these other quotes to push the agent into lowering their price. Chances are they’re racing to sell the deal before departure date and will be willing to negotiate on price.