For many people, their preferred method of booking a holiday, whether abroad or in Britain, is to wait until the summer and then book a last minute holiday, either online or through a travel agent. This has several benefits, which allows you to benefit from last minute discounts, but on the other hand, the available choice is often limited, so you may have to settle for a different destination. However, provided you’re prepared to be a little flexible, booking a last minute holiday can often be cheaper than reserving many months ahead. You may have to visit Jersey instead of Normandy, or take the sun in Morocco rather than that hotel in Jamaica you had your eye on, but you will be saving money.
Let’s take a look at an example of how you might book a last minute holiday. Having decided that you’re going to try and get away in springtime for some sunshine abroad, you can wait until the week before you’re planning to travel and then get onto the Internet or visit a local travel agent. The travel agent may not be able to offer you anything in Jamaica, as you’d hoped, but they do have a deal on flights to Morocco, which means you can holiday there for far less than you’d have expected.
Ordinarily, you’d want to book well in advance to get the best deal, but by leaving it so late, you take advantage of cancellations and spare capacity. Airlines and hotels have a choice of leaving seats and rooms empty, or offering them to customers at hugely discounted rates. They will normally plump for the latter. They are able to reduce their losses, and you get a great deal.
Of course, we don’t always book a last minute holiday through choice. Sometimes we’re not sure in advance exactly when we’re going to be free to travel, perhaps because of work or family commitments. The same benefits apply, though; by waiting until just before your date of travel, you reduce your options, but open up excellent deals on late flights and hotels, which wouldn’t otherwise be open to you.
However, it’s not just the money saving benefits that attract many people to booking a last minute holiday rather than planning ahead. Some people positively enjoy the uncertainty of not knowing where they are going to be spending the weekend. Modern travel is not always as exciting as it might be; from the hassle of flying to the familiar-looking shops and fast food chains, the frequent traveller can occasionally become jaded. Choosing a last minute holiday gives you an element of uncertainty and excitement. Have you ever wondered what the south of France is like? Well, you’re flying out in 48 hours, so better start reading up!
Booking a last minute holiday is easy. The best place to do this is online – the ease and convenience takes all the stress and hassle out of what can be a tricky decision. There are any number of websites out there dedicated to finding you last minute deals on flights, hotels, or fully integrated holiday packages. Some cater for single travellers and couples; others specialise in family deals at suitable resorts and locations. You can use last minute holiday websites to book a short break in the Highlands or Jersey, or organise a two-week holiday in the Canary Islands. Alternatively, you can simply get a last-minute flight to Italy or Germany and make your own way from there.
So long as you don’t turn up in a tourist hotspot in the middle of the high season expecting to find a room in the first hotel you visit, you should find there’s plenty of excitement in choosing your destination at the last minute. You can also book a last minute holiday by going to a travel agent – certain companies will advertise late deals and can organise a getaway for you in just minutes.
Just as certain people actively seek out a last minute holiday for the thrill and uncertainty of visiting a new place at short notice, so it should be noted that a last minute holiday is not necessarily for everyone. If you’re the sort of person that likes everything planned well in advance, or requires a certain type of accommodation, then a late booking may not be for you. Similarly, if you have your heart set on a particular destination, you should be aware that choice is necessarily limited the later you book. Most of us wouldn’t mind if instead of Jamaica we had to make do with Goa – but you may feel differently. If so, perhaps you might prefer to be booked well in advance.
Whatever your personal preference, there’s no doubt that there are great benefits in booking a last minute holiday. In just a few minutes, you could be on your way to… well, who knows?