Tips for Booking a Last-Minute Summer Holiday
While some people choose to book next year's summer holiday the moment they step off the plane from this year's, others prefer to chance a last-minute holiday booking. But which is cheaper? Is it better to book in advance or last minute?
The truth is, it depends.
Annoyingly, there is no hard and fast rule regarding saving money on summer holiday bookings. Prices largely depend on supply and demand, so it really depends on what other holiday makers are doing, as to whether it's worth waiting until the last minute to book a holiday and how much you'll end up paying.
We will say that if you are going to chance a last-minute summer holiday booking, it pays to be savvy! Follow our tips below to help secure your summer holiday at the best possible price.
Be flexible about times and dates
When booking a last-minute summer holiday, the more flexible you can be with the dates and flight times, the more likely you are to save money. For example, travelling mid-week on either an early morning or late night flight will likely save you money. Basically, you'll be rewarded with a lower price for flights or hotel bookings considered 'less convenient.'
If it's just a last-minute hotel room you need, the longer you wait, the better the price is likely to be - especially if the hotel is looking to maximise occupancy and book up unused hotel rooms.With PlansChange, there is the opportunity to book a resale deal up until the point of check-in, and you'll often find the closer it gets, the more willing the seller is to drop the price.
Plan your last-minute summer holiday with care
While grabbing the first great bargain you spot on a last-minute holiday deal can be tempting, it's important to step back and consider whether it's too good to be true. Spend a little time researching the hotel you'll be staying at. Has it got good reviews, or are they offering the hotel rooms cheap for a reason? What is the hotel's proximity to the beach, the city centre or any tourist attractions you're looking to visit? If it's miles out of the way and you're going to spend a lot on fuel or taxis, the costs will soon add up despite the bargain flights and cheap hotel room.
We also suggest shopping around for the best last-minute summer holiday deals. Compare prices for holiday packages and see how they stack up against booking a hotel room and flights separately.
Consider trip lengths - you might find it's not significantly more expensive to go for a few extra days.
Determine the best board type for you. All-inclusive can be great for those who like to budget their summer break before they travel and might work out cheaper if the shops, cafes and restaurants in your chosen destination are on the pricey side. The best option for you will depend on the destination, your budget and the type of summer holiday you're planning to have.
Sign up for travel companies' alerts and newsletters
One of the best ways to secure a last-minute hotel room or holiday at a great price is by being one of the first to know about it. Sign up for airline, hotel and travel companies' alerts and newsletters to get sales, discounts and deals sent straight to your inbox.
Have you ever found a last-minute summer holiday, flight or hotel room you're interested in, clicked off the page to compare it with another offer, and then returned a little later to find the price has increased?
Unfortunately, this is common in the travel industry, with companies using cookies to track consumer behaviour and moves. The best thing you can do to avoid these sneaky price hikes is to research cheap holidays, flights and hotel rooms using the incognito setting on your browser.
Remember, last-minute holiday bookings don't literally need to be last-minute
Last-minute summer holiday bookings don't necessarily mean booking the night before or even the week before you plan to travel. Instead, you'll often find that summer family breaks are cheapest around 4-5 weeks before departure.
However, if you need a truly last-minute hotel, the best place to book is PlansChange! We enable our sellers to sell hotel room bookings they can no longer use until the point of check-in. Usually, these last-minute hotel room bookings are available at a bargain price and well worth snatching up if it's in your location of choice.
If you can be flexible about location, that's even better! Why not use the lure of a cheap hotel price to explore a new destination? Simply head to our Resale Deals page to search and book your summer holiday hotel.
We hope you have found these last-minute summer holiday tips helpful. Be sure to check out our other blog posts for even more useful travel hints and tips.