Whilst the dream of showing up at the airport and jetting off somewhere on a whim might seem romantic, in the real world, it can be eye-wateringly expensive. However, booking a trip with only a couple of weeks to spare can sometimes land you some rather lucrative deals.
However, this only applies if you can be flexible with your plans.
If you’re one of the lucky ones not constrained by school holidays and are happy for your wanderlust to take you anywhere the wind blows, you might just find that with a little forethought, last-minute travel allows your money to stretch much further. Here are a few tips to help you out…
Whilst last-minute accommodation can often reward the late booker with some excellent deals, the same can hardly be said of airfare. Whilst it’s not unheard of to score a cheap flight close to the departure date, you’ll find it a lot easier to book a last-minute package deal, where your flights and hotel come as one. Make it your business to regularly trawl travel sites such as Expedia, Lastminute and Travelocity – your perfect holiday deal could be just a few clicks away.
Last-minute travellers are nothing if not flexible, so take advantage of the fact you can get going whenever you like and explore midweek options or transport that departs at unsociable hours. You might also find that hotels have more deals on days like Tuesday or Wednesday than at the weekend which is traditionally a more popular time for getaways. Call hotels directly for an even greater chance of getting a discount and check out TripAdvisor for the lowest flight prices available every day.
If you’re keen to travel last minute on a regular basis, you ought to be sure you don’t miss any exciting deals when they crop up. Follow airlines on social media and sign up to their email newsletters so that you don’t let any trips slip through your fingers. Comparison sites like Skyscanner also offer newsletters to keep subscribers informed of all the juiciest deals.
If you’re looking to keep costs as low as possible, keep a weather eye on smaller airports, rather than making the mistake of sticking to the main transportation hubs. Comparison sites such as Skyscanner offer search tools to help you check airports near to you, so that you can explore all your options thoroughly. It’s also worth checking the locations of smaller airports abroad, too – some may be just a short bus ride to the holiday city of your dreams.
Whilst booking a last-minute trip can feel like something of an adventure, there’s no doubt that it doesn’t leave you with copious amounts of time to pack. All that lengthy list-making and research that comes hand-in-hand with a trip booked well in advance can be done away with – this might sound like bliss to some! However, in the excitement of landing that deal and the rush to buy sun cream, dust off your suitcase and check you have all the essentials to leave the country, it’s all too easy to forget the little details. If you’re lucky, that means arriving at your destination to find you need to purchase a new toothbrush. If you’re not, it could mean falling ill and requiring expensive medical treatment or losing your valuables and realising you’ve forgot to buy travel insurance. If you are likely to travel more than twice a year, you could save money by booking annual multi-trip travel insurance whilst putting yourself in the safe, not sorry, position of not having to buy a new plan each time you head off on your hols.
That’s where Medical Travel Compared can help. Our comparison site can help point you in the direction of a variety of insurance providers that might best suit your circumstances. Have a browse or get a travel insurance quote for your next trip today.