Best Places To Go For Last Minute Travel Deals

By: Rosie Stevens, ellaslist

Been a bit slack on the family holiday planning this year? Been too busy with the constant juggle that is kids, work and general life to immerse yourself in travel brochures and online searches? Well, we’ve got you and your holiday-hungry family covered.

While tour companies and airlines enjoy making you feel as though booking in advance is the only way to save, remember that when seats and rooms are left unfilled, supply and demand dictates that prices often go down—leaving you free to swoop in and snag a bargain.

Here’s where you should look, and some tips for getting the best deal.

Websites To Search

Image: Wanderlust Travel Magazine

Expedia’s last minute section is one of the easiest and most straightforward to navigate, while Wotif’s deal of the day and booking.com's deals can unearth some great bargains. For epic prices and hot deals that you won’t find anywhere else, check out Groupon Travel

If you’re looking for family-friendly accommodation that isn’t a hotel (the way to go, in our opinion), airbnb’s instant book listings don't require approval from the host before they can be booked. Instead, guests can just choose their travel dates, book, and discuss check-in plans with the host. Simple!

Leave The Destination Open

Image: vilnius.tourism.lt

If you’re not wedded to the idea of a particular destination, using sites like Skyscanner or Momondo can be super useful, as they allow you to set your destination to ‘anywhere.’ 

This means you can literally search for the best deal that’s available at the time—and also discover destinations you hadn’t previously thought of as options! Momondo also lets you put in a budget, meaning you can see all of your realistic choices in one place.

Family trip to Lithuania, anyone? 

Think About Booking Accommodation And Flights Separately

Image: New York Post

While good, old-fashioned package deals can be a dream for saving cash, Money Saving Expert points out that “as a rough rule of thumb, traditional packages are usually cheapest for seven, 10 or 14 days away in traditional holiday destinations.” So, they advise that if you want to go away “for a shorter or longer amount of time, to a less-visited spot, on a city break or multi-stop holiday, it's likely you'll be better off with a DIY package or by booking each part of your break separately through different firms.” 

This approach also allows you to take aspects of certain packages and mix them with your own preferences. 

Be Flexible With Dates

Image: WebJet

Yup, some days of the week are cheaper to travel than others, which means that you can often net big savings by booking the same flight just a day or two later. Keep adjusting the dates until you find the cheapest combo, or use Skyscanner’s Whole Month Search feature to see the cheapest times to fly throughout an entire month.

Image: FBI Travel

 

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