The secret to grabbing a great last minute holiday deal is timing. It can take nerves of steel to hang on until a couple of weeks before travel to book your summer holiday, but the rewards are there if you are willing to risk it. Remember though, waiting for a last minute deal is a risk. You may find that you are unable to get the deal you are looking for and you could end up missing out or paying more than if you had booked a little earlier. If you have a specific destination or resort in mind you are probably better to look at early bird deals which also offer excellent value but also the peace of mind that you have your holiday booked well in advance.
From month to month the last minute deals change, this handy guide will help you to stay on top of your options. You may find that you are unlikely to get a last minute deal on your choice of holiday at the time you are planning to travel. If that is the case consider booking now to avoid missing out.
This is always a great time to get a deal on holidays of all sorts. You could be looking at last minute skiing or last minute winter sun, you will also see some deals coming out on summer holidays around now. January is a great time to plan a city break too.
You are not likely to get lucky with a last minute deal in February as kids school holidays mean both skiing and winter sun holidays are likely to have been long prebooked. If you need to travel in February it may be wise to book early. If you are flexible though start looking towards the end of the month when the kids are back at school.
March is a great time to pick up a last minute ski holiday.
School holidays once again make April a poor time for last minute deals, family holidays are usually heavily booked around this time. If we have a good snow season in April 2011, however, you are likely to pick up a great ski deal – best start praying for a cold front then!
High season for Caribbean holidays tails off in early May but you can expect decent weather and you may find correspondingly decent deals for the Caribbean this month. You could also expect to pick up and early break to the Med. The interrail crowd don’t normally get started until June so this is a great time for a good value European city break too.
June is a great month for last minute deals so you are spoiled for choice if you are ready to travel this month. The Mediteranian season gets into full swing in June but with school holidays not starting until late in the month availability can be good. You may need to be a little flexible about timings (think about leaving mid-month) but you can definitely get a great holiday bargain this month.
It’s winter in Australia so if you are thinking about heading down under you can expect some great fares too. Queensland has great weather year round and winter is also a great time to head to the Red Centre as temperatures are less oppressive, so don’t let the season put you off a trip to Aus.
Depending on how their season is going, you may also be able to grab some bargain flights to the States in June, but this is not guaranteed. As ever, with a last minute deal it pays to be flexible.
Last minute deals can be few and far between in July as it is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. If you are committed to travel in July you may want to think about getting an early deal rather than a last minute one, otherwise this could lead to disappointment. Your other option is to hope the tour operators have a bad season to force prices down.
Another difficult time for last minute deals . Think about booking early if you need to travel in August.
Early September tends to be pretty busy, your best chance will come towards the end of the month but be prepared for disappointment.
The weather around the Mediteranian resorts is on a downward spiral now, but so are the prices. If you are ready to chance the temperature you should pick up a great Med deal in October.
This is low season for city breaks so you should pick up some cheap European flights and a hotel for a song this month.
You should be able to pick up a great winter sun break in early December if you are ready to fly long haul. The first couple of weeks should be the cheapest of the year before the Christmas peak season hits.