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How to save £1000s by booking a last-minute holiday

6th April 2020 Print

If you're prepared to wait until eight weeks before your departure day, you can often make good savings on your holiday. While many of us like to book things far in advance, holding your nerve and booking last-minute can really pay off when it comes to saving money. If you’ve never nabbed a last-minute break before, take a look at our handy hints and tips on how to get the very best deal. You’ll be packing your bags before you know it.

1. Wait until the last minute

The longer you wait, the better deal you’re likely to get. It’s a basic rule but it works. There are swings and roundabouts to this, of course – the main one being that if you wait until the very last minute to book something, your destination choices might be a little more limited. However, there will almost always be a good range of places to choose from for those super last-minute bookings – and the savings you make could be significant. 

2. Change up your departure airport

Do you always fly from one particular airport? While small in size, the UK has a considerable number of airports, so it’s likely you’ll live relatively close to more than one. If you always fly from Heathrow, how about broadening your last-minute holiday search for breaks that leave from Stansted or Gatwick? Maybe you’ve always flown from Birmingham? Checking for deals from East Midlands Airport as well could make all the difference to your overall holiday price.

3. Jet off to somewhere unexpected

Most of us have a set idea of where we’d like to kick back and relax on holiday. However, if you’re able to keep an open mind regarding your destination then you might bag a bargain. A key part of last-minute holiday searches involves casting that proverbial net far and wide. In other words, by not limiting yourself to one or two pre-selected destinations, you’re increasing your chances of getting a really great deal. Some destinations are more likely to have good offers on, too, so it’s worth doing your research before hitting a few price comparison websites to see what’s on offer.

4. Be flexible regarding departure dates

Do you need to depart on a specific date? If not, you’re in a great position to grab a good last-minute deal. Prices for flights, accommodation and holiday packages can vary significantly depending on when you depart. And changing the departure date even by just a day or two can sometimes make all the difference to your overall price. When searching for a sizzling last-minute deal, try a few departure dates around your intended holiday period and see the effect it has on cost. 

5. Keep an eye out for discount codes 

Savvy internet users know there are discount codes available for virtually everything. When it comes to booking a last-minute holiday, a discount code could be just the thing for bringing your costs down. Codes can get you a good deal on things like flights and accommodation, but they could also save you money while you’re away, offering discounts on everything from airport transfers to meals out.

Booking a last-minute holiday can save you a significant amount of money, freeing up cash to spend while you’re away, or even for booking another holiday later down the line! The key things to remember are to be patient and to keep your search terms broad (especially regarding departure date and destination). For a fraction of the usual cost, you could be jetting off somewhere sensational before you know it.