Last-minute holidays can be an amazing and unexpected treat. Many people don’t realise quite how big the savings are which they can make with last-minute trips, and how amazing it can be to book a holiday in the off-season.
Of course, when people hear ‘off-season’ they frequently think winter. This is not, however, strictly the case. The autumn is in fact the least popular holiday season, with spring second in line. As plenty of people holiday during winter to escape the damp cold here in the UK, the middle seasons are far less popular and if you really want to save money and avoid the crowds, you should aim instead for the fall and the spring. This time of year is perfect for last-minute trips, but how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of it?
First of all, you need to make sure you find the best deal. Don’t dismiss Google; a quick search for last-minute holidays, with or without a destination of choice, can help you find everything you need. If you’re less sure of what you want, nip into your local First Choice; they have last-minute deals and will be able to tell you which destinations will fill all your needs, while also being able to help you work out different packages.
In terms of preparing for your holiday, think about what you want to do. Hot sunny beaches? Hot tubs, hot chocolate and skiing in the snow? If you know what, precisely, you’re looking for before you begin the search, you’ll be better able to meet your needs and figure out where to find it. Don’t forget that you may need to be flexible to get the right holiday; the closer to departure you buy the ticket, the better the deals, but obviously this means that the holiday you’d been imagining may not come along at precisely the right time for you.
Be sure you have plenty of time booked off. You can either book the time off in advance, then fit your holiday in there as best you can, or you can book the holiday and hope the holiday time is approved. Which of those is appropriate for your situation depends on many things, including how flexible your company is about holiday bookings. If you are on good terms with the person in charge of approving your holidays, you can keep them abreast of any developments and hopefully achieve the perfect balance, but otherwise you do have to assume you’ll need to do some compromising.
In terms of packing, if you have a very last-minute flight or are planning to play it by ear, have your bags well-packed beforehand. Light travel is often best, and as such be ready to wear the same outer clothes at least two days in a row. This is less feasible in hot areas or whilst engaging in sports (such as skiing) which will cause you to sweat a lot. Be aware of these issues and, if you must pack a set for each day, try to purchase light-weight items that will take up little room. Also keep your passport and other required documents near to hand so that you can grab them and go off in no time at all. This will also help your peace of mind!
Last-minute travel can be an amazing experience, but without the proper preparation it can turn into a bit of a disaster. Be aware of what you need, want, and pay for and you can make sure your last-minute trip is everything you’d hoped for.