Is last-minute travel cheaper? Holiday myths debunked and how to get the ‘ultimate’ deals

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Holidays don’t always have to require weeks of planning and preparation. In fact, there are thousands of last-minute deals available to book every day to almost any destination. But while spur-of-the-moment travel can be fun and exciting, it can end up costing more than you’d like to spend. So what can you do to get the best deals on short notice? Express.co.uk spoke to Julian House, Managing Director of My favourite Voucher Codes, to find out the best way to bag the “ultimate” holiday, without being over-paying. Here’s what he had to say about flights, hotels, and why all-inclusive travel isn’t always the cheapest option.

How to get a cheap holiday last minute

Booking a last-minute holiday online often seems easy, with endless deals and ‘money off’ promotions heavily advertised on most sites, but one expert has warned against being fooled by these attractive promotions.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Julian House Managing Director of My favourite Voucher Codes said: “It can be quite the adrenaline rush to book the ultimate last-minute deal but be wary of the tactics used by holiday agencies.

“Exploding offers -any offer with a time limit – are intentionally used to force customers into making spontaneous decisions.

“When looking at the last second, you’re far less likely to compare prices and weigh up your options than if you were booking months in advance.”

Do your research

While the booking itself may be done at the last minute, it is still important to take some time to do your research before securing your trip.

Julian outlined that searching for a product or service on Google and clicking on the first result just doesn’t cut it anymore in 2022, and the same applies to holidays.

He said: “You need to compare prices offered by multiple companies and do the research to get the best value for your money.

“Another way to ensure that you’re getting a cheap deal is making the most of all available discounts. Websites like My Favourite Voucher Codes are a consumer’s dream; collating voucher codes from all over the web into one place.”

Remember package deals aren’t always the cheapest deals

Opting for a package deal can speed up the process for travellers looking to get away with little preparation, though Julian has warned that they’re not always the best option.

He explained while package deals are especially attractive and much more convenient for families with children, or other large groups, they don’t have the same low-cost guarantee.

He said: “You will be able to find cheaper flights and cheaper accommodation separately than those offered in package deals, so you’ll have to make a decision on if you’re willing to pay a little more for better flights, better accommodation and an easier experience.”

Booking on short notice often means you lose the luxury of making these choices, but taking just five minutes to consider your options could save you hundreds on the total cost.

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DON’T MISS:

Two ‘magic’ ways you might an upgrade on your next flight [INSIGHT]

easyJet issues cause chaos’ at UK airports [LATEST]

TUI cancels more flights and holidays to Sri Lanka [ANALYSIS]

Look outside of city centres while booking your flights

If you do choose to book your flights and accommodation separately, it is worth noting city centre airports often charge more for flights than those outside of these hotspots.

Julian said: “When looking to book flights, many will instantly opt for the more well-known, city centre airports in their chosen destination, however, widening the scope can result in not only some nice cash savings but reduce the time spent getting through airport customs too – a double win!”

This is down to landing fees being significantly lower in these lesser-known airports.

Are all-inclusive holidays cheaper?

A holiday can become much pricier than planned after a week’s worth of eating and drinking out and can be difficult to budget for beforehand.

Booking an all-inclusive experience negates those costs but, naturally, makes the holiday more expensive.

Julian explained: “Unless you’re eating in five-star restaurants every night, I’d be inclined to say that booking all-inclusive is often more costly.

“Similar to package deals, however, an all-inclusive experience might be cheaper for bigger families.”

To get the best deal for your circumstances, he recommended making some “loose” calculations for the cost of a self-catering holiday.

Do this by adding up the hotel(s) you want to stay in, how long you plan on going away, how many people are going with you and how much you’d eat and drink while away.

Compare these costs with the sum of an all-inclusive experience and see which one is best suited to your budget.

Is it a myth that last minute bookings are more expensive?

Costs are a huge factor when it comes to booking a holiday, which is why many of us shy away from spontaneous trips.

But is it really true that a spur-of-the-moment trip will always leave a larger dent in your wallet?

According to Julian, the answer is no, though you do lose out on some perks when making late decisions.

He said: “You can bag a cheap holiday deal by booking at the last gasp, but I would recommend booking as early as you can.

“By booking early, you give yourself more options to choose from and more flexibility on dates, hotels, travel and more. Obviously, when you book at the last minute, you lose those luxuries.”

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