How to book a last-minute holiday

With so many Brits tightening those purse strings and cutting back, a holiday in the sun might seem an impossibility. But if you're desperate to get away, leaving things late could mean you bag yourself a real bargain.

booking a last-minute holiday

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Here are our top tips on where, when and how to grab a cheap deal at the last minute.

While Spain, Greece and Italy are often the summer sun destinations of choice for British holidaymakers, travelling just that little bit further could save you a pretty penny. North African destinations like Egypt and Morocco, or up-and-coming Eastern European resorts in Poland or Bulgaria are less popular than the Spanish costas or the Greek islands - and that means late deals can be bought at a bargain price.

Shop around
While might seem like an obvious place to start and will, indeed, provide details of bargain buys, shop around and you might find an even better price. Large travel agencies that have bought up flights and accommodation won't want empty seats or beds so do check them out. And if you visit your local high street agent, you might even be able to haggle on the price of one of their own packages.

DIY deals
Booking flights and hotels separately can be a real money-saver but you'll need nerves of steel to get the best deals. Though budget airlines offer their best prices well in advance, others often sell cheap seats at the last minute to ensure they've got a full plane so check flight wholesalers such as or for last-minute bargains.

Similarly, hotels don't want empty beds so search those at your chosen destination and you could find a really good deal.

Flexibility is the key
Ultimately, if you're flexible about when you travel, you're likely to get the best deals. Opt to travel at off-peak times, such as during the week, and you'll almost certainly save money. Last-minute package deals are often on offer at bargain basement prices about one week before the date of travel, so keep your bags packed and be ready to roll for what could be a dream holiday at a discount.

What's your top tip for last-minute travellers? Leave your comments below...