Thursday 3 August 2017

Tips for finding a cheap last-minute holiday

Now we’re in the middle of summer I expect many of you will either be on your summer holiday or about to travel somewhere even hotter! We were planning on going to India this summer but due to the monsoon in many parts of the country we have decided to postpone our trip. I’m flexible over the next few weeks before Pip starts school (how time flies) so we are considering the possibility of a last-minute holiday either in the UK or abroad. Here are my tips for securing a cheap last minute bargain!

Flight sales
If you’re a planner, booking in advance can secure some mega-cheap flights however, last minute deals can be just as good! You’ll find British Airways, Ryanair, EasyJet and Monarch frequently have sales and discounted flights especially during peak times such as the summer holidays!

Affordable Hotel Rooms
There are several ways you can find affordable hotel rooms at last minute. For example, rooms can be cancelled at the last-minute so you can sometimes find bargain deals in the days leading up to travelling. I’ve used in the past and found some great offers however would no longer recommend them because I had a negative experience during our trip to Amsterdam. The room offered at the time of check-in (a dark basement room) was not the one advertised on their site and there was no mention the hotel in question had basement rooms. I was travelling alone with a toddler and this caused a lot of inconvenience. Everything turned out well in the end but I’d be reluctant to use again! Although you can find deals on hotel websites such as I’ve found contacting hotels directly can save you more money. I’ve also turned up at hotels in person asking if they have any rooms available. I wouldn’t do this with Pip in tow but I have been given big discounts on hotels rates through-out Asia, the Middle East and even in Venice (pictured above) in peak season!

Flight + Hotel Combinations
Although a cheap flight plus a bargain hotel may seem like the best option, a package deal can sometimes worth out more affordable. Expedia, Opodo, Thomas Cook and Easyjet all offer flight and hotel packages and often include last-minute discounts. Use the travel comparison website Kayak to find the best options for your you and your family.

It may seem obvious but destination plays a big role in your daily cost of living and overall expenses. Staying local may not be as exciting as travelling abroad but can save you a lot of money in terms of transport costs! Alternatively, although it may be more expensive to fly further afield the daily expenditure will bring your total holiday costs down. For example, flights to India are roughly £400-£600 per person but the cost of living in India is as little as £12 per person per day including hotel and food! 

Exchange Rates
It is worth looking at exchange rates in the countries you are planning to visit. I remember holidaying in the USA when I was a teenager and everything being dirt cheap! Many years later the pound has dropped in value but as it fluctuates so often it’s worth looking at the best GBP to USD exchange rate if visiting the States or to any of your preferred destinations!


*This post contains a sponsored link. All words and opinions are my own. 

Ten tips for travelling on a budget
My Travel Bucket List
Five things to book before you travel

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I hope these tips are useful! What's been your best last-minute deal? Let me know if you have any other tips!


  1. Very good tips! Another favorite is vacations to go! It is a website that sells majorly discounted cruise vacations!

  2. I'm such a geek for Europe and there are so many more affordable places to travel. Thanks for the inspiration! 12 dollars a day! Im in!

  3. I love using and have managed to grab some great bargains at the last minute through them. I certainly wouldn't hesitate recommending them - as long as the price is right! ;)

  4. These are all great tips! I love scanning flight sights for a good deal and then see what else is cheap in that area!

  5. Great tips and that's interesting to read about We've had great experiences with them so I'm quite surprised. Love the idea of just showing up and asking for a room. It can be stressful, but it does work our financially!!

  6. Awesome tips! I'm all about a last minute holiday. I'm terrible at advanced planning!

  7. Polly, why not write about tips on how to score discounts on hotels, too? I think that would be great! We are going to learn a lot from you!

  8. I often wish I lived in Europe in order to take advantage of such cheap flight options and quick getaways to amazing destinations. Thanks for the tips!

  9. Amiable articles and the blogs really helped me a lot, thanks for the valuable information.
    cheap hotel booking


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