Don’t Get Stung By Cheap Last Minute Holidays

There are not many people that can say they haven’t been affected in some way by the recession. When it first hit and we were warned by Gordon Brown that there were tough times ahead and we’d need to pull our belts in, most of us decided that holidays were one thing that we wouldn’t compromise on. However, in reality, many of us have had to forgo our annual trip to sunny climes and now the winter is here, we are really feel like we’ve missed out. So we need to find out how we can still manage to get away on holiday, while sticking to a budget. What is the best way to go about finding cheap last minute holidays?

The best place to start is on the internet, this gives the widest option of finding the best prices without trailing from shop to shop. How to search is up to you, you may have a destination in mind so you can use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo, and search directly for that, or you may be more general and search for ‘cheap last minute holidays’ for example. This will result in a number of options being brought up which you can then compare.

Searching online also gives you the option to sign up for airlines email offers so you will receive discount news before anyone else, and also benefit from any last minute sales.

Booking flights that fly at unsociable times can also save you money, no-one usually opts for these flights if they can help it so airlines usually charge less to encourage people to book them.

Check flights from different airports, you can sometimes fly from other airports cheaper than your local one, and it is sometimes more economical to travel a bit further and stay overnight than it is to fly from your usual choice.

Be careful when booking to check for hidden charges, cheap last minute holidays can become more and more expensive at each click of a button if you are not careful. Some airlines will give you a base price and then add ‘extras’ as you go along, for instance checking in baggage, flight meals, pre booked seating and then just when you think you’ve agreed a price, they add a credit card charge on.

Type your details in carefully and check the small print as some companies will charge a small fortune to amend a booking, we’re talking ?50 a letter here so be warned!! It can be false economy to get bargain cheap last minute holidays, only to discover you’re paying a fortune in extra charges.

Make sure the company you book with is either ABTA (Association of British travel Agents) or ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) bonded, and then if anything does go wrong with your tour operator, you can claim your money back.  ABTA is for agents who sell holidays on behalf of a tour operator, ATOL is for those who sell flight tickets only.

ABTA and ATOL do not cover everything though; you should always take out private travel insurance whether you are having an overnight trip or few months travelling the world. Travel insurance is there for the smaller and more personal things. It can cover you for flight delays, illness, injury and loss of possessions. Booking cheap last minute holidays is a fantastic way to get away with minimal cost; however if something unfortunate happens, it could end up costing you a fortune. So don’t look at it as wasting money by booking travel insurance, look at it as safeguarding yourself and your finances, making sure those cheap last minute holidays don’t end up costing you a fortune.

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