August has been a washout, the school holidays are nearly over and the bank holiday is looming. If you aren’t looking forward to winter and still have cash in the bank, the coming bank holiday weekend is the perfect time to grab a last-minute trip to Europe. But with so many options on the web, where should you look first?
Late August bargains
There are always bargains to be had this late in the day, but you need to be flexible. Not only with your dates but also with your ideal destination. It’s like playing a game of lucky dip which can take you on some fantastic adventures if you are willing to take a chance.
To find a website that allows you the choice of ‘anywhere’ as a destination, head to one of the comparison websites. Kayak offers a wide range of last-minute breaks picked from travel companies like Expedia and Travel Republic. It also lists a few of the airline holiday operators, so you won’t need to search on individual websites either. Quick and easy to use the range of filters you can apply to narrow your search is quite impressive.
Package holiday operators
If you have opted for a sunshine break rather than a city trip, there are plenty of last-minute deals available for the coming bank holiday. However, the big operators like Tui are tied to rigid flight schedules with partner airlines, so be prepared to compromise on your dates.
On the beach is a travel portal which allows you to set your dates without specifying a location; all you need to determine is your departure airport. A quick search, which includes a board basis filter, will help you find a hassle-free bank holiday break.
Not strictly holiday packages, more of a resort hotel & flight combo. Love holidays lets you go one step further. With this holiday comparison site, the departure filter can remain set to anywhere. Which is perfect if you have easy access to several airports.
Be prepared to make the most of unsold flight and hotel spaces, and you can scoop up a bargain. British Airways aren’t famous for their discounts but their last-minute hotel & flight packages are worth browsing. These eleventh-hour combinations are often cheaper than compiling the package yourself. Although not as effective as some of the comparison websites the Easyjet Holiday site offers easy access to some of the best 5, 7 and 10-night hotel & flight deals they have on offer.
Booking last minute isn’t ideal for flight-only holidays as the airlines use algorithms (EMSR) to determine their pricing. However, this can sometimes work in your favour. Flight prices for well known holiday spots are programmed to start high to correlate with passenger booking habits. However, last-minute recalculations based on market demand data often triggers the release of flights at a much lower cost if a resort or country has been unpopular, which can be used to your advantage.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a destination in mind, and you have time to spare, Google flights is the perfect solution to find low-cost air travel.
BEST DEAL: British Airways – Berlin, Munich and Prague are particularly cheap this bank holiday weekend.