Guest Post: A guide to booking a last minute family holiday

Today we have a guest post from the good folks at Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog.

Five days. That’s how long one in five of us leave before booking a last minute holiday. Indeed, more and more people are deciding to book last minute deals, according to research from 2010 as reported by New Media Trend Watch.

But is last minute booking the best option for your family? We take a look.

What are the options?

As a general rule, the more flexible you are with the destination and accommodation, the more money you could save.

All inclusive deals

A lot of last minute booking sites offer all inclusive packages at a discounted cost if you book a few weeks before you travel. With food, drinks, accommodation and flights included, these deals can be a great way to ensure you stick to a budget during your holiday.

Last minute flights

Last minute flights are ideal if you’re looking for a spur-of-the-moment weekend getaway.

Last minute accommodation

If you aren’t picky on the type of accommodation you’re looking for, last minute holiday sites also offer cheap deals on hotels, guest houses and self-catering flats.

DIY or travel agent?

There are pros and cons to booking a last minute holiday through a travel agent. A travel agent may be able to offer you a larger range of deals. Plus, they make it far easier to organise flights and accommodation for the whole family. However, after factoring in the travel agent’s fee, it could be cheaper to book independently.

Searching independently for last minute holidays often takes more time than booking through a travel agent (the average traveller will go to 22 websites before booking a trip). However, you’ll save on the travel agent’s fee and potentially find a deal your travel agent didn’t know about.

How can you find cheap last minute holidays?

There are many places you can look for last minute holidays, including:

  • Online – Probably the easiest way to find last minute deals, use search engines and travel sites to research what’s on offer.
  • Newspaper – Look out for great deals advertised in the newspaper.
  • TV – A number of new companies devoted solely to last minute deals now advertise on TV. Watch for their adverts, and then go online to find out more.

Regardless of how you book and who you book through, it’s worth looking online to find a Travel Insurance Policy for your family. Getting quotes for holiday insurance is fairly straightforward and hassle free.

With last minute deals rising in popularity, while remaining good value for money, your family can benefit from being a bit spontaneous this summer. Do your research, consider the different options and don’t be afraid to seize a super deal before it goes away.

The post above was written on the behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog. Views in the post are of the author and not of Sainsbury’s Bank. It includes tips and information, but this does not constitute advice and shouldn’t be used as a basis for financial decisions. Sainsbury’s Bank accepts no responsibility for views, and opinions of external contributors and the content of external websites within this post. All info was correct at time of publication.

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