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When it comes to booking a last minute holiday, there’s late and then there’s really late. If you need to book during in the school holidays, you’re playing with fire if you leave it until the absolutely last minute. Allow at least six weeks to shop around - in terms of holiday planning this still counts as last minute in any case!

If you do need to take your holiday at peak times (because you are travelling with school age children), consider booking one of the periods where bookings tend to tail off - such as Whitsun week, or towards to end of the summer holidays. Highest demand is generally during the Easter Holidays, and July/early August. If you do decide to book during term time, remember to factor in the cost of the fine that local authorities are now legally allowed to impose for unauthorised absences.

Make sure that you are crystal clear as to precisely what is included in the quote. You can’t perform a comparison if the parameters for each option are different, so be clear right from the start. Many components that were once included as standard now incur a separate charge - such as hotel transfers and in-flight meals, so make sure you double check.

When looking for a last minute bargain, be logical. You are likely to have the widest choice in locations that have the biggest capacity - including France and Sprain. Spain is the victor in terms of sheer quantity of resorts; on the other hand France is more accessible, meaning your travel options are increased - as you can go via ferry, train or plane. If you are thinking of Greece or Turkey, a package holiday is the way to go. Don’t be lured into booking bargain accommodation only to find that the corresponding flights will break the bank and negate any saving you may have made. There is likely to be good availability in ‘trouble spots’ such as Egypt or Tunisia, when considering destinations such as these it is ideal to book late in any case, so that you can check the latest travel advice form the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Of course, one of the easiest way to get away at the last minute is to take a ‘staycation’ - That way,(particularly if you are a car owner) you have already ruled out the need to book travel, and can simply look for a lovely place to stay, meaning you can be far more flexible in your search.

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