When impulse strikes and a sunny destination is calling your name, it’s time to hit the book button on a last minute vacation. And with a little luck and flexibility, your spontaneity could be rewarded with steep savings as operators look to fill up flights and hotel rooms.
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The following article is presented by Air Canada Vacations
Here are five tried and tested ways to save on booking a last minute holiday.
Book through one of the best sites for last minute travel
Sorting out logistics like hotels, flights and transportation can be a total time suck, and tough to pull off if you hope to leave in a week or two.
Save yourself the stress of piecing together all the details on your own by heading straight to the source, and booking everything through a travel company like Air Canada Vacations. They even have a dedicated last minute deals page that lists getaways to South and Central America, the USA, Mexico and the Caribbean.
The site is easy to navigate with the ability to sort by departure city, duration and destination, and offers savings of up to 40 per cent off vacation packages, like just $549 per person for a week in Cancun!
When it comes to scooping up a sweet travel deal there are a lot of variables at play, which means flexibility is key. A few things to consider are:
- Airport: Depending where you live, there might be a couple different options for which airport to fly out of which can sometimes affect the price of your last minute all inclusive vacation. For example, central Albertans should look for deals out of both Calgary and Edmonton, while those living in southern Ontario and Quebec might save money by driving a couple hours further to depart from Ottawa, Montreal or Quebec City.
- Timing: Travelling mid-week is where the real savings are, since most people prefer weekend departures. Look for flights that leave on a Tuesday or Wednesday. When you book your flight is also important, since fares are often significantly cheaper between 22 and 121 days out from the trip.
Tip: On many Caribbean islands, Saturday is the busiest arrival and departure day. If you land mid-week, chances are you’ll save a ton of time in immigration lines and at the hotel check-in.
- Destination: Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba are almost always the cheapest places for last minute Caribbean vacations, compared to ritzier islands like Turks and Caicos or Barbados which rarely see major deals.
Tip: Focus on destinations that have frequent flight service, which means more flexibility with dates. For example, Air Canada offers daily non-stop service from Toronto to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic between December and April.
Book a package vacation
The best way to book a vacation is through a package deal, since there are often steep discounts that come with ‘bundling’ your trip. By packaging flights and accommodations together, Air Canada Vacations is usually able to offer better rates than if you tried to book each one separately on your own. They also include perks like complimentary transfers to and from the airport at the destination, and a free checked bag for each person.
Use your rewards miles
You know all those travel rewards miles you’ve been racking up on everyday purchases like gas and groceries? (And if not, what the heck are you waiting for– sign up for one of these STAT!)
Well, cashing in your miles towards a vacay is a great way to make the most of them, and if you’re an Aeroplan member their booking tool will help you plan your entire trip: think flights, car rentals and hotels in more than 50 countries around the world all in one portal, which means you don’t need to scour multiple websites to plan the perfect itinerary. ‘Cause ain’t no one got time for that.
You can also redeem them for Air Canada Vacations packages, and earn Aeroplan miles on each booking.
Sign up for alerts for the best last minute flight deals
There’s something to be said about being ‘on the list’, which is why savvy travellers sign up for e-mail alerts to be notified about the best last minute vacation deals.
If you join the mailing list of companies like Air Canada Vacations you’ll be the first to know about special promotions or discounts, so saving big on that dream destination could be just a few clicks away!
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