Patience is a virtue – or so they say – and it is definitely one virtue you can apply when planning your holiday. Last-minute holidays are a gift nowadays because you can easily get the best out of last-minute deals, very popular and yet still rewarding. Either your job does not allow you to take a break during the busiest Christmas period or you have the true soul of a money saver, here are some tips for those who chose last-minute winter breaks.
It's always low-season somewhere
One of the oldest strategies in the world is to look for a place that is not traditionally a winter destination. It might sound redundant, but if you want to go skiing, for example, you can probably go during this season only, which means prices will go up like crazy. Low-season can make a huge difference in terms of price and availability. It is very common for summer destinations to lower their fares in winter – it doesn’t matter if many people are looking for warmth at this time of the year, it will always be cheaper than visiting in summer. If you have a flair for the extreme, you might also consider visiting seriously cold countries in winter. Scandinavia, although not usually a cheap option in general, tends to be less expensive at this time of the year because of its frigid temperatures and lack of light.
Avoid the big crowd
What’s hot right now? What is the most popular destination all of your friends are dying to visit? Wherever that is, it is perhaps a good move to avoid it until further notice. It is only natural for the market to pick up on their target’s taste and adjust their fares accordingly. A smart traveler knows that heavily touristic places not only tend to be unnecessarily expensive to get to, but they will also have overpriced facilities and services. Let’s say you are looking for a ski break in Northen Italy: the 2006 Olympic Games scenario, in the Piedmont region, is breathtaking, but it is also overcrowded most of the time, due to its popularity, and ski slopes are actually not that large compared to other parts of Italy. Did you know that the Dolomites mountains, just a few regions away, offer an equally striking beautiful sight for a better value?
What's the Deal
Being smart and well-prepared is great, but sometimes good deals just happen. You can spend hours trying to understand the logic behind them, and yet the most efficient move is to check your favorite website regularly. For instance, Expedia alone has two different sections dedicated to smart gateways – ‘Last minute’ and ‘Deals’ – that advertise promising packagings suitable for all tastes and budgets. Websites such as booking.com offer quite an extreme last-minute deal for its long-time members: you can book on the day for the very same evening, and discounts are unbelievable. You might end up in a 5-star hotel for half of a low-season rate!
You have no excuse to waste money, and definitely no excuse to skip a well-deserved final winter escape.