1 April 2009 by Pete Mathers
The rule of thumb for travel in 2009 is that it’s wise to book early, particularly for travel at peak times. However, if you can be more flexible as to what time of year you travel – or just suddenly have the urge to get away – then last minute discounts can still be sniffed out. And because prices are more likely to be cut to particular destinations at particular times, we thought we’d offer a few suggestions on where to look when.
April will likely offer limited bargain potential as Good Friday falls on 10 April and school holidays take up the middle two weeks of the month. There may however be a chance of cheap skiing if the snow holds out. Most high alpine resorts stay open until at least the third week of April and several continue until early May. If conditions are still good you could get some of the season’s best prices.
The Caribbean high season is coming to an end, but the weather continues to be at its balmy best until well into June, so it’s worth asking about possible discounts. Call 020 7838 5966 or email [email protected]. There may also be scope to pick up some early season discounts at top Mediterranean resorts, particularly for travel within the threeweek window between the May Day bank holiday on 04 May and half term week at the end of the month. Destinations outside the eurozone such as Turkey and Egypt could offer particularly good value. Call a European specialist on 020 7838 5965 or email [email protected].
June could be the best month for late deals to the Mediterranean. Tour operators and airlines will have a full programme of flights operating but perhaps half the demand of the summer school holidays. Top hotels and villas will still likely sell out, and weekend airfares are less likely to see savings, but if you’re able to fly midweek you could still find package holidays well below brochure prices. The weather too is less fiery than high summer, the nights cooler and evenings longer. Call a European specialist on 020 7838 5965 or email [email protected].This is also when transatlantic airlines tend to review bookings for summer and introduce special offers and reduced fares. It could well be a good time to consider a last-minute longhaul trip to Canada or the US (see our North America guide for inspiration). Call 020 7838 5966 or email [email protected]. Or how about New Zealand, where the pound (so far) has been holding its ground, and where flights will be at low-season prices? Call 020 7838 5967 or email [email protected].
NB ‘Last-minute’ or ‘late’ deals are usually defined as anything booked less than six weeks before departure.