Joel Pennington gives us some insight today on the death of last minute deals and some important things you should keep in mind when on the hunt for your next ‘cheap’ vacation:
“I want to go to Cuba next week and I don’t want to pay more than $500”
Any travel agents reading this will have a chuckle as this is the classic opening line of the last minute deal hunter. The travel industry has seen a dip in last minute deals becoming available from suppliers and this has left many people who wait until a week before they want to go baffled by the prices they are finding.
I want you to imagine for a moment that you own a package tour company. sitting in that hammock with a cigar and models serving you cocktails, pretty sweet right? But slowly you would realize running this package tour company is actually really hard work (who would have thought).
Trying to keep up with competitor pricing, filling certain resorts to break even, suppliers going bankrupt, an imminent hurricane at a beach with 15 of your resorts on it (that would be fairly stressful) and the constant stream of people booking last minute forcing you to chop and change flights, add or rearrange staff at resorts and ensure you’re still breaking even with your last minute deal. So, where is that cigar? Would it not take a lot of stress off your back if everyone booked at least 4-6 weeks in advance so you know your numbers and things become easier to organise and smoother to run? Well yes it does, so you might start considering this whole last minute deal approach.
There is a distinct movement from suppliers in pricing to encourage people to book in advance to not only secure a fair price but to allow the supplier to organize their inventory. This is not to say there are no last minute deals, they are just fewer and further between now. So if you’re looking for a last minute deal, I recommend the following:
-Do not be fussy– The reason a resort is not filling up is because people were not booking it. Ask yourself why is this so cheap? More often than not, the travel industry is just like anything else-you get what you pay for.
-Be totally flexible with when you can go- so not “anytime the first week of July”, it needs to be “anytime” and you need to be consistently checking.
Personally I feel last minute deals are poor value for money. Know where you want to go, when you want to go and book as far in advance as possible. If this doesn’t appeal to you, then I recommend you try it once and check on what you booked later and watch the price go up. Then allow yourself a smug smile for saving yourself some money and watch the suckers scramble and pay $200 more than you did.
For more information and travel tips about booking flights, be sure to check out our blog ‘Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Booking Flights’