Finding that perfect last-minute holiday

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Finding that perfect last-minute holiday

How do you find the best last-minute holiday? We’ve all heard friends and colleagues talking about the fantastic deal they got – so why can’t you land a bargain too?

The good news is that you can get a piece of action – but you’ve got to be prepared to spend a bit of time doing your research, be flexible and accept that the resort you want might not be available at short notice.

Of course, you might not necessarily be looking for a bargain-basement deal – you just want the perfect holiday for you.

So here are some top tips to help you on your way from Southampton Airport:

Check flights
Visit the Southampton Airport website, browse our list of great destinations, choose where you want to go then check out the flight times/days of travel. You can book a holiday or flights only via our website so use that as a starting point – or you can book flights only and find accommodation independently. Our Special Offers area is also well worth checking out. Flybe is the main airline flying from Southampton so check out the offers section on its website.

On a budget? Flexible is your friend
If you’re planning a family holiday, the best advice is to book as far as advance as you can to avoid disappointment, help you budget and find a hotel/resort with good kids’ facilities. But there are still bargains to be found if you’re prepared to make a few sacrifices. For example, midweek flights might be cheaper than weekend flights, while travelling out with peak periods such as school holidays will also give you more options.

Compare deals
So you’ve found the perfect holiday. But if you’re on a budget don’t click the button to book just yet. It won’t take long to compare the price of a package holiday with the price you would pay if you book your flights and accommodation separately.

Visit a travel agent
Remember them? It’s how we all used to book our holidays. It’s easy to assume that the only way to book a holiday is online but that’s not necessarily the case – a professional travel agent will know all the tricks of the trade so give your local agent a whirl. Tell them where you want to go and when – they’ll have insight into all the best deals and will save you time. What’s more, they might suggest a great holiday that you hadn’t previously considered.

Try somewhere new
Not finding a good deal for one of your favourite destinations? Don’t see anything to entice you back to where you usually go? This is the year to try somewhere new. Check out Southampton Airport’s list of destinations – we fly to some great sunshine hotspots but also several destinations in France which is known for its great family-friendly campsites.

Don’t get board …
Do you normally book a self-catering holiday? This is a good option if you’re prepared to spend time shopping and cooking, and plan to keep eating out to a minimum. It also lets you set your own timetable so you’re not tied to eating at specific times.

All-inclusive deals, meanwhile, are ideal for those who don’t want to move far from their hotel and are happy to eat and drink there most of the time. If you’re booking a last-minute holiday, there are usually some excellent all-inclusive deals to be found.

Don’t rule out full board – these packages can be really affordable and allow you to spend more time away from your hotel enjoying drinks and the local nightlife.

Half board – this will suit those who like going out and about during the day and don’t want to be tied to their hotel.

All board options have their merits – just make sure you know exactly what’s included before you book.

Length of holiday
Struggling to find a fantastic 7 or 14-day holiday at the last minute? You don’t have to go for the usual week or fortnight – when there are several flights a week to your chosen destination you can go for 10 days, or maybe 3-4 days. Again, it comes down to being flexible.

Do your research
It’s a good idea to browse online reviews of hotels and resorts before you book. You can also do some research into the weather as well as getting a steer on which hotel/resorts are good for families, which ones are quieter and those where you’ll find some party action.