Last Minute Holidays 2020
Our Guide To Last Minute Holidays
Last minute holidays are fun and exciting and can save you money if you can be flexible on where you go, where you fly from and when you go. The thought of spontaneously booking a quick, last minute break leaving next week, this week or even tomorrow excites us all, from exploring a new city or just chilling out by your swim up pool in the sun. Here's our comprehensive guide to booking a last minute holiday, whether you want a weekend break at a Haven holiday park in the UK, or an all inclusive family holiday in Spain.
Find the latest last minute holiday offers by using the search tool above
If you're less about the beach and sun, and more about the city and culture, take a look at our last minute city breaks page to see what else is on offer in destinations like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Istanbul and even New York.
The Top 9 Best Last Minute Holidays
If you're looking for a last minute holiday anywhere, we've pulled together some of our favourite destinations below to take a look at for inspiration.
You'll probably find that last minute holidays to Spain in general are one of the best options. With loads of flights from across the UK, popular destinations like Benidorm, Costa Del Sol, Majorca or the Canaries, you've got a wide choice to choose from.
Although likely a little pricier, a last minute holiday to Dubai is likely to be hot and sunny. There are loads of hotels to choose from and with a six hour flight from the UK, you can fly overnight, taking off in the evening and landing in Dubai the next morning.
Year round sunshine and warmth make Tenerife a favourite destination for last minute fans. Try Las Americas or Los Cristianos to be close to the bars and nightlife, while areas like Golf Del Sur and Los Gigantes offer a more local, quiet holiday feel.
Increasing in popularity ith Brits over the last few years for its sun and warm weather during the winter months, Cape Verde doesn't have too many flights from the UK, but if you simply want to fly and flop, a last minute all inclusive holiday to Cape Verde might be just up your street.
Another great island in the Canaries for some last minute sunshine, Gran Canaria is perfect for couples, single travellers, families and groups of friends looking to escape. Try resorts like Puerto Rico, Playa Del Ingles, and Maspalomas for sandy beaches and a good range of accommodation options.
With two airports to fly into (Larnaca and Paphos), there's more choice in Cyprus for a late deal. And if you fancy a quiet holiday, don't mind self catering and would love a private pool, there can be some great last minute villa holiday deals available too.
To make the most of your hard earned cash, the hotels and resorts around Dalaman like Fethiye and Marmaris offer excellent all inclusive deals that are great value for money. Try TUI's Holiday Village Turkey in Sarigerme for a great all round family holiday.
Popular for both the sunshine and as a city break, Palma in Majorca is a great last minute holiday destination, and you don't have to spend hours on a coach airport transfer to be by the pool. Some of the island's beach hotels are easily accessible to the airport and Palma, as well as enjoying a beachfront location.
Another favourite holiday destination, this Aegean island is well known for it's beautiful sandy beaches and clear, turquoise waters. Like many of the other Greek islands, Kos welcomes holidaymakers year round, but still has that fantastic traditional side of Greece we've all fallen in love with.
More Last Minute Holiday Ideas
While having a few destinations at the back of your mind is good, sometimes you've got a few criteria you want to keep to. So here are a few more last minute ideas:
Last Minute Holidays In The Sun
For a last minute holiday in the sun, areas like the Costa Blanca, Costa Del Sol and the Algarve are good places to start. Frequent and cheap flights, plus a huge range of accommodation from self catering apartments to luxury, 5-star resorts, make these sorts of destinations ideal for getting away at the last second. During the winter months of December, January and February, you might want to head to somewhere a little warmer like the Canary Islands, where Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Tenerife all have plenty to offer sunseekers.
Last Minute Holidays In The UK
From Cornwall to the Lake District and everywhere in between, a last minute holiday in the UK means you don't have to worry about flight prices and can head out in your own car or by train and discover what's on your doorstep. How about a cheap glamping break with friends, or a bargain last minute uk beach holiday with the family at one of hundreds of seaside holiday parks? Both Hoseasons and Breakfree Holidays work with a variety of UK brands including Butlin's, John Fowler, Haven and Parkdean for the latest offers.
Retreat holidays and spa breaks at places like Center Parcs are also worth looking into. Sunday nights are particularly good for this. Many spa hotels in the UK have swimming pools, and there are also some excellent lodges with hot tubs to enjoy in areas like Cornwall, Dorset and Ayrshire in Scotland. Don't forget last minute holiday cottages in the UK either. Like villas in Europe, the owners hate to see their properties vacant, so there could be some great offers available. Check out the likes of Airbnb and Sykes Cottages for some inspiration.
Last Minute Holidays By Train
If you don't have a car, or don't fancy driving but want to get away, a last minute holiday by train or even coach is an option. Heading abroad, you have the likes of Eurostar to European cities like Paris, Bruges and Brussels, with connections on to other cities in Europe. In the UK, exploring a city is easy when travelling by train but not as easy if you want to discover somewhere less accessible. Be sure to take a look at our favourite caravan parks near train stations if you want a holiday by rail.
Last Minute Holidays Discounts & Promo Codes
Last minute holiday discount codes may be available depending on the holiday provider. If the holidays are on offer already, a promo code may not be required but certain brands like TUI and First Choice will show the promotional code in their website already, and may even add it to your booking automatically when you go through the booking process.
If you're looking for a very late deal, a last minute holiday leaving tomorrow or leaving in the leaving in the next 48 hours could be a bargain too. Check out destinations like Majorca, the Algarve and the Canary Islands for top late locations.
Our Best Last Minute Holidays Websites
Many travel brands offer late deals but with so many on offer, it can be difficult to know which to spend time looking at, so here are our favourite last minute holiday websites for you to check out:
Started in 2009 to help 4 and 5 star luxury hotels sell their last minute empty rooms (also known as distressed inventory), Secret Escapes is definitely one to take a look at. Their flash sales now include UK, Europe and worldwide destinations, including favourites like Cornwall and Majorca, as well as more upcoming destinations like Montenegro and Israel. The best offers are usually only live for 2-3 weeks at a time so you'll need to sign up to their offers email (be warned, they do send quite a few, but it can be worth it)Secret Escapes Offers
The clue is in the name here. The team at lastminute.com offer all sorts, from beach holidays and city breaks to spa weekends and theatre tickets. They've got lots of inspirational ideas whether you want a last minute holiday in October, or a late weekend getaway in June. They also offer lastminute.com gift cards which are perfect presents for those who like to get away.Lastminute.com Offers
For last minute caravan holidays in the UK, Breakfree Holidays is another one to look at. They work with a number of holiday parks to offer the latest deals and availability, like Haven Holidays, Park Holidays and Parkdean. So if you fancy some time by the seaside, or are looking for a caravan park in the UK with a swimming pool and don't mind a self catering break, check them out to see what's on offer. The benefit of staying in the UK is that a lot of the parks are dog friendly.Breakfree Offers
TUI's late deals are another one worth looking out for. As a package holiday brand, they often use their own flights and exclusively contracted hotels, so it's in their best interests to make sure those planes and hotels don't go empty. From Crete and Cyprus to Malta and Morocco, there are lost of last minute holiday offers available with TUI, even from your local airport, whether that's from Birmingham, Bournemouth or Belfast.TUI Late Deals
Last minute holidays from your local airport
Frequently Asked Questions
Last minute holidays were designed to help fill empty airline seats and hotel rooms close to departure. These would have otherwise gone empty, had the companies not offered discounts to help get them booked and make some money.Airlines will have planes flying and hotels will have rooms anyway, so the more they are filled, the more profitable they are for an airline. Although called 'last minute', these late availability holidays can be on offer anywhere from one month to 24 hours before the scheduled departure date.
After looking and comparing some of the UK's top sites, the best websites for booking last minute holidays are Secret Escapes for Europe holidays and Breakfree Holidays for UK holidays.
Last minute holidays can be cheaper than booking in advance sometimes, however the cost does depend on demand. Airlines are keen to sell seats on empty flights and similarly hotels with their rooms. If there is lots of space close to departure, travel companies may reduce the price of their holidays at the last minute. At the same time, if demand is high and availability low, prices can be much higher than booking in advance.
Most package holiday companies like TUI, Teletext Holidays, Jet2 Holidays and Love Holidays offer ATOL protection on their last minute holiday packages, however, you should check with the holiday brand individually before you book to make sure that your holiday will be ATOL protected and ABTA bonded to protect your money.
There's no best time to book a last minute holiday as it's all subject to availability. The trick is to keep your eyes and options open to the latest offers available. While last minute offers are usually up to a month before departure, if you find a great holiday deal at the last second, book it! Airlines, hotels and holiday companies regularly review what's on offer and there's no best time to book. So when you see something good, go for it!
The cost of last minute holidays can vary. Sometimes they can be as low as £250 per person, while other times when flights are busy and hotels are full, the cost can get into the thousands. The price also depends on the destination you are looking to fly to.
Unlike holidays booked a long time in advance, the "book now, pay later" payment option isn't possible directly with holiday brands for last minute deals. If booked within a certain time before departure, they need to pay the airline and hotel (where necessary), so the only option here would be to book using a credit card and pay off over several months (please note this is not financial advice, this is simply an option available if you want to book a last minute holiday now and pay monthly).
Last Minute Holidays Reviews
When looking online at the likes of TrustPilot and TripAdvisor last minute holidays reviews are generally positive. Any negative reviews are around their customer service and ability to contact them during the coronavirus situation.
Why Book A Last Minute Holiday?
It's exciting! The thought of being able to jump online, book a holiday and upsticks for a few days or weeks is pretty fun. It's something we've all dreamt of and it's actually relatively easy to do (provided you get the leave approved from work!)
You can also get some great deals. Not all the time. But if you can be flexible, there is the opportunity to save money on your next holiday.
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