How to Catch the Best Last-Minute Bookings in Maldives
If you haven’t planned a summer holiday yet this year, now is the perfect time to book a last minute travel deal, with hundreds of companies slashing prices as the end of the holiday season approaches. But to all but the travel deal pro, booking last minute can be seem a bit of a minefield…
Well, fear not, we’ve compiled a guide of nine easy steps to booking last minute and finding the best deals. One read of this and you’ll never want to pay full price for a holiday again!
- Be flexible
To score the best travel deal, the only thing you need to decide is when you want to travel, and how long for – the rest should be completely flexible. Don’t choose an exact date to travel, and be willing to go midweek, late night or early in the morning for the cheapest price.
- Don’t pick a place
You may have a particular place in mind, but if you can’t find a deal there be willing to go to a more offbeat or less popular destination. This way you’ll discover somewhere completely new, escape the crowds and tourists, but still get the same kind of holiday.
- Shop around
You can make great savings on package or all-inclusive deals by booking last minute, but don’t just fall for the first deal that catches your eye. If you’re really on a budget, package deals can still cost around USD 200-600, even with the last minute discount. The cheapest kind of last minute break can be booked separately – scour the internet for dirt cheap flights, then find a Guest House online in your chosen location. Guest house are more likely to have late availability than hotels, especially in popular Islands and you can always opt for a luxury guest house like Old Guest house in Hulhumale’ if you need.
- When to book
Time your booking wisely. Leave it too late and you might not be able to find the kind of holiday you want, book too early and you may miss out on the best deals. The optimum booking window is about 2-3 weeks before you travel. The best ‘seasons’ to book are when people aren’t likely to travel, or at the end of a season – so late summer, the weeks leading up to and after Christmas.
In general January is one of the least popular months to travel, so companies and airlines slash rates to try and fill rooms and flights. January is perfect for a romantic city break to destinations like Maldives. For last minute summer accommodation deals in Maldives Islands, check out our listings for Travel Centre Maldives and Budget Resorts Maldives where there are still bargains left for August and September.
- Finding flights
Often buying flights last minute from budget airlines can work out more expensive, so look out for airlines such as Srilankan Airlines holding ‘flash sales’ – one day sales with flights going as low as USD199.99 Follow on twitter Srilankan Airlines. Of course you might have to pay extra fees on top, but it can still work out incredibly cheaply. In the Budget Air lines like Jet Airways often have last minute sales.
But don’t discount the more ‘premium’ airlines either – they’re more likely to sell off their seats at a cheaper price in order to fill planes. Singapore Airlines often have great last minute deals. Otherwise, there are thousands of websites out there devoted to showing you the cheapest flights available for each destination – they operate like a search engine. Some sites only include certain carriers, so check out a couple and see what you find – we like Cheap Flights.
- Go offline (occasionally)
While booking online is often the best way to find cheap flights, you can sometimes negotiate a better deal by picking up the phone. Travel agents have been squeezed the most by the rise of online travel, so pop in or call your local agent and see if they have any last minute holidays they’re willing to flog. Sometimes it’s even worth calling the airline directly to see what the cheapest flights are, and Flight Centre is always a great resource for bargain air fares.
- Go off-season
If you have your heart set on a popular destination, you can still get a last minute deal if you travel off-season, try September and October, when the weather is still good.
Obviously you aren’t going to get great sunny days in the Islands in the height of summer, but winter destinations can also make great places to visit off.
- Where to go now
So you want to escape from the 9-5 NOW – where should you go in August? Your best bets are seasonal summer destinations – check out our best beach parties, cool outdoor adventure places and favourite Maldives Travel Centre in Maldives to find cheap accommodation. The peak season for these destinations ends by the end of September, so you’re in the best position to score a last minute deal.
- Sign up for travel newsletters
To keep abreast of any upcoming travel deals in the future, sign up to airline and travel company email newsletters, that will let you know of summer sales and discounts before everyone else. What could be better than a holiday bargain popping up in your inbox? Travel Centre Maldives is the most famous ‘travel deal’ Agent, but it’s worth checking out airline companies and tour operators as well – the travelcentremaldives.com/Maldives-blog is a way to get a heads up about any deals, promotions, competitions and discounts going on in the world of budget accommodation.