Holiday Deals: Should You Book Early or Book Last Minute?

Want to make your next holiday more affordable? Whilst some people book up to a year in advance in order to save money, others wait until a couple weeks before to take advantage of last minute discounts. Which one if the better option? Here’s a look into both types of deals so that you can decide how to plan your next holiday in order to get the best deal.

Last Minute Deals Can Be Cheaper Overall

Whilst you can save money with early bird discounts (some airlines may throw in free child tickets for booking early), you’re likely to get much bigger discounts by booking last minute. Resort hotels and airlines may slash their prices by as much as 80% the week before simply to fill up empty rooms/seats. Sites like specialise in finding these deals, whilst is great for comparing last-minute flights to find the cheapest deal.

Booking Early Allows You To Pay In Smaller Instalments

Of course, booking last minute does mean having to pay the whole amount up front. When you book early, you can often set up a payment plan, allowing you to pay off the holiday in small instalments over a year. You may pay more overall by booking in advance, but it could be more affordable without having to take out a loan as you can pay in smaller chunks.

Booking Early Requires More Commitment

That said, booking early does require a lot of commitment. Anything could happen in the next year – circumstances could change and you may no longer want to go, which could result in you losing the money. It’s often a good idea to check the cancellation policy, as some holiday companies may not refund you. There are some insurance packages that can cover you for cancellation, but generally, this is only in certain extenuating circumstances. Look into these insurance schemes if you are booking early.

Last Minute Deals Require More Spontaneity

Last minute deals require you to act more spontaneously. You can book the time off work in advance, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll find a deal for your dream destination the week before your allocated time. You may also not have the finances to pay the whole amount upfront. Some people get around this by taking out loans from sites like to fund their last minute adventures. Whatever the case, you need to be able to prepare for it all within a week.

So Which Is The Better Deal?

Booking early and booking last minute clearly both have their pros and cons – but which is the better deal? All in all, it depends on the type of holidaygoer you are. If you’re going away with a family or you’re booking your dream holiday, you’re best booking early – you’re more likely to commit in these situations and less likely to be able to plan your trip on a whim.

If you’re planning a holiday with a new partner or friends and you’re not too fussed about the destination, booking last minute could be a better option – you don’t want to be committing to anything in these situations and being spontaneous could benefit you more.

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