Dino and Marilyn dread winter. They love gardening, warm weather and entertaining friends in their backyard oasis.
So once the cold arrives, they start looking for ways to spend time in the sun and warmer climes. They particularly like cruises and have found some of their best deals though last-minute sellers.
Last-minute sellers offer flights, hotels and packages at a considerable discount and are ideally suited for retirees with flexible schedules. And this year, the value of the Canadian dollar vis-à-vis the American dollar means fewer people are travelling, which translates into better last-minutes deals.
Let’s look at a few possibilities:
Redtag.ca offers last-minute deals of up to 50% off as well as regular package deals, hotels and flights. The last-minute deals highlight properties with excess inventory, meaning that you benefit from the savings they offer. Right now, Cuba, Cancun, the Mayan Riviera and the Dominican Republic all provide good value.
Deborah, a travel associate with Redtag, provides some sage advice. “Last-minute travel deals suit those who are flexible about their travel dates and don’t mind trying new properties,” she says. “They are great for those who can, for example, leave with short notice (even a day or two!) or leave mid-week rather than on a weekend.”
Another of our travel partners, Collette, offers “Hot Deals” on some last-minute destinations and special savings on others. In the former category, a recent 13-day water and land trip through France offered savings of $1,000 per person. Collette is known for its door-to-door travel services and careful attention to detail.
Travelzoo is a global company boasting 28 million members worldwide. You will be encouraged to sign up as a member (it’s free), which entitles you to receive the company’s Local Deals newsletter and Top 20®Newsflash, which comes out every Wednesday showcasing top travel deals.
Travelzoo’s last-minute offers in winter/spring 2016 include Barbados, Bahamas and China as well as many Canadian destinations.
Expedia.ca also offers last-minute specials, especially if your travel dates are flexible. You can access the website without signing in as a member, but the best deals and price guarantees are reserved for members. With Expedia+, you can earn points toward different levels of status, each of which offers amenities ranging from water bottles and spa credits to room upgrades.
Travelocity provides listings for last-minute deals, whether you want a packaged vacation, hotels, or flights. Each day it lists a “24 Hour Sale” with savings of up to 40% off. It also lists top travel deals for weekends or longer getaways, top hotel destinations and popular vacation packages.
Before you book
Before booking any travel, make sure that your passport is current. Many countries require it to be valid for six months after entering a country. The Government of Canada provides up-to-date information on travel documents and advisories.
If you plan to travel outside your home province or Canada, you should obtain supplementary medical insurance. Talk to our travel partner Medoc® Travel Insurance for the best coverage at the best prices.
Dino and Marilyn have benefitted from many last-minute deals over the past five years. By being flexible and prepared, you too can take advantage of the savings they’ve found.