Six online tricks for sorting your perfect last-minute summer holiday
Picking a last-minute summer holiday can be a bit of a dice roll. Will you nab a luxury resort for a fraction of the usual price, or end up in a dirty hotel miles away from the beach? Of course, there are a few things you can do to stack the odds in your favour.
We’ve compiled six simple tricks and hacks to help you find a last-minute summer escape and navigate the perils of tourist-rammed airports.
Search using an incognito browser
It won’t surprise you to learn that when some travel sites figure out you’re desperate for a trip to, say, Mallorca, they’ll start jacking up the prices they show you for flights and hotels in that destination. Using incognito mode while looking for holiday deals means sites can’t track your search habits, making sure you’ll see non-inflated prices each time you search.
Be flexible on dates (and airports)
Many travel booking sites such as Skyscanner and Kayak can show you flexible options for your travel dates, meaning you can see if flights will be cheaper should you travel a few days earlier or later. If you can make it work, altering your holiday dates like this is an easy way to find a cheaper deal.
Similarly, you might be able to get a better last-minute deal flying from a different airport. This won’t be possible for everyone, but if you live in a large city with multiple airport options or can easily travel to an airport slightly further away than your local one, you could shave some pounds off the price of your flights.
Follow airlines on social media
They probably won’t be posting memes or Love Island updates (and obviously won't be as informative/exciting as OUR social pages), but airlines are worth a follow on social media. They’ll often post about deals or cheap locations to fly to, giving you a chance to snap up any last-minute deals. Speed will be key here though, as all their other followers will have the same idea!
Chose which day of the week you book on
It sounds weird, but experts say the day you book your holiday on can have a dramatic effect on how much you’ll pay for it. A Thomas Cook insider revealed that holidays can be cheaper when booked on a Monday. The reasoning was that price drops are used to lure back people who spent the weekend looking for holidays but didn’t book.
Thursday has also been claimed as the cheapest day to book a cruise, as travel companies are trying to combat for a mid-week slump in bookings. Most people wait until the weekend to book their holidays, so if you can try to book in the week for the best prices.
Check live updates of security lines
If you’ve caught a flight this year, you’ll see why 2022 may be remembered as the year of pandemonium across many of the UK’s airports. Staff shortages, a surge in holiday makers, and people arriving too early for their flights have all been blamed for massive queues at security and excessive waiting times at baggage collection.
Thankfully, there is now a digital aide to at least one of these issues. Many UK airports have started including live updates on security wait times on their websites. Edinburgh Airport is just one transit hub which gives users a live estimated wait time (although we can’t confirm how accurate it is).
You can also download apps such as MiFlight which uses crowd-sourced data to update security waiting times in more than 150 airports world-wide.
Live track your flight
Most airlines will offer some sort of update message if your flight is delayed, but the chaos experienced by many UK holiday makers due to delayed and cancelled flights this summer proves you can never have too much information.
There are several flight tracker apps and websites which give live updates on the status of your flight, such as FlightAware and FlightRadar24. Make sure you check before you leave home so you don’t end up spending hours in the terminal waiting to set off for your beach break.
Many of the tips and tricks we’ve mentioned here are dependent on being able to see real-time updates and book quickly. To make the best use of them, you’ll need a fast and reliable broadband connection. Swish Fibre’s lightning-fast Full Fibre broadband can give you unbelievable speeds, meaning you’ll never have to miss a live update or a holiday deal again.