Last Minute Vacations FAQs

 

Last-minute vacations offer an affordable option to travellers across Canada. If you’d like to explore last-minute travel deals, you’ll find varying opportunities depending on the departure city and/or requirements for a connecting flight.

How much could I save on last-minute travel?
Savings average a few hundred dollars per person – that’s a nice chunk of change put back into your pocket! Although savings may sometimes exceed 50% off of your vacation package price, the average is typically 20-25%, as compared to the brochure rate.

What is considered “last-minute”?

Last minute travel prices typically begin to decline about three weeks prior to departure, and prices can change daily, sometimes several times a day. Some periods of the year are known to present less opportunity for last minute travel deals – the months of February to mid-April for example. Vacations during these periods are typically reduced in price well in advance with Early Booking Bonuses. In this case, there isn’t generally an advantage to waiting for last minute deals.

Booking approximately two weeks to ten days ahead of time offers you the optimal balance between discounted prices and a good selection of destinations for most departure dates. Depending on availability, prices will be lower the closer you get to your desired departure date. However, limited availability will certainly result in less choice.

What’s the downside to booking last-minute vacations?

Prices can be volatile at the last minute, and can actually increase if the flights and hotel rooms start to book up. There are no rules or guarantees regarding last-minute pricing of vacation packages. Tour operators need to fill seats and will adjust prices if necessary. Be warned, though, if vacation packages are selling well, prices can go up or down, depending on the current market.

The amazing last minute travel deals that people sometimes talk about typically occur very last minute, and are quite rare. A five star resort priced at 50% off with upgraded rooms is not as likely to be found.

Why do prices drop at the last-minute?

Price reductions are primarily driven by a higher-than-expected number of unsold charter air seats. Oftentimes, the greatest savings are available for hotels that tour operators offer on an exclusive basis, or where they have a large number of rooms.

Are there certain destinations that don’t offer last-minute deals?

Many popular hotels are seldom discounted at the last minute, as the hotel will often sell out early in a global market, and the tour operator has no rooms available at the last minute. Examples include theme hotels like Atlantis, the popular new Las Vegas hotels, Disney and Sandals. Some destinations, particularly those offered exclusively by Air Canada on a scheduled basis (such as Barbados, Antigua, Grenada, etc.) are not as likely to have last minute deals.

Does my departure city affect the price?

Somewhat, yes. Last-minute vacations from Toronto tend to be more competitive, which means you’ll likely find the best deals there. Other regions throughout Canada present last-minute vacation opportunities as well, but are somewhat less abundant. Tour operators present different package vacations from region to region, so we recommend that you read the tripcentral.ca "Last Minute" information page that pertains to your particular region. If you have additional questions, please feel free to call one of our qualified, friendly travel agents, toll free at 1-800-665-4981.

When is the best time to find a last-minute deal?

Other than the major market cities, such as Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver, most regions' sun destination travel programs run between mid-December and mid- to late-March. Typically, due to higher-than-average post-Christmas consumer debt load, the first few weeks in January present the best opportunity to find last-minute deals.

Will I always get a better deal at the last minute?

Not necessarily. Depending on your travel requirements and the region in which you live, it may not be advisable to wait until the last minute to attempt to find a better package price – you may be disappointed to find that there is nothing available. Check with your local tripcentral.ca travel agent for the best advice for your region.

What makes tripcentral.ca the best place to find last-minute vacations?

Unlike most other websites, tripcentral.ca updates its database twice daily, showing you the lowest prices on the first page of search results—and we show you the price with all taxes and fees included so there’s no sticker shock at checkout time.

Another terrific feature you will find at tripcentral.ca is its Price Alerts. Our agents can see when prices have moved up or down, and can contact you proactively when prices change. Unfortunately, once things sell out or go up in price, it’s out of our hands. But watching fluctuations may give an indication to firm up immediately, rather than wait. Better yet, your agent may call to tell you the price dropped and it’s time to lock in the savings!

The fact of the matter is that there are no price guarantees for last-minute travel. Not unlike the stock market or the simple act of filling your gas tank, the price you pay is the final price, and the packages are non refundable.

Let our friendly, knowledgeable agents help you with your last-minute vacation plans. Call toll free 1-800-665-4981 and ask to speak with an agent who’s been to the destinations you want explore.

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