If you’ve had enough of liking other people’s smug travel posts on Instagram – or you’ve let ‘book holiday’ slip further and further down your to-do list – a decent, affordable last-minute holiday is still possible. You just need to know where to look.
We’ve rounded up the best holiday websites for inspiration and bargains. Your well-deserved break is just a few clicks away.
Why we like it: When you have no clue where you want to go, the Trip Finder section lets you set your budget and/or dates – or simply click ‘Anything’ – and suggests destinations. Click for a concise overview, including cheapest times to fly there, top flight providers, and the average cost of a meal and a drink. Accommodation is divided by neighbourhood. You get digestible information so you can book armed with the right knowledge.
Good for: Flexible travellers who are happy to go anywhere
Why we like it: A nice, clean interface, like an Instagram profile, each package deal is clearly marked with the destination, date, airport and hotel. There are 30 to choose from, so you’re not overloaded (or scrolling for hours).
Good for: Flights from regional airports outside London
Why we like it: Does exactly what it says on the tin. Be as flexible or specific as you want with the Holiday Finder tab, then organise your results by price or TripAdvisor rating. And there’s a handy setting so you can see the total price, or price per person.
Good for: Sun-worshippers who just want to be on a lounger as quickly as possible
Why we like it: The easiest way to search multiple flight providers. For last-minute bookers, or the chronically indecisive you can search ‘Everywhere’ in the destination field to see the best value flights on your preferred travel dates.
Good for: Avoiding airline deal overload
Why we like it: The Inspire Me function lets you browse by ‘interest’ (e.g. spa, foodie, family), month, or their pre-curated Hotlists (where they’ve done the hard work already and found, for example, the best super-size villas, or cycle trips).
Good for: People with a vague idea what they want and need a nudge in the right direction
Why we like it: Their Last Minute page has smart search options: you can select the minimum temperature you’re after, what kind of pool you really want to splash about in, and your max budget per person.
Good for: Bargain hunters with specific wants and needs
Why we like it: The sheer size of its database – you can search over 200,000 hotels for their unsold rooms (meaning they are much cheaper than usual) and there are no booking fees. They also have an app for even easier (you might say dangerously so) browsing and booking.
Good for: Bagging a room in a luxe hotel you wouldn’t normally cough up for
Why we like it: A proper one-stop shop for discounted package deals – all for holidays within the next 8 weeks. The saving from the original price is clearly marked on each package, so you know how much of a bargain you’ve actually getting. Plus it will show you if going a day or two earlier/later would be cheaper.
Good for: Get everything sorted in one go
Why we like it: The original, and still one of the best. With 20 years of experience under their belts you can trust you’re in safe hands. They’ve also expanded offering last minute deals on the Eurostar, theatre tickets, spa days and car rentals. They cover villas as well as hotels, too. Their 3-step ‘Inspire Me’ option (mood + dates + budget) helps to cur through the masses of options.
Good for: Securing deals on all the holiday-extras too