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Last Minute Breaks
Last minute breaks are a great way to spend a suddenly-free weekend, since they are both inexpensive and offer great convenience for those with packed schedules.
Often, hotels, airlines and other vacation vendors find that they have not sold out all their available rooms or seats as a date grows near, particularly during off-season times. When this happens, many vendors will slash their prices and make last minute breaks available to clients who are willing to travel on short notice.
A number of firms specialize in last minute breaks, including websites like lastminute.com and STA Travel. UK customers can often find drastically reduced prices for domestic travel and travel to Europe, as there are many locations with high availability during off-season travel times and non-holiday weekends.
The key to finding a good last minute break is to have flexibility in regards to your plans. Keeping a list of where you'd like to travel and looking for deals which include those places is a great way to make sure to see places you want to visit while at the same time saving money, and if you are able to travel during off-peak periods (for example, wintertime or during the week) you will find that you can save hundreds of pounds by making your plans immediately before you travel.
These breaks can also be listed in newspapers and flyers, and often specify the location of the break, the cost per person (although this is often based on two people sharing accommodation, and there can often be an additional "single person supplement" - an added cost which must be borne by those who travel individually.
In addition to lastminute.com, more websites where last minute breaks can be found include superbreak.com, cheapholidaydeals.co.uk, hotelshopuk.com, halfpricehotels.co.uk, and more. What these sites have in common is that each offers low-cost last minute breaks with both searchable indexes and deal offers based on dates and sales.
Be aware that when purchasing last minute breaks, many sales are final and there are not usually provisions for changing your plans (partly due to the short time period between booking and travelling). Because of this, you should not look at these breaks when dealing with an uncertain itinerary. Name changes are, in general, prohibited for last minute breaks, so you do not have the option of backing out and selling your break to a friend who might be able to go.