Home » The 10 best websites for a last-minute holiday

The 10 best websites for a last-minute holiday

With spring in the air and summer just on the horizon, many will be starting the search for suitably affordable last-minute trips abroad. 

But organising a holiday at short notice is often easier said than done, whether it’s a spontaneous couples’ getaway or last-minute break with friends and family. The excitement of researching a destination can quickly dissipate once the slog of trawling travel agent, airline and tour operator websites has begun. Comparing flights and accommodation costs on different days for different destinations can really feel like hard work, the antithesis of the fun holiday you’re hoping to book.

The good news is that, whether you want to jump across the Channel to see the Eiffel Tower or head long-haul to the beaches of Cancun, there are hundreds of online options to help you find the best deals for booking transport, places to stay and other extras.

Instead of spending hours on dozens of different websites, check out this list we’ve compiled of some of the best in the travel marketplace. You’ll save time on the research and money on the holiday too – what’s not to like?

Your next trip to paradise could be just a few clicks away (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Holiday Pirates 

This travel deals site manually searches for the best holiday offers daily, finding a range of big discounts and emailing them to subscribers. At the moment you can book an eight-night tour of Turkey, staying in four and five-star hotels, for under £560pp. Other destinations with deals range from as close as Amsterdam to as far away as Mexico.

holidaypirates.com

Jack’s Flight Club

Sign up – for free – to the club and get emailed the cheapest flights from the UK and Ireland including discounts, hidden offers and error fares – think UK to Brazil for £290. Many are last-minute deals, but remember, with prices like this it’s fastest finger first.

jacksflightclub.co.uk

Google Flights

As you’d expect from the algorithm masterminds, this site compares and tracks fares to find you the best deal. But it also has features for the last-minute traveller, such as an option to search for flights in any number of cities for a specific date – so you can see if it’s cheaper to go jet off to Athens or Oslo this weekend.

google.co.uk/flights

Hotel Tonight

This handy website offers last-minute deals if you need a place to stay tonight, tomorrow or within the next seven days. While some deals – especially in the US – are not so good, it can deliver deep discounts in Europe and the UK while also saving you time browsing the best deals.

hoteltonight.com

Long-haul getaways may be more accessible than you think (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Kayak 

On the “Explore” section of Kayak you can enter your trip length, travel time and dates and the site will come up with a range of options for you to choose from. The easy-to-use map feature is a great way to compare locations and prices for a last minute trip.

kayak.co.uk/explore

BA Holidays

No, it’s not a discount specialist, but BA Holidays – the package wing of British Airways – can offer deep discounts for last-minute trips, pairing unsold flight inventory with empty hotel rooms. In fact, the deals can be so good that a city break with hotel included can work out cheaper than the flights alone, and a week’s car hire in Europe can be close to free.

baholidays.com

Travelzoo

With more than 30 million subscribers worldwide, Travelzoo features a host of deals ranging from trips abroad to activities such as spa visits, theatre ticket deals and cruises. A sign-up is required to see full details of deals, but it seems worth it for trips such as four nights and return flights to Ibiza for £149pp.

travelzoo.com

Secret Escapes

You’ll find discounts of up to 70 per cent at Secret Escapes, which follows a similar model to Voyage Privé, offering flash sales to registered members. It’s a great place to scout high-end discount holidays and the customer service of the site has been praised as excellent.

secretescapes.com

European city breaks can be especially cheap if booking at the right time (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Best at Travel

This company’s central London call centre means someone is always on hand to help you out. It’s a “normal” tour operator but has a last-minute deals section on the website, which can offer good discounts on upmarket breaks. Deals at the time of writing included seven nights’ all-inclusive in Crete from £811pp including flights, departing on 15 April.

bestattravel.co.uk

Travel Republic

With about two million customers using the site to book holidays, Travel Republic is bound to have some good deals, and there’s a vast number to choose from, since it shifts flights, tickets for attractions and traditional package holidays. For its top destinations, such as a week self-catering in Corfu, you could find holidays for as little as £218pp . The site also features a lowest-price guarantee, should you spot a better offer for the same holiday elsewhere.

travelrepublic.co.uk

Skyscanner

Perhaps the best known site on this list, Skyscanner currently claims to have over 100 million users per month. The site provides you the cheapest, fastest and ‘best’ option for flights. Available in over 30 languages and offering a quick comparison for flights, hotels and car hire, the chances are that you’ve used it before and will use it again.

skyscanner.net