Scorching deals that’ll melt your ice cream – from £139pp.
There’s no better time to make sure you go low cost, not high cost.
You’re not late or disorganised, you’re impulsive and spontaneous! And if you’re leaving planning your trip until the plane’s virtually on the runway fuelling up, you can also congratulate yourself on guaranteeing the best value, with late comers picking up the cream of the deals.
From a culture-packed weekend in one of the world’s greatest cities to a desperately-needed dose of out-of-season sun you’ve got a world of destinations to choose from at bargain prices. This could even open up destinations that you might have thought out of reach. Abu Dhabi’s been transformed with visitors just like you in mind, while somewhere like New York needn’t be a once-in-a-lifetime destination when it comes to booking last minute. And the joy of thinking that while there might be grey skies now, you could be wind surfing in Fuerteventura this time next week!
There’s something magical about an island break. Whether you keep a suitcase packed and ready to go by the door or you’ll be leaving your packing as late as you’re planning, the Canary Islands are a wonderful last-minute destination. These off-shore outposts of Spain have all the plusses of the mother country, with the added attraction of year-round sunshine, some of the best water sports in the world, and a unique island culture. Tenerife is the old favourite of British tourists, but all the islands have big resorts, fantastic beaches and interesting landscapes. Lanzarote’s volcanic plains are eerie and beautiful, while Fuerteventura has world-class windsurfing. Further north, the Portuguese island of Madeira offers similar attractions, amazing forests, great golf and a very cool capital, Funchal.
If a classic bucket-and-spade – or sun-and-sangria – holiday is your last-minute decision, then it’s worth shopping for deals in some of Britain’s favourite destinations. Spain was the birthplace of the package break, and the attractions – sun and sand – that sold back in the 1950s are still in place. The Costa Blanca has established resorts, most famous of all, Benidorm, but behind the beaches you’ll find traditional rural villages, while Alicante is an attractive modern city and a great party town. The Costa Brava also has variety as well as the tried-and-trusted beaches. There are wild, isolated coves, mountains inland, and easy access to Barcelona, one of the most exciting cities in Europe. A relative new kid on the beach block is Agadir, on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. It adds a dash of exotic spice to the mix, and boasts a beautiful, curving five-and-a-half mile beach.
The sea that spawned modern European civilisation has history wherever you tread. In Malta it’s the crusader capital of Valletta. Cyprus is packed with Ancient Greek sites, as well as cities such as Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaka which are great short break destinations. Both Malta and Cyprus have good quality beaches – built-up or delightfully deserted – lots of wild places to find adventure in, and fascinating cultures. Head to the eastern shore of the Med to explore everything Turkey has to offer, including some of our favourite beach resorts like Side, Patara, the Bodrum Peninsula, and Istanbul, the city where east meets west on the fault line between Europe and Asia.
Pack a small bag and set off on a swift city break – it’s the best last-minute experience of the lot. From old favourites like New York, Paris or Amsterdam to exotic trips in Marrakesh or Bangkok, or an introduction to shiny new spots on the map like Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE. New York needs little introduction, and as you stroll down Fifth Avenue, explore the Museum of Modern Art or take a ferry around the Statue of Liberty you’ll get what all the fuss is about. Marrakesh is just as much a city of trade and travel as the Big Apple, though its buildings are of ancient red stone and its palaces and souks – while just as bustling – have a longer pedigree than New York’s museums and shopping meccas. Abu Dhabi has an extraordinary story to tell; steel and glass skyscrapers rising up over what was once a tiny fishing village, showing off every luxury that a city break can offer.