Late deals for everyone!
The only drawbacks for you are that you must act quickly when you see a holiday package come up that you like, and be ready to travel as early as the next day or two. Many of these packages are top quality too, so check out details and enjoy your trip!
Typically, unfilled spaces can be due to over-booking by the agent, unpopular travel times, a slump in sales, better deals from a competitor or a poor economy. In the end, as the package holiday travel date draws near, the agent is left with spaces to fill, or they lose that investment entirely. This is where you benefit!
Over-booking by agents: Often an agent will base their purchases of bulk packages based on seasonal statistics, including those from last year and the trends of more recent months. If they overestimate the demand, they are left with unbooked spaces. Late deals come into their own thanks to this oversight on the travel agents behalf.
Unpopular travel times or dates: Some agents find they are limited to unpopular travel times or dates, e.g. time of day or night, or even such events as popular sports games or music events. It's hard to keep track of all events that might affect holiday travelers' preferred times and dates, and especially during off-peak months, these unbooked spaces can add up. Their mistake is your gain!
Competition: Suppose an agent books a bulk deal and targets a range of prices to attract travelers. He knows this will sell very well, so reserves many places... And then suppose some of their competitors turn up having booked larger groups at much better prices… The result can be that the agent has far lower demand than expected, and are left with unsold places. In order to avoid a dead loss, they price these holidays much cheaper than normal. Late deals on all inclusive holidays are fairly common but getting one means you have to beat the crowds and book as soon as possible.
Union action or labour troubles: Often, labour disputes are unpredictable, or an agent simply misses a pending action by travel workers' unions. British Airways, for example, has suffered as many as twelve major and minor actions over the last five years. Pending actions such as these can scare away travellers and hurt agents, as well as the airlines and hotels themselves. Often these disputes are resolved before any travel services are disrupted, leaving unbooked spaces for travel agents, hence the late deals industry coming of popularity.
Financially troubled competitors: If a travel agent is known to be having corporate financial troubles, then travellers may wish to be safe and not travel with them. The sudden rush away from those package holidays due to travellers' fears can make the finances of an agent much worse. Other companies may then step in and buy up bulk packages for a fraction of their original prices.
Promotional bookings for new venues: Often, newly opened hotels and venues abroad will offer discounted packages to tour operators, and these savings can be passed on to you. Underbooking at hotels is just as much a problem for the hotel owners as it is for the tour operators!
Some guidelines are necessary for those hopeful to find some amazing late deals on holidays, to make sure you don't end up with either a bad package or a bad price. First, be realistic. Don't expect to find a £2,500 package holiday priced at £200... well, certainly not very often. Second, if you find deals that are "too good to be true", then ask clear questions: are the places guaranteed, what are the actual details as advertised, are meals and catering to be served as promised, etc.
For the best chances of finding late deals, plan on avoiding "peak times" such as school holidays, or even weekends. When you do searches online, you will find lower prices for "travel tomorrow" than for travel a month or two in the future.
Be flexible on your destinations - you will almost certainly find a beach holiday in Egypt to be very similar to one in Morocco. Unless you have specific tour sites you wish to see, such as the pyramids, be ready to substitute Petra in Jordan for the Valley of the Kings in Egypt - both are truly spectacular lifetime thrills!
And finally, make sure you are very clear on what documents, visas, or inoculations maybe be required to travel to your chosen holiday destination. If you plan on travelling with children, make sure of what special requirements your operator may have for them. For example, visas to Goa require more than a couple of days to arrange. Some countries allow you to purchase a visa on arrival. Find out the costs and time requirements from your tour operator before you book, and make sure you see the whole deal in writing. Thankfully latedeals.org.uk only works with one company which is very transparent with prices of late deal holidays and everything that's included, as well as what isn't included.
If you take all of the above into consideration, you will surely have a wonderful holiday, and at a very cheap price! Be sure to check daily, there are many fantastic new deals every day!