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TRAVEL: Booking a last minute bargain

Saturday, 6th July, 2019 9:00am
TRAVEL: Booking a last minute bargain

There’s great value in the Algarve, but booking last minute reduces your options.

TRAVEL: Booking a last minute bargain

There’s great value in the Algarve, but booking last minute reduces your options.

TEMPERATURES are tumbling in Ireland this summer and we certainly haven’t got the weather we expected or hoped for.

Lots of optimistic Irish people who hoped for another summer of Irish sun are now looking to go abroad, and usually at the last minute.

The good news is that Irish owned Sunway is promising to bring sunshine to your summer with great last minute offers to our favourite destinations. 

Sunway MD, Tanya Airey, has some super tips on last minute booking – so we can see what to look for to score the best savings.

However, Sunway is reporting a significant increase in last minute bookings so you better be quick.

“Last minute bookings are up 13 percent on last year, most likely due to the slow start of summer,” Tanya explains.

“The unseasonal June has resulted in lots of Irish people not prepared to gamble on a hot summer here.”

In fact on Monday of last week, Sunway sales surged by 27 percent compared to the same Monday last year, proving how much Irish people love their sun break.

Tanya points out that you run the risk of being disappointed if you book last minute.

Your favourite resort or hotel might be sold out – capacities are worked out very specifically now and there are not lots of last minute deals – just a few each week.

You might also not get your best options on flights and resorts.

“If you have a family with school-aged children, work in a job with restricted holiday periods or have a set idea on the type of holiday you want to go on, booking as soon as possible will still be your best option” she advises.

“We have some great, last minute offers for next weekend and the following weekend so now is the time to buy as places on these trips are limited too.”

To shop smarter, Tanya outlines here her best advice on booking your holiday at the last minute.

Accommodation-only deals

Be wary of cheap accommodation-only deals as you will be stuck buying flights on their own at the most expensive time of the year.


If you are booking late, you are likely to have the biggest choice in destinations with the most capacity. Spain and Portugal win hands down for the sheer number of holiday destinations, flights and the range of accommodation. 

You can also get good value in Turkey and Morocco, especially if flights are included. 

Turkey, Salou and Lanzarote have all-inclusive offers and represent great value too.

What’s Included

It might sound obvious but check what’s included in the deal. 

Are flights, transfers and checked in luggage included?

You can't really compare prices unless you know exactly what is included in the quote.

Checked in luggage, transfers, breakfast, half board – all are elements that were once included as standard in many package holidays, but are now charged as extra - and the costs mount up very quickly.

On the other hand, the rise of all-inclusive holidays can mean exceptionally good value – especially for families who want to keep a tight control on their costs.

The rule of thumb is that if a deal looks too good to be true, it usually is. 

Remember 20kg of luggage can cost €100 with some airlines, significantly increasing the cost of your holiday.

School holidays

If you have to travel in school holidays, choose June when primary schools are still open if you are travelling with secondary school kids. The last two weeks (24th and 31st) of August are quieter too so offer better value. If you are confined to school holidays, check out deals about six weeks before departure instead of two or three as there will be more choice. This is particularly true if you have more than four in your family.

Choose Packages

Sunway specialise in package holidays and they offer amazing value. 

If you’re want a last-minute one- or two-week getaway somewhere exotic but where the specific destination is not that important to you, you can get a great deal on 

Your flights, hotels, transfers, accommodation, 20kg luggage and the services of a Sunway rep in your resort are included in your price.

• For the latest last minute deals, visit call 01-2311888.

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