Last minute tropical island vacationss are just a click away, and whether you’ve got a serious case of the winter blues or are just looking for a spontaneous vacation, there can be great value in waiting until the last minute to make your reservation. The key to last minute travel is flexibility. If you have specific island destinations and dates of departure in mind, you might find booking last minute a challenge, but travelers with flexibility will find a range of options that they may not have considered beforehand, and the best last minute island trips might be so attractive that they convince you to discover somewhere new.
Every winter there are many people who think that a cheap last minute island vacation isn’t a possibility. However, a few strategies will help you to discover that there are options in a variety of price ranges. The savvy traveler will start planning last minute packages ahead of time (which sounds counterintuitive, but is actually smart). By starting your research in advance, you can get a good idea of what types of packages are generally available. Many last minute tropical island vacations are advertised through e-newsletters and even individual resorts. If you’re looking for a package to the Dominican Republic or the Bahamas, for instance, look into specific resorts that interest you ahead of time, and then see what’s available when you’re ready to go.
Many of the best last minute island trips are cruises. These combine accommodation, meals, and transportation, and while they’re already a great value for those travelers that book in advance, they can be even better for a cheap last minute island vacation. A Caribbean cruise, for instance, will set sail regardless of whether all of the cabins are booked. If you have your eye on a particular cruise, you may be able to make a reservation once the price has dropped a week or more before departure. The danger with this strategy is that the specific cruise may sell out; this is why it is essential to be flexible with your travel plans. However, dozens of cruises to the Caribbean depart from ports in Florida every day, so there is plenty to choose from.
If you want to plan last minute tropical island vacations, it will also help not to be too picky. Some of the best deals are offered by large resorts, which makes sense, as these island hotels are in the position to offer dramatically reduced rates versus independently owned hotels. If you’re a traveler that prefers boutique resorts, you might have a difficult time finding value last minute. One strategy to find deals in these types of resorts is to travel in the off season. If your dream destination is Hawaii, try to travel during the spring and fall, as these are outside the peak winter season, and even in the summer—though this is a popular vacation time in general, it’s the hottest season in Hawaii, and you may be able to find great deals on Maui, the Big Island, Kauai, and Oahu.
For other travelers the best last minute island trips are luxurious ones. With a little extra room in your budget, the islands will truly be your oyster. While this may not be a cheap vacation option, it’s well worth looking into, and it’s possible to get a lot of luxury for a little money, if you plan correctly. The islands off the Thai coast, among them Phuket, Koh Samui, and Koh Phi Phi, are known for their cheap accommodations, and if you can swing a good deal on a last minute flight and get a visa, if you need one, then you can relax in luxurious beach hotels for a great rate at any time of year. By booking last minute, you might find lower rates even at luxury properties than you find booking in advance, as they’ll be happier to fill a room for a lower rate than let it sit empty.