While Canadians may be keen to take vacations to sunnier destinations as temperatures drop, the Flight Centre says last-minute deals are a myth.
“We know Canadians are starting to get the Monday blues. January is typically a gloomy month, so everyone is searching for a vacation right now,” said Amra Durakovic, head of communications with Flight Centre Travel Group Canada.
Consumers may often hear about great last-minute travel deals, but Durakovic said the last minute travel deal is a myth, due in part to a process the travel industry uses now called dynamic pricing.
“If you’re online and you’re price checking, other Canadians are also online booking those flights. Every time a seat becomes unavailable that means your price increases for your flight,” said Durakovic.
“Ultimately we suggest when you see a price that fits within your budget you should immediately book it, because the pricing fluctuates unpredictably now because of this online dynamic pricing,” said Durakovic.
Flight Centre says the best time to book a vacation in Canada and the United States is 76 days in advance. To Mexico and the Caribbean it’s 79 days and to Europe it’s 93 days ahead of time.
Retirement, senior citizens at beach in U.S. (Pexels/Monica Silvestre)
You may find a last-minute deal, but if you do there may be a reason why the price is low.
“If you do find a last-minute deal, ask yourself why is this so cheap? Chances are there are renovations happening at the resort, or construction or the flights are inconvenient,” said Durakovic.
Travel Expert Loren Christie agrees that it’s better to book your vacation ahead of time with many travel groups suggesting two to three months in advance, as waiting until the last minute can be risky.
“Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. You never know which direction it’s going to go,” said Christie.
Christie also advises not to solely focus on price when planning a vacation and said travelers should look at the entire package and not just the cost.
“There are those who are looking for the best deal and I think people can get stuck on that because they’re two different things,” said Christie.
You may have heard that Tuesday is the best day of the week to buy a ticket, but Durakovic said that’s also a myth. A deal is when you find a package that works for you which Durakovic said could be any day of the week.
If you’re planning to go away for March Break, now is the time to look at what’s available. According to Flight Centre’s data, the top three destinations for Canadians this year are the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica.
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