Last minute breaks offer a great way to relax this summer, and I’ve had great success with last minute holidays to Germany, Spain and further afield.
Thanks to the Jubilee long weekend, the burst of sweltering temperatures in May and the Olympics and Paralympics, many people in the UK are choosing to spend their summer holidays at home this year. This is great news for the local tourism industry, especially during the current recession.
However, if you find yourself with a little extra cash or the weather takes a turn for the worse and you simply want to get out of the UK, rest assured that overseas getaways are still an option, even if you haven’t planned them for months in advance. I’m a big fan of the last minute getaway – here’s why.
Why travel last minute?
For starters, sometimes you don’t know that you need a break until you really, really need one – for example, if you’ve just finished a big project at work or you want to celebrate something special. That’s certainly been the case for me and some of my friends. In one instance, we decided on a Sunday night that we’d like to get out of the country the following weekend and in the following days, managed to find flights and a hotel in Barcelona with very little trouble.
Cost doesn’t have to be an issue either. Depending on where you’re travelling to, flights may not cost much more than if you booked them a few months in advance, and deals on last minute hotels are relatively easy to find on the internet. Plus, if you consider going for an all-inclusive option, it could work out much cheaper overall.
Last minute holidays are also appealing because of the adventure element. Personally, I find spontaneity thrilling and I think a lot of other people do too. When you don’t have time to plan a detailed itinerary, there’s much more scope for you to discover attractions, restaurants and bars on the hoof – usually with great results. It also gives you a chance to go where you really want to at that moment in time. For instance, you might book a city break in Berlin three months in advance only to feel when the time comes that you’d rather spend the weekend at the beach. Last minute travel lets you better satisfy these whims.
Possible last minute getaway destinations
So where can you go on a last minute city breaks? Your journey time is an important factor here, especially if you’re only away from Friday to Sunday. My advice is to stick to destinations that are less than 3 hours away by air – like Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Milan or Geneva. If you’re looking for something that’s a bit different from the usual summer sun resorts in France, Spain and Italy, I’d really recommend Germany as a last minute getaway. Berlin might get all the attention, but I think Munich is a great place for a short break. The food is excellent, the beer is world class and the atmosphere is fairly laid-back and stylish – the perfect combination in my book.