Home | Dominican Republic | Write a Review | Blog | Advertise

Need advice from last-minute experts

Is there a last-minute booking strategy that actually works? I mean, are some websites better than others? Is it possible to find a deal? Or is the whole last-minute thing a farce? Do sites like selloffvacations.com and itravel2000.com sell the same types of rooms that you’d book with a travel agent? Or are they selling the scraps?

I’m not exactly sure what I want to learn here… I’m hoping that my own questions become clear in my mind as I converse with some of you experts.

My reason for deal-hunting is twofold. One: I’m hoping to spend a little less money than I did last year… I’d be comfortable with $800 or less, taxes in. Two: My current schedule won’t allow me to book much ahead of time. If I find that I have a free week coming up, I’d like to be able to book just a few days in advance and then go.

Opinions welcome.

I would say it totally works still ;D

Any site will have the same deals :wink:

The only thing about last minute is you can’t be too picky about where, if you have a certain place you want to go it will NOT work.

The other thing is to do lots of research ahead of time, and know which destinations and resorts might be of interest to you.

As rfint mentioned, web sites offer the same thing an agent would, just be sure to look at the room category and know what it means. For example, at the Marea del Portillo, there is a cheaper room category which is actually closer to a 2* in terms of amenities, down the road from the actual resort.

And at the risk of sounding old-fashioned, you might want to pick up brochures, so you can a) target resorts of interest and 2) double-check info at a quick glance when you are ready to book. If it were me, I’d pick up a brochure from every tour operator offering packages from my departure city, then put post-its on the pages describing resorts of interest. I might even put different colors of post-its, to identify first, second and third choices…!

AnneM has some great advice. What we usually do is similar. I will start checking out what is available a few weeks before my vacation is booked for. I will read everything I can on the resort and narrow it down to what is acceptable and what is not. Then prior to our week of vacation, we’ll pick out a spot that we already know is for us and book. Sometimes we have booked 3 wks in advance and sometimes 4 days before. Check out what is being offered and read, read, read. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and the key is to not care where you want to go, just what type of vacation you want. Hope this helps a bit. Diane

Thanks for the great advice. Based on what you guys are telling me, I think I might already be on the right track…

My biggest problem now… even looking 2 weeks ahead the choices are very limited, especially in my desired price range. I wonder what it’ll be like a week from now.

bogus
the regular sellers, have
infiltrated the last minute sellers

[b]a wolf in sheep’s clothing

[/b]

do they have sales?
kind of like
"this is the last sale"
“this will never be repeated”
"but now, it’s your last chance"
UNTIL TOMORROW
when the price might go down

There is a well respected trick to see if the direct flight is filling up and I’m sure someone will post it.
In Fredericton, the directs are all booked to April 6 except for a few spots and the better resorts are all taken. Halifax is $200 more and Moncton is very expensive . Even Saint John is expensive and the better resorts are already booked.
A week of minus 40C and the flights are booked for the next 2 months. We see price changes on Tuesdays, normally, but there have been 3 changes in the past 4 days.
Our confirmation came through 1 day before everything was gone this week. Selloff had everything booked, then RedTag for about an hour before a couple of the poorer resorts showed up as available. Then AC Vacations “8 Night, Stay Overnight at a Famous Airport” specials started showing up.
What a year!

I don’t want to hijack your thread Barbudos but a quick question for Spunky:
What is the well respected trick? :slight_smile: I have been watching the Selloff sites for my daughter who wants to go to Cuba in March out of Fredericton or Moncton if she can get a good deal. I can bring up all the resorts in Holguin with Sunwing on Selloffvacations, Yourtraveltickts, etc and proceed right to the purchase screen. On the SunWing site I cannot get availability?? The same is true for Varadero out of Moncton? I can go right to the purchase screen for the resort I am interested in.

[quote=@spunky]There is a well respected trick to see if the direct flight is filling up and I’m sure someone will post it.
In Fredericton, the directs are all booked to April 6 except for a few spots and the better resorts are all taken. Halifax is $200 more and Moncton is very expensive . Even Saint John is expensive and the better resorts are already booked.
A week of minus 40C and the flights are booked for the next 2 months. We see price changes on Tuesdays, normally, but there have been 3 changes in the past 4 days.
Our confirmation came through 1 day before everything was gone this week. Selloff had everything booked, then RedTag for about an hour before a couple of the poorer resorts showed up as available. Then AC Vacations “8 Night, Stay Overnight at a Famous Airport” specials started showing up.
What a year![/quote]

Ouch … Spunky …I’m from Fredericton also. From what I can see on my computer all flights out of Fredericton are “not booked” and there are lots of good resorts available … right up to the Paradisus …can’t get any better than that. For direct (not stop) flights to Holguin Sunwing is the only one out of Fredericton. As for Air Canada Vacations …well they’ve been around, they just “didn’t show up” as you’ve mentioned …I’m going to Holguin in a few days with Air Canada Vacations out of Fredericton and I booked back in November. I started looking at prices back in the summer and Air Canada Vacations prices were there for all to see. :o

Also, Sunwing doesn’t start flying out of Fredericton to Holguin until February 16. They fly out every Monday up to May 4 - which is their last departure.

[quote=@milli]I don’t want to hijack your thread Barbudos but a quick question for Spunky:
What is the well respected trick? :slight_smile: I have been watching the Selloff sites for my daughter who wants to go to Cuba in March out of Fredericton or Moncton if she can get a good deal. I can bring up all the resorts in Holguin with Sunwing on Selloffvacations, Yourtraveltickts, etc and proceed right to the purchase screen. On the SunWing site I cannot get availability?? The same is true for Varadero out of Moncton? I can go right to the purchase screen for the resort I am interested in.[/quote]

Hey Milli … I’ve got no problems accessing “Sunwing” for any locations you’ve mentioned right through to booking process. They may have been down briefly for price adjustments.

The sooo called trick is to check the “flight only” to see how many seats available. That method has been around for a long time and most of us have been doing this. I’ve checked numerous dates and there is availability (numerous resorts to choose from)on Sunwing out of Fredericton to Holguin. :wink:

:slight_smile: Thanks Caribbean girl for that explaination and also the reassurance that flying out of Fredericton on a direct flight in March is still a possibility.

Hi Milli …as it stands right now from what I could see every date is available for March (Fredericton) direct (non stop). I’m keeping an eye also for friends that want to go in March. If I see anything I’ll pass it along.