Like Renting Movies in Snow Storm… Last Minute Travel Deals

Remember… before there was “on demand” and “netflicks,” you’d sometimes drive to your local video store to rent a movie on a Friday night? How about if the weather was bad? How about if it was really storming out, the roads were treacherous, white outs were blowing across your car windows, and the kids were in the backseat – just rangy after a school snow day? You were braving the weather … just savouring the thought of picking up some new releases, popcorn, and munchies; and hunkering down for a movie night. Perfect right?

Would be, if you’d gotten there at noon, maybe…

How about at 7pm?  Your chances at getting a new release at that time? Probably slim to nil.

Your chances at still finding a movie worth watching… not bad… if you don’t mind searching, and picking out a movie that could be 5 years old that no one else wants to see any more… then, you might find something in the 99 cent bin.

Kinda works that way with last minute travel deals…. only the stuff that no one else wants doesn’t get relegated to the 99 cent bin… generally, supply and demand has driven up the price of what’s left to far above normal cost. And you have no way of knowing what’s good about what is left…

As March break nears, the bargain hunters scavenge for travel deals. My regular clients know I don’t encourage waiting for last minute deals. They’ve had their travel plans for March break sorted long ago. We booked their air, hotel/ villa, transfers long ago – before the limited supply started to dry, and the demand for what’s left started driving prices up and up.

It’s the new folks who call me that are always surprised.

“Hi… I need to get away at March break, and can only go Saturday to Saturday. Can you get me a 5* all inclusive holiday to Cuba for $1000?” 

um… no.

Can you sometimes catch space being dumped at the last minute? Yup. Sometimes. And you can sometimes win the lottery.

Generally speaking, though, places getting dumped at bargain bin prices are not places you’d want to go… or at least not places that I would send my clients, in good conscience.  And, unless there’s another economic collapse or another environmental catastrophe that changes everything… you should not plan your family’s holidays around catching some treasure in the bargain bin.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t still look at going away at March break! Of course, it’s possible. Just be realistic. Prices for flights to anywhere out of Ottawa are pretty high right now… and Ottawa folks deciding to hop in the car and drive 2 hours to Montreal have also driven the prices up there (Montreal’s March break was early this year)… same thing with Ottawa folks deciding to hop in the car and drive 3 hours to Syracuse.

You CAN still rent a movie in a snow storm… just don’t look in the 99 cent bin for your travel!  And, if your heart is still set on a cookie-cutter tour operator package (with elevated prices), for goodness sakes, get some guidance on the quality of the stuff that’s left… and I don’t just mean the Aunt Marthas of the world who use trip advisor… (see my thoughts on that here

And if any of you procrastinators out there want to start thinking your summer holiday plans, please do give me a call! It’d be my pleasure to get you sorted… while the demand is still relatively low, and the supply is relatively good… 🙂