Last Minute Deals ! Not So Much

Posted By: Mark Jeffries · 1/23/2012 2:28:00 PM

Winter getaways have not been a large part of my life. We’ve only had breaks from our Canadian winters on a two or three occasion. Trying to coordinate the times when we could all get away has been the main reason, different schedules for my wife Jan and I and, while they were at home, the kids as well. So this year when my wife was able to book a week in Feb and I managed to do the same we jumped for joy at the prospect of enjoying some well earned time to relax hopefully on a sun drenched shore somewhere warm.

We’ve all seen the ads offering up some insanely cheap deal for a week or two of fun in the sun and they almost seem too good to be true. Read the dates before you start reaching for the mouse or phone to book, you’ll find that not that many are wide open and most offer specific dates only. Sure, if you’re flexible it’s workable but if your dates are set as ours are, its gonna be a bit more difficult.

So, given that, we resigned ourselves to paying full pop and started discussions on where to go. We probably should’ve started deciding on how much we were willing to spend because it’s amazing how quickly it can spiral into the upper stratosphere of your monetary output comfort level. And so we found ourselves with our minds made up and our hearts set on Hawaii, specifically (after much consideration) Maui. You know, when I think about, it seems rare to see any “last minute” deals to Hawaii. None the less we felt pretty confident that booking less than a month prior to departure would serve up a bargain or two. Boy, were we wrong! Perhaps it has to do with it being “whale season” or maybe its because we’re choosing Valentine’s week (well, Maui does seem romantic) but the entire Island seemed to be booked. We spent hours making inquiries on line, via e-mail and on the phone seemingly to no avail. So when I got a call on Saturday morning from a Vacation Home booking agent I was ecstatic, for a moment. She said that demand was so high we needed to decide in ten minutes. Ten minutes! I take longer to decide on a meal choice in a restaurant! Trying to decide on something that expensive in that short a time span is tough and very stressful.  In the end, we bit the bullet and now have to live with the decision which became tougher after purchasing the flights and tougher still after we attempted to rent a car. So we are off for a “last minute” vacation, we may not be able to afford to eat but we’re off no matter what.

My advice, if you want a last minute getaway, plan ahead (way ahead) or take double the time you need from work, be very very flexible in where and when you want to go be prepared for sticker shoc

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