Last minute deals: holiday ads can be misleading.

While it’s true that there have been some great deals around this summer, watch out for the headline grabbing offers. Even the reputable companies offering percentage savings can mislead. As the prices of most holidays fluctuate according to demand, an advertised 30% saving might not mean 30% on the true selling price. Always compare the ‘discounted’ price with the price of a similar holiday with at least 2 other operators.

Try to be flexible with your destination. Your heart may be set on Portugal’s Algarve but a similar holiday in Mallorca may be considerably cheaper. The more flexible you are, the more chance you have of getting a good deal, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Thomas Cook arguably has the widest range of package holidays currently available, making searching and comparing easy. Click on Late Deals at www.thomascook.com. Thomson and First Choice (both owned by Tui), deal especially with the Balearics and Greece so if these destinations appeal, check them out. Try Thomson’s site www.latedeals.co.uk for a good overview of offers on all its brands. A useful website if you are looking for a deal from a specialist operator is www.aito.co.uk , the Association of Independent Tour Operators.

Finally, make sure you know the name and location of your accommodation. Sometimes late offers involve 'allocation on arrival', but this is best avoided as possible disappointment could colour your whole holiday.

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