Thanks to the internet online booking of holiday and vacation accommodation and property is fast and easy, but not all properties and accommodation are fully let or sold, some last minute bargains exist if you know where to look!
With the popularity of online auctions such as Ebay web surfers are well used to bidding for a lot of their needs, and thanks to recent innovators bidding for your next vacation including second homes is now an easy matter - but what are the ups and downs of such an adventure?
Cost if the number 1 attraction - vendors who have unlet hotel rooms or holiday rental accommodation are potentially loosing money when they remain unlet, so many see a little money is better than no money, provided a small profit is made. Vendors benefit from cash flow and the chance of referrals and returning renters.
Availability - finding last minute deals is not always easy, all too many providers do not bother to promote last minute offers, or offer no incentives to book late. Having often paid to advertise their wares once they are reluctant with good cause to spend money to promote last minutes deals which may not win actual business.
Buyers have to be ready to travel often with little notice of a successful deal, perhaps to the other side of the world - having a valid passport and all the necessary insurance and medical cover or documents is vital, plus the ability to book last minute travel - which itself can often be bought at bargain rates. And maybe an understanding employer if you suddenly announce you are off on 2 weeks in the sun which you bought at 75% off the normal rate.
Several popular web sites offer late booking deals - some may offer little savings over other locations and not be as good a deal as was first thought, so its vital to look around to see how genuine “discounts" are against other companies offers. . Booking or enquiring about last minute deals can be frustrating if there is a lot of competition for bookings esp. at the busy summer season.
Booking off-season gets a good discount against peak periods, so further discounts are not always as big or available as during the busy summer of holiday periods.
Many accommodation providers can sell out all their letable periods (I wish), but with a growing number of owners with second homes bought on expensive mortgages the quest for rental income is always present. Many with looming debts are hard pressed to gain income and cash flow but find marketing their property expensive, with limited results even in the popular resort areas of the world.
Selling hotel rooms and daily or weekly self catering vacation and holiday rental accommodation by auction is a new innovation that is expanding fast - providers offer last minute deals and set a sensible reserve price - letting holiday takers to bid for the property or accommodation. . . typical bidable deals include
Hotel rooms by the night
Rental property by the day
Rental property by the week
Vacation/Holiday Property for sale
Many of the growing number of auction sites specialising in vacation and holiday property also offer “shop" or “store" features so advertisers can list all their properties activating them in auctions when and if the need arises.
If you want a bargain break then bidding for it can save you hundreds if not thousands over the regular price - but like all online auctions - let the buyer beware - pay (including deposits) using an established payment processor such as PayPal or a major credit card to ensure you have some come back should things fail to materialise based on your winning bid. Avoid sending money by bank transfer or check.
Maurice Clarke is founding owner for the online vacation and holiday bidding web site http://www.bidvac.com