I still had a month and a half until my intended around the world departure, but if flight prices looked discouraging when I started looking for the best deals, it kept getting worse with each new day. I came to solid conclusion that there is no such thing as last minute travel deals in Summer. Travel agents would still refer to many of their “deals” as last minute travel deals, but they would be simply overpriced trips with prices reflecting holiday mood of North Americans in Summer. Waiting until “last minute” – until only weeks or days prior to intended trip would result in price being way higher than if purchased in advance, or which is more likely – trip being completely sold out.
I kept an eye on a number of possible flights or full on trips to the Dominican Republic I could take towards the end of August, but they kept getting sold out one after another like these were the last trips on Earth. Summer is definitely not a good time to play a “last minute travel deal” game. You’re not gonna get it. And if you luck out so there is one more seat available on a plane for you, the price is going to be in some thick, four digit range. And don’t be fooled by huge and colorful captions posted in newspaper ads or on the internet. They call it “Last Minute Deals” because they know it’ll make the buyers feel like they are getting a deal, but if you watched the prices rise day in and day out like I did, you’d soon realize that they are just messing with people’s psyche to take full advantage of their most profitable time of year.
That didn’t work well for me. When I first checked flight ticket prices for flights from Edmonton to the Dominican Republic, the cheapest deal was offered by West Jet at $589 + fees and taxes. The very following day, the price was already listed at $875 + taxes. I checked other portals and saw bump in prices everywhere I looked. Realizing that Summer is a bad time for travel deals, I phoned West Jet and explained a representative that I was going to buy a flight ticket to the Dominican Republic yesterday but had problems with my internet connection and today the price is some $300 more expensive. I asked her if it was possible to still give me yesterday’s price, stating that I had my credit card at the ready and was going to buy it instantly if she could work out her magic for me. Unfortunately, I was politely explained that prices are set by the system and there is no way I could get a ticket for a price that is different from currently published one. She said she could give me a few bucks discount from their insurance package (most ridiculously overpriced service ever), but I had to respectfully decline.
Things were just going from bad to worse. I also went to double check car rental prices and even there the rates were bumped. It almost looked like conspiracy against me for hesitating to go ahead with purchases when I first checked the prices out. It was all Summer’s fault. Summer is a difficult time for scoring great travel deals. As someone who travelled to tropical countries in Winter before, I found Summer travel anti-frugal. Overpriced and hard to get.
My chances of traveling out of Canada on the cheap were thinning by the day. Prices kept rising each day and if I felt discouraged by seemingly high figures at the beginning, now that they were twice (or more) as high as few days ago, the discouragement grew and I found myself unable to go for it. I had no option but to continue working on it until I score a deal I will be comfortable with. But how?