Last minute travel guide

Got next week off and need inspiration on where to go? Travel plans fallen through and you need a vacation to match your flights? Just got a sudden yen for a yoga retreat in Spain, stat? This guide to last minute vacations aims to make your journey as smooth as possible. There’s information on where you can go right now, what to do about visas and vaccines, which vacations fit in with school vacations – and how our travel team at Responsible Travel can help you along the way.

We don’t panic when it comes to latecomers to the ball. Our Travel Team are just at the end of the line. They’ll save you time on research and help you find the vacation that matches you. They’re also real people who really care. They’ll be excited about the fact you want to book at the last minute, and throw themselves into making that work for you. Read on to find out how.

Five things to remember when booking a last minute vacation

We’ve spoken to our expert in-house Travel Team to put together a quick checklist to tell you exactly what you need to think about when looking for a last minute vacation.

1. Passport

First things first: check that your passport is valid. It’s worth noting that you’ll probably need to submit your passport details to get a visa, and many countries require at least six months of validity on your passport after the date of your return home. Countries like Thailand also need your passport in decent condition; flick through it quickly to make sure there aren’t any ripped pages that’ll hold you up at customs.

2. Visas

Getting a visa can take a little time, so it’s worth considering visiting a country with an easy application process. If you’re booking as a UK citizen, your first port of call for entry information should be the FCO. If you’re booking as a US citizen, check out various visa requirements here. Some countries – Russia and China, for example – require you to apply at an approved Visa Application center. Others have e-visa websites that sort everything in 1-3 days.

When it comes to countries with a trickier visa application process, you can lose a morning waiting for information from embassies. Sometimes, paying a specialist company like Travcour and Visa Central can help can ease pain. There’ll be a service charge, but they might save your skin in the case of late availability.

Our top Last minute Vacation

Patagonia trekking tour

Patagonia trekking tour

Natural beauty, dramatic vistas and cosmopolitan cities.

From US $4938 to US $6035 10 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2023: 26 Feb, 5 Mar, 19 Mar, 26 Mar, 9 Apr, 1 Oct, 15 Oct, 22 Oct, 29 Oct, 5 Nov, 12 Nov, 19 Nov, 26 Nov, 3 Dec, 10 Dec, 17 Dec, 24 Dec, 31 Dec
2024: 7 Jan, 28 Jan, 11 Feb, 25 Feb, 3 Mar, 10 Mar, 17 Mar, 24 Mar, 7 Apr, 29 Sep, 13 Oct, 20 Oct, 27 Oct, 3 Nov, 10 Nov, 17 Nov, 24 Nov, 1 Dec, 8 Dec, 15 Dec, 22 Dec, 29 Dec
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Last minute or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

3. Vaccines

For many tropical countries, you need to have a full metal jacket of vaccinations. Yellow fever needs to be taken 10 days before travel. Two weeks is ideal for hepatitis A. Meanwhile, you can take tetanus and diphtheria jabs up to the day before travel. If you want to be gone within the week, consider whether it’s more practical to travel to vaccination-free zones.

4. Flights

We don’t book flights at Responsible Travel. (Read more about how we work.) You’ll need to check with the tour operator we put you in contact with; they can often help you out. If not, try Skyscanner or Google Flights – and read our tips on booking last minute flights.

5. Insurance

Insurance is always worth the money, offering you coverage for everything from emergency repatriation to lost luggage. Getting travel insurance is usually done with a few clicks these days – although it might take a little longer if you’re over 65 or have had any medical complications. EU citizens have it extra lucky. You can get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that allows you access to public healthcare at a reduced cost in other EU countries. If you do need to buy insurance, check out our partnership with Columbus Direct to get a discount and donation for charity.
Photo credits: [Page banner: Paxson Woelber] [1. Passport: Annie Spratt] [3. Vaccines: Mark Wolfe]