There is a common misconception that waiting until the very last minute can net a travel bargain. That absolutely isn’t always the case.
The above shown screenshot for travel to Puerto Vallarta is less than 4 days away. To go, you would have to pay about $3500 per person.
Similarly, if that was booked in June the cost to plan early was approximately $2600 per person, depending on hotel. And, you would have received Price Drop Protection as part of your early booking bonus.
Yes, there are sometimes genuine bargains on short notice. But it pays to ask someone in the industry. For example, your travel agent might know of recent activities or changes that make a property less desirable and thus cheap at the last minute. Or she might know of an absolute gem that’s available (Majestic Elegance, Playa Mujeres OR Barcelo Maya Riviera) because they just recently opened and weren’t widely sold earlier because no one could be positive about the Grand Opening/ construction process.
In my opinion, the last minute bargain for Manitoba departures is about 2 weeks before take off. And/or before the temperature drops to -30C. Then demand spikes and availability is scarce.