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The alluring notion of a last minute charter often ends with the dissatisfaction of either; settling with a somewhat compromised charter or not going at all! I hope to unpack some of the variables at play and help you to identify what’s most important to you. Like most things in life this beast is relative … what is your last minute charter?
What attracts you to a last minute charter? Are you all about the end price? Are you really looking for the cheapest yacht in the Med, or are you looking for the cheapest 40ft which is no older than 5 years in age? Can or will you really go anywhere or have you gone to the Ionian for the last 3 years? What are your best flight options from your local airport and do these flights correspond to the charter start and end dates in the region? Knowing what you are looking for is often the first step to finding your best value deal.
Med charters largely operate Saturday/Saturday, but there are exceptions, so it’s always best to check with the LateSail team before booking flights. The best yacht prices invariably come from locations with the highest supply of yachts. If 95% of the yachts are only available for Saturday starts, you really need to be looking for a Saturday start to get the best deal. Check your best flight options and make sure they correspond to the standard start and end days in the region.
Generally, the earlier you book something, the better choices you have and this holds true for yachts and flights. However, yacht prices regularly get better and flight prices regularly get worse; as we get closer to the time. Leave either of these too late and you will most likely be faced with compromise. Will you be faced with flying from an inconvenient airport at crazy hours, or settling for a yacht which is smaller, older or larger than anticipated?
Making an offer is often a great way of achieving the best price, but one needs to be realistic with the offer in order to entice a deal! Don’t be fooled into thinking, ‘surely some money is better that no money?’ The answer to this question is often no! Private yachts managed by fleets and fleet owned yachts regularly have an agreed minimum price for which the yacht can be chartered. A charter yacht undergoes heavy usage and the conundrum the owner faces is what weekly price is worth the usage/maintenance associated with another week on charter.
The two largest expenses for most charter vacations are the yacht and flight costs, therefore it’s important to factor in the amount of time spent on the yacht versus the plane. If something needs to give, my advice would be to compromise on the part which takes up the least of your vacation time.
Guess what? It’s not all doom and gloom! We regularly secure fantastic last minute charters for our clients, and we are always happy to advise and find you your best suited charter. We regularly wade through all these variables and we are happy to help you find your happy medium. Whether you choose to book one day in advance or one year in advance is not important, your charter is what matters.
P.S. Flight inclusive last minute charters regularly are a completely different kettle of fish, so please don’t hesitate to contact your local office to find out more about their ins and outs.