Last minute Christmas travel: There are still bargain holidays to be had

Simon Calder explains why Christmas 2014 could be the perfect time to grab a holiday bargain

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The Independent Travel

Do you wish it could be Christmas everyday?

The travel industry certainly does: because people are eager to leave the dreariness of winter behind, air fares and accommodation prices surge to capitalise on the increased demand.

However, whereas most years there are certain days - usually those just before Christmas and just after January 1 - when prices are at their highest, this year no particular days are more expensive than others.

Simon Calder says that's because Christmas is a Thursday, all the demand is spread out over the six days running up to Christmas Eve.

So there are still bargains to be had. If you fly out on December 22 or 23, you can still get a package holiday to the Canary Islands for under £400.

Calder is seeing lots of such package deals flying mainly from northern airports like Manchester and Newcastle through Thomson and Thomas Cook.

While economy flights to places further afield than Europe are still pricey at this time, the airlines have realised that they still have an abundance of business seats to give away. So progressively airlines, like British Airways and KLM, are having short notice seat sales for business seats flying out on very specific dates.

So if you play your travelling cards right, you could have a very merry Christmas.