Best last-minute holidays 2022: book now and travel at the weekend

Need a getaway? These six destinations offer more than just a change of scene, and you can head off as early as this weekend

GDANSK
(Image credit: Tamara Hinson)

Fuelled by wanderlust after months of being stuck at home, we’re booking more last-minute getaways than ever before. We’re not just opting for short hops, either – travel companies such as TUI and Expedia are reporting that bookings for medium and long-haul destinations are at an all-time high, too. 

I've already given you some great options for all-inclusive holidays on a budget but if you're craving a great escape which you can embark on sooner rather than later, here are the best options right now.

Cosquer Méditerranée by Patrick Aventurier

(Image credit: Patrick Aventurier )

Marseille, France

Fancy a sun-soaked getaway but keen to avoid the crowds? Marseille is a brilliant option. A coastal city which has gone from gritty to glam, it’s just a two-hour flight from Heathrow, and with an abundance of flight routes to choose from, it’s also incredibly accessible.

There’s never been a better time to visit, either. In June 2022, the Cosquer Méditerranée flung open its doors. Part museum, part automated ride, Marseille’s newest attraction provides a fascinating insight into the Cosquer Cave, on the outskirts of the city. The cave’s biggest claim to fame is its hundreds of prehistoric cave paintings, although rising sea levels mean many have been obscured and the cave is no longer accessible.

Luckily, the Cosquer Méditerranée is the next best thing – a replica, in Marseille’s city centre, of the 30,000-year-old cavern (complete with reproductions of the cave art) through which visitors travel on automated vehicles.

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Flights and hotel to Marseille with Lastminute.com from £576 pp (opens in new tab)

Based on two people travelling from Friday 8th to Monday 11th July. 

GDANSK

(Image credit: Tamara Hinson)

Gdansk, Poland

British Airways launched a new route to Gdansk in 2021, making this historic Polish city even easier to get to. A seriously underrated destination that often plays second fiddle to Krakow and Warsaw, Gdansk is a place which wears its history proudly, whether it’s in its beautiful old town, filled with Hanseatic-era buildings and rust-red brick churches, or the strangely beautiful, skeletal hulks of shipping cranes rising above this seafront city’s listed buildings.

Interestingly, Gdansk suffered huge damage in WWII and many of the most spectacular buildings are actually reconstructions – albeit incredibly realistic ones, constructed using original architectural plans. However, there are still plenty of original buildings, including the sixteenth-century Brama Wyżynna, one of Europe’s most ornate city gates, and St Mary’s Basilica, which is Poland’s largest church.

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Flights and hotel to Gdansk with Booking.com from £513 pp (opens in new tab)

Based on two people travelling from Friday 8th to Monday 11th July. 

Singapore F1

(Image credit: Tamara Hinson)

Singapore

In recent months, last-minute bookings for long haul destinations have rocketed, possibly due to some travellers’ determination to make up for lost time by splashing out on trips using holiday cash they never got to spend during the pandemic.

Singapore is a brilliant option if you’re planning on this approach. In June 2022, Singapore Airlines increased their flights to the destination from both London and Manchester, making this marvellous city state more accessible than ever. One of Asia’s greenest urban destinations, Singapore is also home to what’s generally regarded as the F1 calendar’s most exciting grand prix – a twisting street circuit race which takes place at night.

The post-race entertainment is pretty fantastic too – at this year’s event, which takes place over the first weekend in October, performers include Green Day and Marshmello. Left it too late to bag tickets? Don’t panic – there are plenty of reasons to visit Singapore at other times of the year, too.

Speed demons with a love of pedal power should explore Singapore’s 500-kilometre network of cycling trails – highlights include the Rail Corridor, a forest-fringed cycling and hiking path in the footprint of an old railway, and the Park Connector Network, a huge network of cycling routes connecting Singapore’s green spaces. I also recommend checking out a visit to the theme park-filled Sentosa Island, where the newest attraction is the SkyHelix Sentosa, an open-air panoramic ride with 360-degree views over the island and beyond.

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Flights and hotel to Singapore with Expedia from £1892 pp (opens in new tab)

Based on two people travelling from Saturday 6th to Monday 10th Aug. 

Dijon, France

(Image credit: Pixabay)

Dijon, France

Love a great foodie destination? Dijon’s your place – it’s one of Europe’s finest culinary hotspots, although there’s more to this city than mustard. In May 2022, following a £200m investment, the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin opened its doors inside the historic building which once housed the Hôpital Général. This sprawling, food-themed complex contains exhibition spaces, restaurants, shops and cafés.

A five-star hotel tucked into one of the complex’s oldest buildings will open in 2023, and there will be an enormous wine cave showcasing Burgundy’s best wines. Don’t know your Cabernet from your Colorino? Sign up for one of the centre’s brilliant wine courses.

Dijon has more than just fantastic food, however. I recommend a visit to the old town to marvel at the mishmash of architectural styles, highlights of which are the Place de la Libération, with its grand, 17th-century townhouses, and the half-timbered buildings which line the Rue de la Chouette.

For a museum fix, it’s got to be the Musée des Beaux Arts, which recently emerged from a major renovation and is housed inside the enormous Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy. Its exhibits are nothing if not diverse – you’ll find everything from animal sculptures carved by Rodin’s former assistant, François Pompom, to sixteenth-century paintings once owned by Louis XIV and displayed at Versailles.

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Flights and hotel to Dijon with Expedia from £430 pp (opens in new tab)

Based on two people travelling from Friday 8th to Monday 11th July. 

New York, USA

(Image credit: Julienne Schaer NYC & Company)

New York, USA

New York is a brilliant destination for a weekend getaway, and it’s surprisingly accessible. In August 2022 Norse Atlantic will become the latest airline to offer flights between the UK and the Big Apple. 

It’s a city in the midst of a green makeover – my favourite urban idylls include the Javits Centre’s seven-acre roof garden, which is home to 29 bird species, five bat species and thousands of bees, and Little Island, a new public park in the heart of the Meatpacking District. 

There’s plenty of hi-tech experimentation going on, too. Over at Central Park, the Central Park Climate Lab, a collaboration between the park and Yale School of the Environment and the Natural Areas Conservancy, will allow scientists to study how urban parks can help manage the effects of climate change.

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Flights and hotel to New York with Booking.com from £1026 pp (opens in new tab)

Based on two people travelling from Friday 8th to Monday 11th July. 

Druid garden, Bangalore

(Image credit: Tamara Hinson)

Bangalore, India

Bear with me here. If you’ve got a craving for long haul travel, India is a brilliant option right now. British Airways and Air India have relaunched multiple routes between UK airports and hubs such as Delhi and Mumbai, although I recommend taking advantage of the British Airways route which connects the UK to Bangalore – otherwise known as India’s garden city.

The garden-filled capital of Karnataka state, Bangalore is also regarded as India’s foremost tech city – companies such as Google and Amazon have their Indian headquarters here, and many of the entrepreneurs who’ve struck it rich in Bangalore have gone on to open clubs, restaurants and breweries.

Today, Bangalore has 72 breweries (more than any other city in India), many of which have greenery-filled rooftop gardens. My favourites include the Druid Garden, where you’ll find a Czech brew master and delicious Indian food, and the Hopshaus, where tipples include the Sassy Saison – a malty brew which pairs wonderfully with the brewery’s reshmi chicken kebab.

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Flights and hotel to Bangalore from £1527 pp (opens in new tab)

Based on two people travelling from Saturday 16th to Thursday 21st July. 

Tamara Hinson is a freelance travel and tech writer who writes for a range of publications, including T3, Wanderlust, the Times, the Metro and the Independent. Favourite destinations include Peru, India, Zambia and anywhere in South East Asia, although as a former snowboard instructor she’s happiest in the mountains. Her favourite trips include a visit to North Korea and the time she joined a postman for his 250-mile mail run around the remote cattle ranches surrounding Coober Pedy, an Australian outback opal mining town where everyone lives underground.