Affordable Last-Minute Vacations for those on a Budget

Aug 02, 2018Reading Time: 6 min

Does the stress of work, family, and your social life have you feeling bogged down? Guess it’s time to take a last-minute vacation. If you’re on a budget, these last-minute vacation spots will help you get some rest and relaxation while not breaking the bank.

Midwest Vacations

Lazy Day Getaways in the Midwest

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From lazy days on a lake to strolling through an urban setting, the Midwest has a lot to offer and is often overlooked when it comes to vacations. This budget-friendly destination has something to offer any type of traveler. If you want to explore historical tours or embark on outdoor adventures, try visiting Cleveland for their metro spots, hiking trails, or enjoy a paddlewheel ride on Mississippi River in Dubuque.

If you want to connect with the Midwest culture, you should check out Wichita which offers events such as Final Fridays. This event features art galleries, shops, and restaurants that stay open late for travelers' enjoyment. Milwaukee provides a similar art experience on the first Thursday o every month, where both the Milwaukee Public Museum and the Milwaukee Art Museum offer free admission! If you're looking for family-oriented activities, you can also explore Hocking Hills for some breathtaking scenery and hiking trails, or Wisconsin Dells for endless waterparks.

West Coast Traveling

Affordable Vacations on the West Coast

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Whether you are looking for a weekend retreat with your partner or a stop on your family road trip, California and Oregon have something for you. Visiting California gives you the chance to experience outdoor activities, adventurous tours, and beautiful coastlines that are unlike any other. Locations such as Joshua Tree provide an outdoor hiking experience within the Coachella Valley Preserve. Or you can also try Big Bear for reasonable skiing and snowboarding activities. Another popular vacation destination is Oxnard, which gives visitors a taste of the sun and the chance to walk along the stunning Silver Strand Beach. Together, all three of these locations give a wide array of activities for the budget-conscious family. If you're looking to take your travel experiences to a whole new level, be sure to check out CityPASS! This service allows you to access the top tourist destinations in the US at low, affordable prices.

If you make your way up the coast to Oregon, we've found that Newport provides a hop back in time with the Newport Historic Bayfront. Meanwhile, Seaside offers a wide variety of museums, kid-friendly attractions, and a chance to feed the local seals.

Southern Everglades Vacation

Budget-Friendly Getaways with a Southern Charm

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Maybe you would rather spend your days relaxing by the pool or beachside during your vacation. If you enjoy the salty breeze and warm sunshine, be sure to check out some affordable vacation options in the South. Cities such as Punta Gorda, Seabrook Island, and the Gulf Shores of Alabama, make travelers feel as though they're on a luxurious trip while working with a minimal budget. These cities offer beachfront parks where you and your family can explore local cities and see new sights.

New York traveling Timesquare

East Coast Trips for the Deal-Seeker

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Travel News

If you live in or close to New York City, you have an abundance of inexpensive getaways including Fire Island, where you can enjoy a car-free environment, and Rockaway Beach, that is full of sand and surf. These locations are less than 2 hours away from each other and can be reached by car, bus, or subway. However, if you don’t live near New York City, there are plenty of other options for an affordable, last-minute vacation on the east coast. Cities including Minneapolis and Augusta offer urban exploration, an abundance of museums the entire family can enjoy, and entertaining tours and activities. Not only will you save money, but you’ll embark on new experiences in the process.


How to Find an Affordable Vacation that's Close to Home

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There are also plenty of affordable last-minute vacations and staycations that can help you stay within your budget. If you find that the travel destinations above aren't feasible, here are a few ways you can find an affordable vacation that's close to home:

  1. Set up Price Alerts Sites like Skyscanner allow you to select a trip and get notifications when the prices fluctuate. Since it is challenging to find the right time to book travel, a price alert can be a beneficial tool.
  2. Browse Travel Packages Some travel tour operators like Apple Vacations and [] ( will give you a discount for booking your flight and hotel together. By comparing travel sites and dates, you can discover which packages offer the best discount.
  3. Check Your Credit Card Check your credit card or travel rewards credit card to see if you have any points available or travel discounts offered by your card company. Many credit card companies offer travel services, insurance, and rewards for using their card. Do a little research to determine if using your credit card benefits can help you plan an affordable last-minute vacation.
  4. Try Google Flights Try Google Flights for specials on certain destinations. Google Flights often gives you the best travel price by pulling from travel sites all over the web. Before booking, be sure to check for coupons on many of these designated travel sites.
  5. Car Rentals While car rentals can get very pricey, you can browse car rental coupons and discounts here.
  6. Friends & Family Discounts Instead of booking hotel rooms or staying at an Airbnb, you can save money on your accommodations by asking to stay with local friends and family.
  7. Research, Research, Research! And then research some more! The more you compare rates and travel destinations, the more likely it is that you'll find a better deal.

Remember - you can find affordable last minute vacations within almost any destination and budget. Keep your eyes and ears open, you never know what last minute deal you may find!