Did you pass up on taking a fun trip this summer when the kids are normally out of school and the weather is nice and hot? Or maybe the pandemic kept you indoors, but now you're vaccinated and wanting to venture out before normal life takes over? Luckily, you don't have to feel like you missed out on any summer adventures just yet. Here's how you can make the most out of these last couple weeks of freedom by planning a last minute summer vacation.
6 Travel Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Summer Vacation
1. Stay Flexible
A last minute summer getaway might mean pricey last-minute deals on airfares, car rentals, and hotel rooms. Since you already have an idea of what dates you'll be traveling, you shouldn't try to be too picky with where you want to go. Check out Skyscanner, entering "everywhere" as your final destination. If you don't mind where you go and are just needing to get out of town, this website will help you find cheap last minute travel deals.
2. Or Be Intentional
If you're craving a specific type of adventure, then hit that, and only that activity, during your trip. If you want to take a road trip along the East Coast or West Coast, map out exactly what you're going to see/do and when you'll hit those during your journey. Check out Tripadvisor for a list of pre-planned road trips and vacation ideas if you don't know where to start the groundwork for a trip like this. But if you want to be near water instead, book a cruise in the Caribbean or an all-inclusive resort near the beach. If you decide you want to dive into nature, visit a national park and take on a few trails.
3. Think Outside the Box
If you do want to find those last minute trip deals to book, think about hitting ski towns instead of beach towns. Family vacations in Colorado and Vermont might be cheaper than Hawaii or Alaska, if you book in August instead of December. Consider hidden Midwest gems instead of trying to hit the coastal areas of the US where most people tend to visit during the summer.
4. Consider the Weather
Summer doesn't always mean great weather, so consider picking a place based on how comfortably hot or cold you'll be. Florida might be incredibly muggy during the summer, so you might consider somewhere in California instead. But in checking the weather, you might find that certain places in California highly differentiate in what the area feels like depending on the time of day. 60-degrees in San Francisco seems a lot colder than it would in Anaheim.
5. Pick Your Destination(s) Wisely
If you're making last minute travel plans this summer, then consider staying local. And when I mean local, I mean the surrounding areas of your hometown and out into the nearest metropolis. You'd be surprised at all the vacation spots nearby that could make up for a summer trip. Spend a weekend getaway at a theme park or an amusement park or create a staycation type trip if you live near a popular American city.
6. Learn to Creatively Travel
Part of planning last minute vacations is getting creative with flights and car rentals. Sometimes a direct flight to a place is more expensive than booking two flights to get to the same destination. And when you get to your destination, consider booking your car rental outside of that major city. Places like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, and Orlando will have expensive car rental prices since demand is high and availability is low. Don't forget that you also have public transportation at your disposal.
Have you successfully planned a last minute summer vacation before? Share your tips with us on our Wide Open Roads Facebook!