7 Last-Minute Vacation Ideas That Don’t Cost a Fortune

7 Last-Minute Vacation Ideas That Don’t Cost a Fortune

Sometimes you just make a spontaneous decision to get away. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a trip with the kids, or simply a change of scenery, going on vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, last-minute vacation planning can sometimes allow you to get in on some sweet deals that you otherwise would have missed out on if you had planned in advance. Depending on where you live, what you like, and how much you’re willing to spend, there are so many ways to last-minute holiday that can take you on some fun and relaxing adventures that don’t have to be planned in advance and don’t need to cost a fortune.

Try a Staycation

One of the best ways to go on a last-minute holiday without bursting a budget is to enjoy the pleasures of a staycation. How often have you taken the time to explore the city or town you live in? If most New Yorkers have never been to the top of the Empire State Building, then you’ve probably also missed out on some local gems in your own hometown. Depending on what you want from your break, you can either bunk at home and relax and explore your surroundings. Or, you can book yourself into a local hotel or retreat for some added R&R. The advantage here is that you can spend more locally because you’re saving on travel costs. Treat yourself to a fine dining experience, a day at the spa, or a night at the opera to really feel like you’re exploring and relaxing without spending a fortune.

Go Camping

One of the most foolproof ways to vacation last minute without spending too much is to plan a camping trip. Throw your sleeping bag, tent, and backpack in the car, and you’re ready to go! It can sometimes be tough to find a camping site during high season, but usually, you can find a spot if you book a few days in advance. Camping is a great way to save costs on accommodations and transportation while still having an experience that will last a lifetime. If you’re planning on hiking, be sure to bring all the right gear and make sure it’s light enough to carry to your campsite. Check out campgrounds, national parks, and public land in your area to see what options are available to you for a great last-minute holiday idea.

Take a Road Trip

Few things give you that wonderful sense of freedom than an old-fashioned road trip. The great thing about a road trip is that the sky is your limit. Leave whenever and go wherever for however long. Skip the suitcase and throw what you need into the backseat, and hit the road. Take along a sleeping bag and a fleece blanket just in case! You never know where you’re going to end up. Check out one of the many websites that describe the various scenic and interesting road trips in the country, then decide your route depending on your region, schedule, and what you want to see. Road trips are also great because they save money on transportation fares that can instead be spent on fun experiences, good food, or staying in swanky places. This perfect last-minute vacation idea needs no bookings in advance—just get on the road, and you’re on your way.

Rent a House With Friends or in Off-Peak Season

While hotels can be lovely and luxurious, it can often be cheaper to rent a house instead. Especially if you’re taking a last-minute trip with friends or family, splitting the cost of a rental house can make a difference financially. Round up some friends and find a place to rent together. Save even more money by going somewhere during the off-season, when prices are typically lower, and areas are usually less crowded. For example, hit up the Maine coastline in spring, although you won’t necessarily be strutting around in your swimsuit , you will be able to take in the beauty of Maine while staying in a nice rental house for less money.

Get Off the Beaten Trail

Feeling like a big adventure but discouraged by prices and crowds? Get off the beaten trail and see something new and interesting. Instead of going to Spain, try Croatia. Skip Cancun and explore Colombia. Trade Orange County in California for Oregon. Money can easily be saved, and availability easily found when we take the road less traveled. Places that are less frequently visited often offer a more authentic, interesting, and affordable last-minute vacation experience. So, trade-in your beret for your best winter coat and hop on a plane to Prague instead of Paris.

Explore Nature

Two of the best things about nature are that it’s free and it’s incredible. Nothing is more relaxing, inspiring, and rejuvenating than spending time in nature. Lucky for Americans, the United States is an incredible expanse of wilderness, national parks, and untouched nature. While some national and state parks do have entry fees, exploring nature is otherwise free of charge. Forget that all-inclusive vacation and instead opt for a spontaneous week appreciating the natural beauty that surrounds you. Whether you choose to remain nearby or go park hopping around the country, you’re bound to have an unforgettable holiday that won’t put a big hole in your wallet.

Find Last-Minute Deals

If you have the flexibility to plan a spur-of-the-moment vacation, then you’re going to love taking advantage of all those last-minute deals. Whether you’re booking a tour, an all-inclusive trip, a flight, a cruise, or something else, last-minute deals are a great way to take a spontaneous, epic vacation. Especially if you’re not too picky about where you’re going and what you’re doing, browsing the internet for great last-minute deals on vacations is a way to get away without spending a fortune. Pack up your women’s travel bag and let’s go!


Last-minute vacations don’t have to be bank breakers. If you’re feeling the itch to get away, then check out some of these great ideas to find the experience that is best for you.

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