+ Add Chrome Extension

Back to Blog Home

8 Relaxing Vacations You Can Actually Afford to Take at the Last Minute

catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate MurphyGuest Blogger
August 10, 2016 · 4.8k Views

vacations you can afford to take at the last minute

It’s hard to believe that we are heading into the last solid month of summer. While seeing summer come to a close is always sad, this is also a great time to take a vacation that is budget-friendly and requires little planning on your part. Camping or a trip to the beach are just some of the ways to escape for a few days or more. Here’s a list of last minute vacations that you can afford.

 Some of these getaways may require some last-minute essentials, such as tents, appropriate clothing and shoes, and whatever else you may need. Check out our coupon pages for REI, Amazon, Kohl's, Nike, and 6PM.


  1. Go camping. The National Park Service is marking its Centennial this year. Help celebrate by pitching a tent and enjoying the great outdoors at one of our nation’s National Parks. A camping vacation is especially ideal if you have kids. They get to connect with nature during the day and enjoy family time around the campfire roasting marshmallows and telling stories at night. You’ll need to plan accordingly regarding gear and safety. The biggest expenses are going to be food and gas. But you can look forward to paying around $23 a night for a campsite!

    Check out these articles for more camping tips:
    8 Camping Destinations You Don’t Want to Miss
    21 Camping Hacks to Remember on Your Next Adventure
    How to Camp Like a Champ this Summer

  2. Visit family or friends. The plans to meet up with your old college roommate for a weekend getaway fall through every year. Or your favorite aunt recently moved to Maine and wants you to come see her. Now is your chance to visit those nearest and dearest to your heart. You’ll get to catch up and experience a new place. Expenses stay low because you won’t have to pay for a hotel. But be sure to bring your host a thank you gift and list of things you can do like go to a concert or local art festival.
  3. Visit a nearby city. For most, getting to the closest city is just a short drive or train ride away. Cities offer the chance to experience history, art, culture, and entertainment that you can’t get at home. You can do a lot on the cheap too. Check out a museum – admission is often free or pay what you wish, take a guided tour, or see a play – you’ll get the best deals on tickets for matinee showtimes. You can also see what is being offered through Groupon. For no cost at all, explore the city by foot to find historical landmarks, architecture, and other notable sights. Hotels in city locations tend to be expensive. For a unique experience and cheaper lodging accommodations, book a place through Airbnb.

    Click here to subscribe to our emails for Groupon and Airbnb.
  4. Staycation. If you want to make it super easy on yourself, don’t leave home at all. Set aside a few days during which you do nothing but what you want. Master new recipes in the kitchen, read a book in one sitting, or go to the movies and see a double feature. Or perhaps there are local attractions that you have always wanted to see, but just never had the time. You can discover a lot about yourself and the place in which you live while on a staycation.
  5. Head to the Beach. A beach getaway doesn’t necessarily mean traveling to some exotic tropical location with white sandy shores and crystal blue waters. Those who live by the coast can always take advantage of a nearby ocean retreat. But if you live more inland, consider lakes in the area that offer a similar respite from the stress of daily life. Hotel rates in popular beach spots are inflated, especially during peak season. See what is available on Airbnb for more affordable lodging accommodations. Rent a place with kitchen access and you can save money by staying in for a few meals.
  6. Road trip. A road trip is the ultimate vacation for those who are spontaneous and love exploring new places. Pick an area with attractions you want to check out. Better yet, point blindly to a map and plan your trip from there. Once you have some sense of where you are going, use the Roadtrippers app to help decide what to do, see, and where to eat. Check Trip Advisor to find and book a hotel. Your major expense is going to be gas – use the GasBuddy app to find cheap gas at fuel stations nearby. 
  7. Countryside Bed and Breakfast Weekend Escape. If you only have a weekend, think about escaping to a cozy bed and breakfast. For the same price as a hotel, sometimes cheaper, you’ll get a more spacious and welcoming room. And there’s the delicious breakfast of course. Some spots offer guests complimentary drinks and snacks in the evening. During the day, check out the local attractions and activities. Consult BBOnline to find an inn near you.
  8. Download WhymThe Whym app was designed with a focus on spontaneous, last-minute travel. You can find discountd tickets to events, tours, and attractions around the world up to 7 days in advance. Currently, Whym offers activites in London, Barelona, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York. The possibilities are endless with Whym!


You don’t have to plan your vacation months in advance. And there’s a lot of ways to make the most of your time off without spending a lot of money. In fact, last-minute vacations are rewarding because they are full of surprises and new experiences, and make the greatest memories.


catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate Murphy is a native of Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in art history, she moved to New York City to test the waters. She enjoys writing about art, culture, fashion, design, and travel. In addition to writing, Kate works with artists, leads, street art tours, and moonlights as an illustrator.