Savings & Investment, Smart Spending

Four Low Cost Last Minute Summer Vacation Ideas

Summer is quickly winding down, and many people are trying to get in a last minute vacation before the kids go back to school and the busy fall schedule resumes again. If you have watched your summer tick by without going on vacation and you want to rectify that now, there are a few great options to consider for budget-friendly low-cost last minute summer vacations. Here are four ideas to consider.

1. Visit your local national park

A National Park can provide fun for the whole family and can offer great opportunities for hiking, kayaking, picnicking and other outdoor fun.  Many national parks also offer overnight camping or cabin rentals for a weekend or for a week. The cost may be surprisingly affordable, especially if you are able to drive to get the family to your vacation destination.

2. Check Vacation-Rental-By-Owner Sites for cancellations

Many owners of lake homes or vacation homes in desirable destinations will rent their properties out months in advance. However, emergencies can always arise and people can cancel at the last minute. When this happens, the rental owner may want to fill the space and may be willing to offer a discounted rate to those who are flexible in their dates and who can fill in during the time when the cancellation occurred.  Check websites such as Vacation-Rental-By-Owner (VRBO) and search for a location near to where you are. If you can find someplace within driving distance or that is just a short low-cost plane ride away, you may be able to get a great deal on accommodations for your last-minute vacation.

3. Look on Groupon or other daily deals websites for vacation packages

There are a myriad of daily deals websites out there, including Groupon, Living Social and Amazon Local. These websites often have deals on hotels and vacation packages that you can take advantage of. Consider looking for a unique opportunity in your area, such as staying in a themed-hotel or a spa hotel near to where you live. If you can keep your transportation costs at a reasonable level and find a good deal on a unique accommodation, you can have a great time without going very far from home.

4. Check Craigslist for housing swap opportunities or vacation rentals

The online classifieds, Craigslist, are a great place to find fun vacation opportunities. There are listings for short-term housing, for vacation rentals and for housing swaps.  You can search the Craigslist classified ads for areas that are within driving distance of you to find reasonable accommodations for a road trip or you can look for inexpensive plane tickets to a destination of your choosing and check out the craigslist there.

Choosing Your Last Minute Vacation Destination

An end-of-summer vacation doesn’t need to be a major trip to an exotic destination and it also does not need to cost you a lot of money. With a little bit of creativity and a little bit of flexibility, you can still book a memorable vacation that you and your family will enjoy today and remember fondly tomorrow.