10 Cheap Labor Day Getaways to Book Now
Squeeze in an affordable last-minute trip before summer comes to a close.
Enjoy summer's last hurrah without breaking the bank.(Getty Images)
If you've dawdled on making vacation plans for the last big weekend of summer, don't forgo packing your bags just yet. With low gas prices and a strong U.S. dollar, it's easy to jet off for a few days for a quick city escape or a spontaneous beach break in a sunny locale. Whether you're craving inspiring natural landscapes, a dose of art or history or a coastal adventure for the final hurrah of the season, here are 10 easy last-minute escapes. So stop procrastinating, and book your tickets to these inexpensive destinations for the three-day weekend.
If you're yearning to escape the scorching triple-digit temperatures found in many places across the country, consider heading for the hills to enjoy outdoor thrills and laid-back vibes. Here, you and the kids can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, fishing and other outdoor pursuits. Best of all, you can snag budget-friendly lodging at three- and four-star properties, explains Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor at Orbitz.com. From Sept. 2-5, Orbitz shows nightly rates for properties in the area starting at $93. Plus, Breckenridge is easily accessible from Denver International Airport, Tornatore adds, noting that it's only about 105 miles, and a two-hour drive, west of the major hub.
Washington, District of Columbia
For an excellent bargain this Labor Day, head to our nation's capital, says Hotwire travel editor Carrie Peters. The Hotwire Travel Inspiration Indicator, a quarterly travel trends and deals guide, found that Washington listed three- to five-star rooms for $70 per night over the holiday weekend in 2015; this year, lodging prices have remained low, Peters says. In fact, Orbitz shows average nightly rates for four-star hotels in D.C. from Sept. 2-5 starting at $107. And with a wealth of free historical sights, museums and monuments to explore and holiday events like the National Symphony Orchestra concert at the Capitol, there's plenty of reasons to plan a D.C. jaunt for the holiday weekend.
Palm Beach, Florida
As summer comes to a close, "demand [in Florida] starts to slow down," Tornatore says, pointing out that typically expensive destinations like Palm Beach are within reach for the price-sensitive traveler. Over Labor Day, the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, a five-star hotel, is offering nightly rates starting at around $250, which is about half of the usual rate, Tornatore explains. Plus, you can enjoy perusing the upscale shops of Clematis Street, admire world-class pieces at the Norton Museum of Art, practice your golf swing on more than 160 courses and catch sight of exotic plants and gardens at the Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County.
It's not too late to plan a trip across the pond. The prime vacation season for Europeans wraps up at the end of August, explains Gabe Saglie, senior editor at Travelzoo. Once August comes to an end, you'll find greater availability in popular destinations. September is an especially advantageous time to plan a trip, since there's still high value to be found in the aftermath of Brexit, he adds. Hotel booking site goSeek.com currently shows nightly rates for four-star hotels in London, like the Park Lane Mews Hotel in Mayfair, starting at $161 from Sept. 2-5.
Chi-Town offers a quick and affordable end-of-summer break for families, with plenty of notable attractions that are kind to your pocketbook, Peters says. Hotwire shows nightly rates for four-star properties along the Magnificent Mile starting at $96 from Sept. 2-5. And whether exploring distinguished museums such as the Field Museum of Natural History and the Art Institute of Chicago or catching a game at Wrigley Field appeals to you and your travel companions, there are plenty of ways to savor the remaining days of summer (and comfortable seasonal temperatures) as you take in wallet-friendly attractions across the Windy City.
If your dream end-of-summer escape includes relaxing in an off-the-beaten-track locale, then consider heading to Tulum for the long weekend. Hotwire lists nightly rates at four-star hotels in the area starting at $75 from Sept. 2-5. When you're not exploring tucked-away Mayan ruins or getting rejuvenated with a yoga class at the Maya Spa Wellness Center, you can check out the Yucatan's myriad of eco-parks or enjoy sunbathing along the pristine sands of Playa Paraiso.
Whether you're a high roller, a night owl, foodie or even an outdoor enthusiast, there are plenty of reasons to visit Sin City and its surrounding sights, such as the Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon, this Labor Day weekend. If you're willing to extend your stay, you'll see the average nightly rate dip in cities like Las Vegas, Saglie says. Sunday and Monday will be pricier, but rates will decline on the following Tuesday and Wednesday, he adds, so if you stay from Sunday to Wednesday, you can save. Orbitz lists nightly rates for four-star properties along the Strip starting at $110 from Sept. 2-5.
With the favorable exchange rate against the U.S. dollar in the Great White North ($1 Canadian equates to approximately 76 U.S. cents) and idyllic temperatures hovering in the 60s in September, Labor Day weekend is an ideal time to plan a cost-effective trip to Canada, Saglie says. While there's no shortage of free urban and outdoor splendors worth visiting, from Stanley Park to Kits Beach, carve out some time to visit local treasures, like Vancouver Lookout. Orbitz shows four-star hotels with nightly rates starting at $191 from Sept. 2-5. Plus, with Orbitz's SUMMERTIME promo code, you can enjoy an extra 15 percent off your stay if you book by Aug. 28.
The City by the Bay may not be the first place that comes to mind as a cost-effective summer escape, but with inexpensive accommodations and free natural attractions, it's an ideal choice for the frugal traveler. Currently, Travelzoo is offering a promotion for the Hotel Kabuki, situated near the Pacific Heights neighborhood, with rooms starting at $179 for two guests over Labor Day weekend that includes a complimentary breakfast. Whether you want to embrace the great outdoors as you explore Golden Gate Park and the Golden Gate Bridge, peruse the culture-filled Mission District or ascend to the top of Twin Peaks, there are plenty of sights to pique your interest.
Take a Cruise
If your heart is set on a stress-free tropical getaway, consider a cruise to maximize savings, Tornatore says. With the tail-end of hurricane season lasting through November, there are bargains to be had, she explains. Currently, Orbitz lists a four-night Bahamas cruise on Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas in an ocean-facing cabin for $329 departing on Aug. 29. Tornatore also points to a three-night Bahamas itinerary departing on Sept. 2 on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas in an ocean-view room for $418 that includes port stops in Cococay, the company's private island, and Nassau, available through Orbitz.
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