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9 Last-Minute Memorial Day Getaway Deals

Snag discounted flights and affordable hotel rooms in these wallet-friendly locales.

U.S. News & World Report

9 Last-Minute Memorial Day Getaway Deals

Last-Minute Memorial Day Getaway Deals
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(Getty Images)

Embrace the unofficial start of summer with an affordable getaway.

Itching to skip town for the three-day weekend at the close of May, but haven't locked in your vacation plans? Now is the time to act. While you were better off booking a month ago, not all hope is lost, says Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com. From Miami to Mexico, cheap airfares and affordable hotel rooms abound for deal-chasers who dodge flying during peak air-travel days (Friday and Monday), he says. And while some warm-weather coastal retreats and buzzy urban locales tend to come attached with high premiums during the holiday, there are ways to trim costs. So if you've procrastinated and want to travel on a whim, here are budget-friendly escapes to book, stat.
Next:Chicago
18 Street Bridge, St. Charles Air Line Bridge, Chicago, Illinois.
Credit

(Getty Images)

Chicago

Travelers on a budget should consider slipping away to the Windy City for the long weekend, says Geena Marcelia, associate manager of brand marketing and travel editor at Hotwire. Come late May, temperatures hover in the high 50s to low 70s, offering ideal conditions for checking out top attractions, such as Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier, and admiring iconic skyscrapers like the Willis Tower. Plus, there are plenty of affordable flights, budget-friendly hotel rooms and inexpensive attractions, she adds. Hotwire currently shows four-star hotels near the Magnificent Mile for under $100 a night from May 26-29. What's more, it's easy to snag affordable plane tickets. Google Flights currently lists round-trip flights from New York City hubs starting at $292 and round-trip journeys from Los Angeles International Airport starting at $301 from May 26-29.
Next:

Embrace the unofficial start of summer with an affordable getaway.

Itching to skip town for the three-day weekend at the close of May, but haven't locked in your vacation plans? Now is the time to act. While you were better off booking a month ago, not all hope is lost, says Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com. From Miami to Mexico, cheap airfares and affordable hotel rooms abound for deal-chasers who dodge flying during peak air-travel days (Friday and Monday), he says. And while some warm-weather coastal retreats and buzzy urban locales tend to come attached with high premiums during the holiday, there are ways to trim costs. So if you've procrastinated and want to travel on a whim, here are budget-friendly escapes to book, stat.

Chicago

Travelers on a budget should consider slipping away to the Windy City for the long weekend, says Geena Marcelia, associate manager of brand marketing and travel editor at Hotwire. Come late May, temperatures hover in the high 50s to low 70s, offering ideal conditions for checking out top attractions, such as Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier, and admiring iconic skyscrapers like the Willis Tower. Plus, there are plenty of affordable flights, budget-friendly hotel rooms and inexpensive attractions, she adds. Hotwire currently shows four-star hotels near the Magnificent Mile for under $100 a night from May 26-29. What's more, it's easy to snag affordable plane tickets. Google Flights currently lists round-trip flights from New York City hubs starting at $292 and round-trip journeys from Los Angeles International Airport starting at $301 from May 26-29.

Cancún, Mexico

Flight prices to Cancún have dropped by 20 percent over last year, making the sunny locale an attractive retreat for beachgoers on a budget, explains Tom Spagnola, senior vice president, supplier relations at CheapOair. Plus, the city offers a vibrant nightlife scene, affordable all-inclusive resorts and pristine sands and marine life, he adds. And culturally immersive experiences such as trips to Mayan ruins like Chichén Itzá and outdoor pastimes including kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are easy on your wallet. Even better, inexpensive accommodations aren't difficult to find. Hotwire currently lists four-star hotels starting at $122 a night from May 26-29.

Miami

With the crush of spring break revelers come and gone, May ushers in a short but sweet shoulder season to enjoy South Beach and can't-miss attractions devoid of heavy crowds, Spagnola explains. Plus, affordable flights are plentiful, thanks to the low-cost carriers at Miami International Airport and neighboring Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport, he adds. Klee also highlights Miami as a bargain-friendly Memorial Day getaway. He recommends opting for a Saturday-to-Tuesday trip to optimize savings. Google Flights currently lists round-trip flights from Chicago airports starting at $297 from May 27-29, and round-trip flights from Washington D.C. airports starting at $317 for the same time period.

Los Angeles

For a big-city getaway with diverse cultural enclaves, world-class museums and star-studded attractions, pack your bags for La La Land. Marcelia suggests staying in Santa Monica rather than nearby Santa Barbara, where hotels lean toward the pricier side. Spagnola also recommends carving out time to explore Catalina Island, about a two-hour boat ride from Los Angeles, where you can take in dramatic ocean views and enjoy snorkeling, along with access to a wide range of bars and restaurants without breaking the bank. For cost-effective accommodations, consider the popular Hollywood neighborhood, where you can explore can't-miss attractions such as the Hollywood sign, Paramount Pictures Studios and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hotwire currently lists four-star hotels in Hollywood starting at $215 from May 26-29. What's more, Google Flights shows routes available from New York City hubs starting at $458 round trip.

Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

For a wallet-friendly getaway, head to Whistler, where you can enjoy favorable exchange rates and quality time in the great outdoors. Reasonably priced accommodations are easy to come by over Memorial Day weekend, Marcelia explains, emphasizing that daily highs hover in the 60s and low 70s, creating perfect conditions for embracing outdoor pursuits such as mountain biking, hiking and kayaking. Hotwire currently shows four-star accommodations starting at $172 Canadian dollars. Spagnola also spotlights British Columbia as an ideal escape, thanks to Canada's advantageous conversion rates, affordable airfares and picturesque scenery. Google Flights currently shows round-trip flights from LAX to Vancouver starting at $368 and round-trip routes from New York City hubs starting at $461 from May 26-29.

Napa Valley, California

If you're clamoring for a grape escape, Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley are attractive choices for the holiday weekend, Spagnola says. Despite its reputation as a cost-prohibitive area, Napa Valley offers fewer crowds and reduced hotel prices during the shoulder season. Plus, the area "has become very competitive on pricing for an all-inclusive wine-tasting weekend," Spagnola adds. Best of all, you can take advantage of affordable flights into the Bay Area, making the price of a Napa package more affordable for West Coast-based visitors, he explains. Currently, Google Flights shows round-trip routes from Chicago hubs to San Francisco starting at $388 and round-trip flights from LAX starting at $117 from May 26-29.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

If your ideal holiday getaway involves lounging along the beach, enjoying aquatic activities and soaking in postcard-worthy sea views, consider a Cabo San Lucas vacation. For West Coast-based travelers, Cabo offers an enticing alternative to Hawaii, Klee says, noting that you can secure affordable flights from Los Angeles and San Diego, and that hotels offer cost-effective nightly rates. Hotwire currently lists four-and-a-half-star hotels starting at $109 over the long weekend. Plus, Google Flights currently shows round-trip routes from San Diego International Airport to Los Cabos International Airport starting at $606 from May 26-30.

New Orleans

In late spring, after Mardi Gras has wrapped up, the Big Easy's rich culture, flourishing nightlife and European-style art and architecture becomes even more alluring. In May, temperatures are still in the 70s and mid-80s, which means comfortable conditions for outdoor exploration, Spagnola explains. Plus, New Orleans offers cutting-edge gastronomy and the family-friendly Greek Festival, which kicks off over Memorial Day weekend, Spagnola adds. Hotwire.com currently lists four-star hotels in the French Quarter starting at under $150 per night from May 26-29.

Las Vegas

Despite its reputation as an expensive entertainment capital, come spring, Sin City and its legendary neon lights, flashy casinos and trendy hotels are within reach for the frugal traveler, Spagnola says. Here, you can take advantage of mild daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s and empty hotel rooms, he adds. What's more, there are plenty of fun festivities for the holiday weekend, from riotous pool parties to special electronic music events at top nightclubs, including performers such as Diplo, Calvin Harris and Kaskade. Plus, it's easy to pull off a cheap, spur-of-the-moment getaway, with round-trip flights from May 26-29 starting at around $209 from LAX and round-trip journeys from Baltimore–Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport starting at $409 for the same period. Another bonus: Hotwire.com currently shows nightly rates at four-star hotels starting at $80 from May 26-29.
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