Just because you didn’t plan ahead doesn’t mean you can’t have a great vacation. But planning at the last minute means you MAY run into challenges with availability and cost. So you have to be flexible, but also know where to look for the best deals.
Look at destinations where last minute hotels and flights are often inexpensive like Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. I recently visited Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts. Because they’re a new hotel, they have a lot of availability compared to more established hotels and they introduced their newest promotion “Sliming Savings” where kids are included so families can experience the five-star property at a lower rate. Plus you can save up to 50% on vacations booked between now and October 21st. Special rates start at $190 per person, per night for adults with kids included
Make the journey part of the experience when you stop at national parks, landmarks or end up at the beach, all of which are low cost or even free to visit. My sister and the family love places like Yosemite or Mammoth Mountain. Some of my best tips include leaving early, prepping cash for tolls (or downloading apps like Waze if you want to avoid them) and driving a decent speed to save on gas while being safe for the family.
Vacation rentals are a great option for families with kids or larger families because it is both cost efficient and provides all the comforts of home such as a working kitchen, which saves on eating out every night or kids with allergies. Check out great sites like Wyndham Vacation Rentals, which has properties in over 600 worldwide destinations and is running 20% off in Northwest Florida rentals for Labor Day!
I like resources like Dunhill Travel Deals, because hotels, cruise lines, and vacation companies come to them when they have special promotions or extra inventory that they need to fill at discounted rates, which are then published in their website and newsletter and definitely worth signing up for; I found for Labor Day deals like $122 for an all-Inclusive Family-Friendly Cancun Resort w/ Waterpark.
Tourism district websites are another great resource for finding deals or trip ideas. Located in San Francisco’s East Bay, Diablo Valley, California, has an incredible itinerary planning tool on their website which lets you create your ideal trip — whether you enjoy hiking, horseback riding or visiting a waterpark with the family.
I’ll be going to my favorite getaway Nantucket for Labor Day, and given the few days I have, the quickest way to go is flying an air shuttle with Tradewind Aviation, which get’s you there from Manhattan in less than 50 minutes…and you get a private jet experience with a commercial price tag!