Eight Cheap, Last-Minute Summer Getaways

With summertime well underway, most people are gearing up for their annual warm-weather vacation. Americans expect to spend an average of $941 per person on their summer trip this year, according to a recent survey from American Express, with all kinds of vacations and excursions planned.

From beach vacations and relaxing mountain retreats to theme parks, water parks, and city adventures, American vacation plans tend to come in all shapes and sizes – and reach from shore to shore and beyond. Among respondents to the survey, 72% planned to travel domestically and another 15% were planning an international trip.

Eight Cheap Getaways for Summer 2016

If you haven’t planned anything yet, it’s not too late to dream up a fun summer trip for this year. To help with the planning aspect, we rounded up some of the best last-minute travel deals to consider this summer season — before it’s too late.

1. Go all-inclusive.

We’ve shared the benefits of an all-inclusive vacation before. With the price of food, drinks, entertainment, and even on-site childcare taken care of, all-inclusive resorts offer tons of value and make the planning and budgeting aspect of your trip a breeze.

Because summer is off-peak season for the Caribbean, it’s fairly easy to find a cheap getaway depending on your dates. What’s more, Barcelo all-inclusive resorts in both Riviera Maya and Punta Cana are offering discounts that can make summer travel to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean even cheaper.

At Barcelo Maya Beach, for example, you can get up to 30% off room rates for last-minute trips planned this summer. And at Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, you can get up to 35% off your last-minute getaway.

Both Barcelo properties offer a number of restaurants to choose from (with 20 restaurants at the Riviera Maya location alone), swimming pools, water parks, spectacular spas, and special activities for kids.

Meanwhile, another all-inclusive resort brand, Club Med, is also offering sweeping discounts for summer travel. During their summer WOW event running through August 23, 2016, you can get up to 50% savings at more than 45 of their properties around the world. You’ll also score up to $300 in airfare credit per adult, free stays for children under the age of 4, and a slew of other perks meant to offer more value for each dollar you spend.

2. Visit Cape Cod.

If you’re planning a domestic vacation instead, why not try out cool Cape Cod for your summer getaway? Near Boston and Providence, R.I, Cape Cod is within easy driving distance of several large airports. (From downtown Boston, you can even take a train to Hyannis or a high-speed ferry to Provincetown to keep your trip car- and traffic-free). Once on the Cape, you can enjoy sweeping ocean views, swimming and other water sports, boating and sailing, miles of rail trails for biking, and all the fresh local seafood you can eat.

Summer is peak season in this traditional vacation spot, but We Need a Vacation offers details on beachy cottages and cozy cabins with last-minute availability this summer. Both nightly and weekly rates are available, and many of the cabins are oceanfront or waterfront.

Score some cheap airfare — or drive, if you live in the Northeast — and you can turn a peak-season beach vacation into a pretty cheap getaway by making your own meals in your vacation rental and creating your own entertainment, whether it’s building sandcastles and splashing in the waves or simply playing cards on the porch enjoying the sea breeze.

3. Check out a dude ranch.

A dude ranch may not come to mind when you’re dreaming of a summer getaway, but Coffee Creek Ranch in California might be worth a look. Set in a scenic region in the northern part of the state, Coffee Creek Ranch offers all-inclusive vacations that keep both the parents and the kids entertained.

During select weeks this summer, kids stay for 50% off. They offer private cabin rentals, and three meals a day and horseback riding are included along with other family-themed activities.

Since not all of their specials are available on the Coffee Creek Ranch website, you may need to give them a call to get the best deals.

4. See everything Puerto Rico has to offer.

If you love the outdoors, there are few places in the world with as much to offer as Puerto Rico. From mountain zip lining tours to its own tropical rainforest, beautiful beaches, and an eclectic culture, Puerto Rico offers a wide range of attractions that appeal to nearly any type of traveler.

Fortunately, several cheap travel deals are available for summer adventure and relaxation-seekers this year. The Condado Plaza Hilton in San Juan recently announced a special vacation for shopaholics and beach lovers. Rates start at $191 per night and include a full breakfast for two, gift cards for the local mill and spa services, and discounts at local retailers. Plus, you’ll also qualify for a discount on local water sports rentals. And of course, you’ll have access to beautiful, historic old San Juan and breathtaking beaches nearby.

The El Consquistador Resort in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, is also offering a smart deal for families who travel this summer. In addition to discounted rates that start at $240 per night, families will get a $50 nightly resort credit and complimentary water park passes to the on-site Coqui Water Park. Guests at El Conquistador Resort also have access to Palomino Island, one of the most beautiful private islands in the entire Caribbean.

5. Take an inexpensive, all-inclusive guided tour around India.

Are you part of the 15% of Americans who would love an international trip this year? If so, smarTours is offering an “Incredible India Trip” that includes airfare, taxes, fuel surcharges, ground transportation, sightseeing, meals and an English-speaking tour for a lead price of $1,299 per person. Since most people pay over $1,000 for round-trip flights to India alone, this is truly a spectacular deal.

Not only will you see the Taj Mahal, but you’ll have time to take in the local culture, enjoy and learn about Indian customs, and dine on locally-sourced food. This tour is eight days long and offers several departure dates near the end of summer.

6. Finally make that trip to Hawaii.

Hawaii is on nearly everybody’s bucket list, but some of this year’s travel deals might finally make your dreams come true. Specifically for trips to Maui, Honua Kai Resort & Spa is offering a deal many Hawaii-lovers simply cannot refuse.

Their “Fall 4 Maui” package requires a minimum stay of four nights in a studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, or three-bedroom suite, and includes:

  • Oceanfront breakfast for two at Duke’s Beach House for four days
  • A welcome amenity complete with Honua Kai souvenirs
  • $400 activity credit toward any island adventure of your choice

Rates start at $392 per night, and the deal is valid for stays after August 15, 2016.

7. Head south to Charleston, S.C.

The state of South Carolina is notorious for its alluring charm, endless greenery, and world-class hospitality. And this summer, several deals in Charleston are making last-minute visits affordable as well.

At two downtown Charleston hotels, the Kings Courtyard Inn and the Fulton Lane Inn, rates start at $179 per night this summer through the end of August. That rate includes a daily continental breakfast, afternoon wine and hors d’ouevres, and wireless internet access.

With beautiful beaches nearby, lovely sunset cruises available at the local harbor, and plenty of fresh seafood everywhere you go, there’s a lot to love about a last-minute summer getaway to charming Charleston.

8. Take in a summertime cruise with the whole family.

If you want a vacation that will never leave you bored, a summertime cruise might be in order. With various cruise operators, you can score summer deals for as much as 40% off to cruise destinations all over the world.

Through the cruise deals page on Orbitz, you can find seven-night Western Caribbean cruises that start at $499 per person, seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises on MSC Cruises from $399.

With some of these deals, other perks like spa vouchers, on-board credits, and internet and soda packages are also included. Make sure to browse cruise options on Orbitz by your departure port, the length of your desired cruise, and your chosen destination to find the best deals.

The Bottom Line

No matter where you want to go or when, there are plenty of summer travel deals to be had. Whether it’s cheap airfare, an epic hotel deal in your area, or a week-long guided tour to some amazing destination abroad, this year’s deals are truly better than ever.

Do you have any cheap summer travel plans this year? Where are you going?

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