This blog post was updated on August 12, 2022.
It’s the unofficial end of summer, the last long weekend before fall, and most likely the weekend you want to sneak out of town for one last summer adventure. If you’re thinking of last-minute Labor Day weekend getaways to squeeze out a little bit more fun in the sun, you’re probably wondering where to go. As the holiday weekend approaches, flights have filled up and hotel rooms are sparse, and whatever is left out there is getting pretty pricey. If you don’t want to pay way too much for your Labor Day vacation, you have to do a bit of strategizing. Luckily for you, we’ve done the legwork, so you can have all the fun!
Avoid the Popular Labor Day Hot Spots
Certain cities tend to relish in the Labor Day spotlight, but you can save more and ditch the large crowds by thinking just a little outside the box. Rather than big cities, look out for smaller towns and communities where there’s still a main attraction (or attractions) that you can enjoy without breaking the bank on flights, hotels and restaurants. Consider such non-traditional Labor destinations as Park City, Utah; Gulfport, Florida; and New Braunfels, Texas. Other off-the-beaten-path locations include Roswell, New Mexico; Knoxville, Tennessee; Huntington Beach, California; Mystic, Connecticut; and Camden, Maine. The Labor Day Road Less Traveled might also lead you to Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina; Sandbridge, Virginia; Black Hills, South Dakota; and the New York Finger Lakes.
Consider Traveling Before or Beyond Labor Day
If you have a bit of flexibility with your travel dates and you want to ditch the crowds and save some cash, it might be worth it to celebrate Labor Day before or after the actual weekend. Prices tend to take a big leap for Labor Day weekend in terms of hotels, car rentals, and flights. If you’re looking to save some cash, you can always travel before Labor Day or the weekend after the holiday. Rates are a bit lower than the official holiday weekend, leaving you with a little more in your pocketbook.
Try The Three-Hour Test
For procrastinators, going to far-flung places for Labor Day isn’t always possible. Flights are expensive. Hotels are booked. However, you can still make-last minute Labor Day weekend getaways with a simple three-hour test. Get out a map or open up a map on your computer and calculate three hours from your home in various directions. This long weekend doesn’t exactly afford you the most time so it’ll be best to avoid that 18-hour road trip. Instead, consider destinations that are within three hours of your home. By sticking close to home, you can leave when you want to and also have more time to actually enjoy the holiday, a little ways from home.
Do Your Research Before Clicking Purchase
You might have scored a great last-minute Labor Day flight to a destination you’ve never heard of before or one that you know very little about…because it was affordable. While this kind of travel can be exciting, it can also turn disastrous. Labor Day weekend is short; you only really have about three to four full days to spend in a destination without factoring in travel time. If it takes several flights or long car rides to reach the destination, it might not be worth the cheap ticket. You’ll have very little time to actually spend on vacation if you have to make several connections. Also, you don’t want to be stuck in a destination with next to no attractions. Do your research in advance before clicking purchase. Sometimes it’s worth spending a bit more to be where you want to be and when you want to be there!
Have any tips on how to snag deals on last minute Labor Day weekend getaways? Post them in the comments below!
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