Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your Memorial Day weekend. If you know where to look, a budget-friendly vacation can be yours with just a little effort.
Here are just a few options to get you in the mood to usher in summer 2017. Not a big reader? Here’s a video that breaks it down for you.
After April’s pricey Cherry Blossom Festival accommodation rates at D.C. hotels come down, you can score a very reasonable hotel room in our nation’s capitol for Memorial Day Weekend. And May promises perfect weather for sightseeing – warm weather without the stifling temperatures and humidity. Add in a ton of free sights and museums (including portions of the Smithsonian), and you’ve got a destination tailor-made for bargain lovers.
Palm Springs, CA
Travelers in search of a sunny, swim holiday get burned every year when they look to Los Angeles and San Diego beaches for Memorial Day weekend. Locals know that the infamous “June gloom” almost guarantees foggy, cold weather rather than an excuse to throw on the swimsuit and sunscreen. Head inland to Palm Springs to take advantage of near-perfect conditions for lounging, swimming, and general rest and relaxation. The summer months can be too hot to handle in Palm Springs – this weekend is the historical weather sweet spot you want to take advantage of in this fun, swanky desert city.
Though Hawaii is generally considered an “evergreen” destination with no low season, May is considered shoulder season (before all of the June weddings come a-calling.) Flights from the West Coast can be had for a very fair price, and resorts on the islands typically drop their rates by 30–40% to welcome in the summer months. If budget is key, there may not be a better time to visit Hawaii than the last weekend in May. Aloha!
Arizona’s hot, dry climate and luxury resorts draw visitors year-round, but travelers can snag amazing deals at top resorts for the three-day weekend (and all summer long once temperatures skyrocket). Airfare to Phoenix is also reasonable from most major gateways, so this is a strictly good news, good news situation for Memorial Day weekend travelers. Scottsdale is home to the bulk of the Valley of the Sun’s chi chi resorts, but if you crave something a bit more urban, check out downtown Phoenix to get your culture/foodie fix while you’re in town.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Mexico’s Riviera Maya is hotter than ever as a destination, but to get the best deals you’ll want to book anytime between May and late October. Unbeatable hotel prices are the norm in the summer months. You’ll not find nearly as many tourists over Memorial Day weekend, which is another great reason to visit this popular destination. If Playa del Carmen doesn’t float your boat, check out the eco-friendly and cosmopolitan Tulum as well.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Vegas is always a bargain hunter’s destination, but it’s also a good pick to have in your back pocket if procrastination threatens to derail your plans. When you wait until the last minute, you can count on Sin City to have affordable accommodation, inexpensive last-minute airfare, warm weather, and excellent entertainment/dining. Makes perfect sense – you can save your dough for the tables!
The sweet spot for Jamaica travel is May. You’re just past the height of the tourist scene and haven’t yet hit hurricane season. May is probably the best time to take advantage of decent prices on flights and accommodation. Montego Bay has affordable budget properties, all-inclusive resorts, family-friendly properties, and luxury accommodation. Choose your own adventure and travel style on a budget!
Memorial Day weekend might seem like a surprising budget option for ever-popular Orlando, but here’s the reason. Kids are still in school and most families schedule their trips for after the kiddos are out for the year. You can really shave some costs by making your Orlando/Disney dreams come true in May over June. Check out discount prices at resorts near Disney World.
Another normally high-priced destination with shoulder season pricing is the jewel of California wine country. With low-priced accommodation and reasonable flights available into both San Francisco and Oakland (Oakland is a closer drive), you can’t go wrong with a wine tasting weekend in May. Some of the wineries even offer specials for the weekend, but in any event you’ll have extra money to indulge in delicious dinners and vino.
New York, New York
Though Manhattan is hardly a deal-lover’s paradise, late May is a nice time to carve out a trip with some cheaper airfare and accommodation. Summer tends to get tourists in droves, but May is somewhat overlooked as prime time for visiting the city. That means often astronomical hotel prices are more reasonable and there’s more room to move on the streets. Keep your eyes out for affordable airfare – with the number of flights coming into the four airports servicing the NYC metropolitan area, you can’t go wrong. We like under-the-radar months in expensive cities. And the weather in May tends to near perfect. We won’t tell if you don’t!
Well, there you have it. Please head over to our when to buy flights page if we didn’t cover your destination in this one. Happy travels!