Did you know there are late summer budget travel destinations? Some of the best flight deals occur in August and September in top destinations. Even if you’re just now getting around to thinking about a summer getaway, there are bargains to be snagged. The key is waiting until it’s later in the season. Wherever you may choose to visit, late summer bargains abound for flights and hotels. You’ll also see a lot less tourist traffic. Check out some of our top picks for late summer budget travel.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Vegas is a real scorcher this time of year, but bargain hunting travelers recognize this as the best time to scoop up those savings. Sin City is always a busy, buzzy town – our best advice is to hang out by one of the resort pools by day and hit the casinos at night!
Los Angeles, California
Beach people flock to L.A. every year in late summer and for good reason – summertime weather is darn near perfect, but really doesn’t kick in strong until July. We like to wait for the tourist crowds to thin out a bit and recommend hitting the beaches in August.
In a town where you can expect a ton of rain for the better part of the year, locals know that summer is the best time get outside, experience the city with sunshine and warm temperatures. And luckily for travelers, there are bargains to be had to help make this happen. Come to Seattle and enjoy the outdoors – lush, green landscapes, delicious restaurants and upscale hotels, all at a reasonable price.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Summer family vacations are done right in Hilton Head. Coligny Beach is best for travelers with kids. The waters on Coligny are shallow and placid, with tidal pools where you can wander through and collect sand dollars at low tide. The Coligny Plaza shopping center across the street from the beach has open-air family entertainment all summer long, as well as a movie theater showing first run movies for the whole gang. Another popular family activity is renting giant tricycles and tooling around the boardwalk. Get your whole brood to Hilton Head and let the family fun begin!
You might be surprised to hear that Paris is on any summer budget travel list. But late summer is a great time to travel to destinations all over Europe – as Europeans go on holiday themselves and the heavy tourist season winds down. Dining in Paris can be affordable if you avoid the tourist restaurants, take the Prix Fixe menu (usually written in French only on a blackboard outside establishments – they’ll give you the best value for the money), and there’s a lot of free or nearly free attractions to keep you busy in the City of Lights (wander along the Seine, picnic under the Eiffel Tower!)
Hawaii is one of those evergreen destinations without a low season and we talk a lot about Maui as a favorite vacation pick. We’re branching out to share a bit about Kauai this time – it gets less tourist traffic, offers some spectacular scenery of it’s own and high season summer crowds depart, late summer and fall bring some hot deals to the mainland to entice you. Rooms and airfares will double in January but right now Kauai offers deep savings in late summer.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
We just “did” Tennessee as part of a cross-country vacation with the family, and can we just say Pigeon Forge packs a punch. It’s home to Dolly Parton’s beloved Dollywood amusement park, it’s also within spittin’ distance of the Great Smoky Mountains. If you visit Pigeon Forge in August or September, you’re getting to be there between peak summer tourist season and the simply stunning fall foliage of the Smokies.
It used to be that you needed a year or more to research and book a European trip properly. Thankfully, those days are long gone and if you have the flexibility, a fun summer European vacation can still be yours for the taking. Berlin is a great gateway to exploring the rest of Europe whether you want to go by rail or one of the low-cost air carriers. But if you’re looking for a fun city to hang in for a few days, Berlin is hard to beat. The bohemian/artistic vibe is strong and there are oodles of history to experience– from Brandenburg Gate to “Checkpoint Charlie” and remnants of the Berlin Wall, to the moving Holocaust Memorial. Check out our Europe Summer Flights page for more tips and best dates to travel.
Miami is humid in August and September and the prospect of rain sometimes keeps hardcore beachgoers away. However, rain (if it comes) usually lasts for just an hour or two. We think that’s worth the risk. You can expect hot and humid days, a bit of rain in the afternoon, and balmy nights in August and September. That sounds like great beach weather to us. Add in great flight and hotel deals? We’re packing our bags and putting on our party pants!
You’ll be forgiven if the name Mérida doesn’t immediately ring a bell. Mérida is not a Mexico beach destination. It’s also not a party destination and you’ll have to change planes in Mexico City to get there. So why go? It’s an up-and-comer on the Mexico tourism scene for Americans, though the rest of the world has known about it for quite some time. Mérida is also steeped in colonial and Aztec history. Its cobblestone streets are charming, and it’s got tourism infrastructure without being a tourism trap. This is the kind of town that’ll totally sneak up on you. Just go.
Check out our international airfare study for more information about international destinations and the Domestic Airfare Study for locations in the U.S. You can also head over to our when to buy flight tool for specific routes and data to help with planning.