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Best Websites to Book a Last Minute Vacation

SmarterTravel

Sometimes you just need to getaway. If your wanderlust gets the best of you and the traveler inside is itching to hit the road, there are plenty of websites and apps out there to help—fast. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a full-blown vacation, these sites can help you find great last minute travel deals.

Table of Contents
Best Websites for Last Minute Flights
Where to Find Last Minute Hotel Deals
Amazing Last Minute Vacation Packages
Affordable Last Minute All-Inclusive Deals
How to Find Great Deals on Last Minute Tours
Deals on Popular Getaway Destinations
Best Last Minute Travel Apps for Your Phone

Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.

Best Websites for Last Minute Flights

Finding flights can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be! There are loads of ways to find cheap flights from your favorite airline, even if you are going away in the near future.

1. Google Flights

Open laptop showing homepage of Google Flights search, a place where you can book last minute travel
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Google Flights

One fun way to find last minute flights is to plug your departure city and travel dates into Google Flights, leaving your destination blank. The resulting map shows you the lowest available prices to cities all over the world, letting you find deals in places you might not have ever thought to go.

2. Kayak

An open laptop showing the homepage of Kayak, a travel website where you can make last minute bookings
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Kayak

Kayak’s Explore feature is a similar tool. You can enter exact travel dates or a certain month, then see which fares are available from your home gateway. 

3. Secret Flying

An open laptop showing the homepage of Secret Flying, one of several listed flight booking websites
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Secret Flying

You can get alerts when fares go down when you sign up at Secret Flying, or, use their search tool to find great last minute deals on flights. Simply input your departure city, keep the arrival as “anywhere” and put the current month as the time you are looking to fly. Perfect for when you just want to get away, but you don’t care where to. Secret Flying also finds “mistake” fares, so be sure to sign up to get notifications so you can book them before they are gone! 

Where to Find Last Minute Hotel Deals

You’d think that every hotel would have cheap rooms last minute, but that isn’t always the case. These sites will help you find a room that won’t break the bank with a spur of the moment trip! 

1. Hotel Tonight

An open laptop showing the homepage of HotelTonight, a travel website where you can make last minute hotel reservations
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & HotelTonight

A perennial favorite app among SmarterTravel editors, HotelTonight has been finding travelers’ deep hotel discounts since 2010. The app allows travelers to book same-day accommodations across the globe at discounts of up to 50 percent. If you don’t want to leave things until the literal last minute, though, the app also lets you book dates a little further out. The well-designed booking engine serves up clever recommendations and insider info—plus those remarkable markdowns. Keep an eye out for the Daily Drop, the biggest discount of the day (which you only have 15 minutes to book).

2. Groupon

An open laptop showing the homepage of Groupon, a site where you can make last minute bookings
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Groupon

The site is known for discounted restaurant meals, fitness classes, and beauty services also has a last minute deals section that typically includes discounted hotel and resort stays. On the day I checked, options ranged from a $69 hotel near Niagara Falls to a four-star Times Square hotel for $77 a night.

3. Trip.com

An open laptop showing the homepage of Trip.com, one of several listed booking websites where you can make last minute bookings
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Trip.com

Trip.com is your basic hotel booking site, and is great for finding a last minute deal. While they feature hotels all around the world, it’s particularly great for deals on hotels in Asia, so when you grab an amazing last minute flight to somewhere in Asia, head to trip.com to book your hotel! 

4. Last Minute Travel

An open laptop showing the homepage of Last Minute Travel, a last minute travel booking site
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Last Minute Travel

As its name suggests, Last Minute Travel is dedicated solely to last minute travel deals. This wide-ranging site offers bargains on hotels, car rentals, cruises, transfers, and activities. Their hotel deals are amazing.  In a sample search, I found top-rated hotels in Paris from just $54 per night for a trip about two weeks out. The site has a Last Minute Travel Club for deeper discounts and rewards points to use toward free hotel stays. Membership is $50 per year.

Amazing Last Minute Vacation Packages

Sometimes, booking a vacation package is the cheapest way to go for last minute travel. These sites are the best for one-stop shopping.

1. Airfarewatchdog

An open laptop showing the homepage of Airfarewatchdog Weekendr, a travel booking site
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Airfarewatchdog

SmarterTravel’s sister site Airfarewatchdog has a nifty Weekender tool that lets you find a flight/hotel vacation package for upcoming weekends, just click the link and let the site do the rest of the work. 

2. CheapCaribbean.com

An open laptop showing the last minute travel page of CheapCaribbean.com, a page where you can book last minute
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock &. CheapCaribbean.com

If you have a specific destination in mind, your best bet is often to focus on a website that deals with one region specifically. CheapCaribbean.com has last minute deals, many of them short-lived flash sales. Though you can’t hem and haw about whether or not to go, you’ll often have plenty of time to plan. For example, a four-night air/hotel package to the Dominican Republic might start at $509 per person for travel four to six months from now—but it must be booked in the next four days.

3. FunJet Vacations 

An open laptop showing the homepage of Funjet Vacations, a travel website
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Funjet Vacations

Book your flight and hotel together at FunJet Vacations. If you have a place in mind, enter the dates you want to go and the destination, and it will give you the best flight and hotel deals available. Their sales are great if you are open to where you want to go, and often have dates for travel within the month. 

Affordable Last Minute All Inclusive Deals

A vacation where everything is paid for in advance may seem a luxury to some people, but it is actually quite affordable. These sties will help you find the best all-inclusive deals, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the sun! 

1. Sandals Resorts

An open laptop showing the last minute deals page of Sandals resorts
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Sandals Resorts

Sandals resorts has great deals for last minute travel. You often can get one night free, and when you start the booking process, have the option of booking your flight as well. You may even find availability for travel within the week. 

2. Club Med

An open laptop showing the last minute deals page of Club Med resorts
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Club Med

When it comes to all-inclusive, Club Med usually comes to mind. Like Sandals, they often have fantastic last minute deals for when you are looking to book without much time to plan. Club Med has locations all over the world, including Florida, perfect for a cheap getaway. 

3. Travelzoo

An open laptop showing a search page of TravelZoo, a site where you have the option to make a last minute booking
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock &. Travelzoo

This venerable travel site offers last minute deals on just about everything, but their all-inclusive search is one of the best as far as the bigger sites go. When I searched, I found a package for an all-inclusive stay in Cabo, including airfare, for $499, for travel next week. 

4. Hotwire

An open laptop showing the all inclusive deals page of Hotwire
Hotwire

Believe it or not, some of the bigger travel sites have all-inclusive deals available to book, and Hotwire is no different. Hotwire breaks down deals by the hottest all-inclusive locations, including Cancun, Punta Cana, and Cabo. Search via top destinations, 5-Star Hotels, top beach destinations and more. If you aren’t picky, you can book before knowing what resort you are staying at for super low prices, some starting as low as $23/night! 

How to Find Great Deals on Last Minute Tours

If you prefer having an itinerary made for you, and, let’s face it, if you are taking a last minute trip, it might be nice to not have to plan the entire trip, there are some great sites to book a last minute tour on. 

1. TourRadar

An open laptop showing the homepage of TourRadar, a site with the option to book late travel
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & TourRadar

Book a tour of your destination as well as accommodations through TourRadar. There are several ways to search, including destination, type of tour (adventure, cultural, safari etc..), and date. Search for tours for travel in the next two weeks, up to sixty days in advance. 

2. G Adventures

An open laptop showing the homepage of G Adventures, a travel website that lets you book last minute
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & G Adventures

From Iceland to Turkey, G Adventures has tours to inspire and excite. They have available dates for travel throughout the year, but most are available to book for tours within a week or two. They have themed tours like the Northern Lights in Iceland, and Hiking the Azores—whatever, wherever you want to go. I found a seven day hiking tour of Cyprus for $764 for travel in two weeks. 

3. Contiki 

An open laptop showing the last minute deals page of tour and travel booking site Contiki
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Contiki

Contiki has a wide variety of tours to choose from, and the site has a handy last minute trips option to find a tour when you need one. When I searched, there was an Egypt and the Nile tour for $1409, starting in just two days from when I searched! Most tours include accommodation, meals, transportation, admission to sites, and tour guides. 

You may think it is hard to find deals to some of the top destinations, but as we have been mentioning, there are several options out there, no matter where you are going. Here are some sites that will help you plan your next getaway to some of the top spots.

Europe Deals

Lastminute.com 

An open laptop showing the homepage of Lastminute.com, a site for last minute bookings
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Lastminute.com

Netherlands-based LastMinute.com also covers a range of last minute trip options, including flights, hotels, Eurostar train tickets, vacation packages, car rentals, theater tickets, and experiences. A Paris search turned up hotel rates from about $74 per night at press time. This site also allows you to filter by hotels that offer free cancellation, a great perk if your travel plans change last minute. LastMinute.com also has “top-secret hotels” available for opaque booking, though in my Paris search they were actually a bit more expensive than the named hotels in my results.

Caribbean Vacations

Beaches

An open laptop showing the last minute deals page of Beaches
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & Beaches

While we love Sandals, we also love their sister company, Beaches. Beaches features two resorts in Jamaica and one in Turks and Caicos. Their last minute travel deals are similar to Sandals, where you can get one free night, and are able to book with just a couple of days in advance. 

Trips to New York

TKTS

An open laptop showing the homepage of TKTS, a place to book last minute tickets
guteksk7 | Adobe Stock & TKTS

Chances are, if you are heading to NYC, you are going to want to see a Broadway show. Your best option for great last minute seats is TKTS. Download the app for your phone to see that days discounted tickets, and you can decide whether it is worth making the trek to the booth. Beats running out early in the morning to wait in line, and you are sure to get some deeply discounted tickets. 

Best Last Minute Travel Apps for Your Phone

Most people tend to do everything on their phones, from booking restaurants, reading the news, and of course, booking travel. These apps are our favorites for booking last minute travel.

Elude

A man holding a phone showing the app Elude
insta_photos | Adobe Stock & Elude

Elude is more than an app, it is an experience for the well-seasoned traveler. Not only does it let you search trips from your departure city to anywhere in the world, it gets to know you so you’ll find out about the best deals catered to your interests. Keep tabs on your trips, where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Their search feature allows you to put what your budget is, and what dates you want to travel, then showing you details for trips that fall under your criteria. When I searched, I found a trip to Prague leaving from New York City in two weeks for $1374 including airfare and hotel. 

Snaptravel

A man holding a phone showing the booking app Snaptravel
tippapatt | Adobe Stock & Snaptravel

With Snaptravel, you can search for hotels conveniently on your phone. Once you sign up, you will receive exclusive deals over your message service of choice (SMS, Facebook Messenger, iMessage etc..). You can also do a simple search with the days you want to go, and where you want to go. You can filter by price, hotel stars, amenities and more. The perfect app for booking that last minute hotel anywhere in the world. 

VRBO

A man holding a phone showing the vacation rental bookingapp VRBO
bongkarn | Adobe Stock & VRBO

These days, vacation rentals are all the rage, and finding a last minute travel deal for accommodations can be tricky if you don’t want to break the bank. That’s where apps like VRBO come in. You can search rooms, apartments and houses available to rent wherever you are going. Often, owners who have had a cancellation or just want the place booked will discount the price last minute as to not totally lose out on making any money. You might just find a unique stay, like a treehouse or secluded cabin. 

Travelocity

A person holding a phone showing the travel app Travelocity
blackzheep | Adobe Stock & Travelocity

Everything is better with time, and Travelocity is not excluded. Founded in 1996, they have adapted to the ever-changing tech world, and their app shows they are good at what they do. Search for hotels, vacation packages, flights—you name it—and all of your bookings will stay on the app for easy access. Looking for the perfect trip to Las Vegas last minute? Travelocity has your back.  When I searched for a trip to Vegas in two weeks, I found hotel and airfare for under $1,000 for a five night stay. 

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated with the latest information. Genevieve S. Brown and Dara Continenza contributed to this story.

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