Sometimes you just need to get away. 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.
Last-Minute Travel Sites
As its name suggests, LastMinuteTravel.com is dedicated solely to last-minute travel deals. This wide-ranging site offers bargains on hotels, flights, car rentals, cruises, packages, vacation rentals, and activities. In a sample search, I found top-rated hotels in Paris from just $78 per night for a trip about two weeks out. If you don’t mind being surprised, you can book “underground hotels” for even less; the name of the hotel won’t be revealed to you until after you make your reservation.
U.K.-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 $80 per night at press time. Like the site above, LastMinute.com also has “top-secret hotels” available for opaque booking.
GoLastMinute.com serves up deals on flights, hotels, cruises, and cars for travel within the next 30 days. It’s an aggregator site that compares rates on multiple other websites, then sends you over to your selected external site when you’re ready to book. You can sign up for daily emails to get alerts about last-minute deals.
Last-Minute Flight Deals
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.
Kayak’s Explore feature is a similar tool. You can enter exact travel dates, a certain month, or a holiday period such as Labor Day Weekend, then see which fares are available from your home gateway.
Big Booking Sites
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 70 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.
The site 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. Listings might include options like a four-star Cabo San Lucas Resort from $107 a night or a hotel in downtown Phoenix from $69 a night.
This venerable travel site offers last-minute deals on just about everything—including flights, car rentals, concerts, and even spa days—but at any given time you’ll find hundreds of deals on last-minute hotel bookings, like a Myrtle Beach oceanfront hotel from $39 a night or a four-star Puerto Vallarta resort from $89 a night.
Last-Minute Vacation Packages
SmarterTravel’s sister site Airfarewatchdog recently introduced its Weekender tool, which lets you find flight/hotel packages for upcoming weekends. Sample deals include three nights in Fort Lauderdale (including air) from $498 per person or three nights in Myrtle Beach plus air from $530 per person.
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 Punta Cana might start at $499 per person for travel anywhere between two and four months from now—but it must be booked in the next four days.
Intrepid Travel leads small-group trips across the globe, and if you’re willing to be flexible, you can get sweet deals on tours that haven’t sold out up to two months before departure. Discounted tours can include everything from a Cambodia food tour to a circuit of Utah’s national parks.
You can save 10 to 15 percent off Trafalgar‘s slate of bus tours departing in the next few months to destinations such as Italy, New Zealand, and the Southern United States.
The last-minute section on this tour aggregator site serves up discounts of up to 30 percent on trips to China, East Africa, the Galapagos, Croatia, and more. You can find these deals up to 60 days in advance.
SmarterTravel’s sister site Cruise Critic has last-minute cruise deals to regions like Alaska, Bermuda, Europe, and the Eastern Caribbean. Trips depart in the next month or so, and fares can be up to 70 percent less than the full brochure price.
Another good source of cruise deals is the last-minute section of Cruise.com, where you can find sailings from Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and more. Current fares start as low as $174 per person for a three-night Bahamas voyage.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Ditch the Hotel: 10 Cheaper Ways to Stay
- 6 Quick Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Vacation
- 10 Tips for Finding Cheap Airfare
Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.
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.