9 Last Minute Vacation Deals For One Last Summer Vacation - My Family Travels

To help you save on one last summer vacation, we’ve rounded up nine great last minute vacation deals. Picture how envious your neighbors will be when you head out on a late summer and early fall trip!

What’s better than finding an iced Frapuccino or frozen yogurt robot at a road stop? A vacation deal!

The two weeks around Labor Day are the perfect time to enjoy a summer vacation deal. That’s especially true after 2023’s record-breaking summer travel season. Even the pundits can’t believe that despite crowds, delayed flights, overbooked hotels, wildfires, heat waves and flooding, summer travel has been booming.

Why End Of Summer Is A Great Time For Last Minute Deals

Just look at the data uncovered by Allianz Partners USA Vacation Confidence Index, the industry’s litmus test of traveler confidence. Travel sentiment has never been higher, with more than 62% of Americans having taken a vacation in the past year. 

All that success means travel businesses are now willing to cut last minute vacation deals to finish the summer season with a bang.

Here are nine of our favorites, from beach, cruise and golf to action-packed or flop n’ drop getaways.

1.  Europe On My Mind

Passengers relaxing on the upper deck of Indochine II, a river boat from CroisiEurope sailing the Mekong River.
Passengers relaxing on the upper deck of a CroisiEurope river cruiser at sunset.

Rolling heat waves and sky-high hotel rates generated a lot of talk about Europe the past few months. You probably remember that summer kicked off with King Charles III coronation in London. Maybe your family was lucky enough to get tickets to the priceless Vermeer show in Amsterdam or one of the major festivals. 

If not, there are still great last minute vacation sales from CroisiEurope, a leading river cruise company based in France. Did you know the company was just nominated for both the Silver Travel Advisor Awards 2023 and for the best “Cruise Company” in the World Luxury Travel Awards? August is a good time to explore lesser-known destinations while European families are at the beach. CroisiEurope runs river cruises along Portugal’s coast, to Venice and Mantua, Montenegro and Spain’s villages of Andalusia.

Europe River Trip Last Minute Vacation Deals

During summer, they feature kids cruise free deals for ages 16 and under sharing a cabin. Plus, they have several late summer departures on sale now. Picture yourselves spending a week floating down the Rhine River, cabin, all meals, all shore excursions included, for just $1,764 per person.

2.  Discover Atlantis For The Bahamas-Bound Traveler 

Two men ride Bolt Coaster on deck of Carnival Mardi Gras ship while moored at Atlantis, Bahamas.
Carnival’s BOLT onboard roller coaster zooms above the Atlantis Towers on Paradise Island.Photo by Mike Peck.

Atlantis, the mega-resort on Paradise Island, has just launched its 2023 Endless Summer Sale for families who are still ready to play. If you want to know why we call it a mega-resort, please read Kristen and Will Guthrie’s article about Atlantis and the beautiful Paradise Island off Nassau.

Their last-minute vacation deal is an unusual offer from this super popular casino resort.

Bahamas Last Minute Vacation Deals

Families can get a 4th Night Free at The Coral and The Royal Towers plus a $150 Daily Experience Credit. Atlantis’ special rates are valid only for bookings made between Aug. 14 and Sept. 30.

3.  Big Ship Cruise Vacation Deals To The Caribbean or Baja Peninsula

Cruises — more popular than ever – are great values for our inflationary economy. And if you want to get away but don’t want to hassle the paperwork, money changing, language challenge, etc. they are ideal. On what’s called a “closed-loop” cruise – where you board and disembark at a U.S. port – U.S. citizens only need a boarding pass and a government photo I.D.

Despite cruising being more popular than ever, new ships keep on launching. That means there are always last minute vacation deals to be had.

Carnival Cruises Last Minute Vacation Deals

At Carnival, for example, Caribbean cruise specials include a 4-day Miami > Key West > Cozumel > Miami route averaging $459 pp based on two to a cabin.

Baja California cruises through the Pacific are a cheaper option for our West of the Mississippi families. Carnival is selling a 3-day Los Angeles (port of Long Beach) cruise to Ensenada and back that averages $389 per person; port fees and taxes are additional. Check back to their website often as rates rise and fall with demand.

4. There’s More To Barbados Than Rihanna

pickup game of cricket on the sand.
Sun loungers are turned to watch a pickup game of cricket on the sand.

Barbados can boast of hometown superstar Rihanna, beautiful golf courses and gold sand beaches. That’s saying a lot. If you go now, you can save up to US$100 on this normally pricey island with the Barbados ‘World of Difference’ Experiences Campaign.

To do so, you must follow their rules! Rule #1: Book your minimum four-night island stay by Oct. 15 for travel any time through Oct. 31. Be sure it is an approved accommodation partner. Rule #2: Visit www.bookbarbados.com/worldofdifference to register for the program. Each approved traveler receives BBD$200 in a digital wallet format, to be spent exclusively within Barbados. 

Interested in a spa treatment, cave tour, or ride on a submarine to spot marinelife?  Rule 3: Vendors will scan your QR code and apply a cashback credit to your bill instantly. Rule #4: Use the BookBarbados Trip Planner app to access your digital wallet and redeem your total up to BBD$200 (about US$100) savings.

Barbados Vacation Deals

Use the BookBarbados Trip Planner App to organize your hotel booking, activities and attractions. You can save BBD$50 on each activity. Total savings is worth up to BBD$200 (about US$100.)

5.  Vacation Deals At Urban US Resorts For The Passport Phobic

Pool at the Miami Freehand Hotel in Florida.
Relax at your very own urban resort at the Freehand Miami. Photo c. Freehand Hotels

Thinking laid back, land resort but still want to skip the passport and stay in the US?  The affordable boutique hotel brand, Freehand Hotels, has a 20% sale at their resort-style urban Miami and Los Angeles hotels.

In honor of Labor Day, their ‘Work Hard- Save Harder’ discount off all room rates is valid from Aug. 14 to Sept. 6. Room options range from solo, queen, king and triple rooms to 4-bed, 6-bed or 8-bed rooms that comfortably accommodate the whole squad. Think hipster hostel with rooftop pools.

Freehand Freestyle End Of Summer Vacation Deals

The Freehand ‘Work Hard- Save Harder’ discount off all room rates is valid from Aug. 14 to Sept. 6. Since this last minute vacation offer is good only till September 6th, please book your rooms here soon.

6.  Watching The Beach And Beyond In Virginia Beach

Map of the 2023 Summer Virginia Beach Mural Festival in Virginia Beach, VA.
Map of the 2023 Summer Virginia Beach Mural Festival in Virginia Beach, VA.

Virginia Beach hotels will be busy with beachgoers till Labor Day, but you can save by taking advantage of the city’s free recreation and public arts scene. First up, recreation, and that means surfing big time. From Aug. 20-27, come watch the 61st annual Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championship. The action happens off the First Street Jetty, viewing the hundreds of anticipated competitors is open to all.

The 6th Annual Mural Festival returns to the ViBe Creative District Aug. 18 – 27. During this summer’s 10-day festival, 14 Virginia artists will be painting new murals in front of the public. In addition to the 10 outdoor murals, visitors can contribute to a community paint-by-number design on their own wall. If the kids are really into becoming Van Goghs, get tickets for the truly immersive Beyond Van Gogh, a multimedia experience occupying the Virginia Beach Convention Center through Sept. 10, 2023 daily except Mondays.

7. Wacky Weather Amps Up Whitewater Thrills, Lowers Last Minute Vacation Costs

Raft the Gates of Ladore rapids with your kids
Raft the Gates of Ladore rapids with your kids on OARS latest family adventures. Photo by Josh Miller, courtesy OARS.

Your teens may know a set of oars when they see them, but until they’ve rowed down a river with OARS they haven’t been whitewater rafting. More than 50 years have passed since the California based company began running the Western rivers. This year, with the tremendous rainfall in much of the West, they’ve had one of their best seasons ever. And it promises to be one of their longest seasons too.

You don’t have to be addicted to rocking and rolling on Class V whitewater. OARS has plenty of family-friendly guided adventures which include kids as young as 4.

OARS Last Minute Whitewater Rafting Vacation Deals

Close out summer 2023 by saving up to $200 per person on select river trips (such as Desolation Canyon on the Green River) in August and September. Cataract Canyon, Utah trips in September and October are discounted, too. Current offers and last minute vacation deals change regularly and are listed on the OARS Special Offers page.

8.  Golf And Play In New Jersey

The Mineral Hotel, one of the Crystal Springs resorts in New Jersey. Photo c. Crystal Springs Resort.
The resort like pool at the Mineral Hotel, one of the Crystal Springs resorts in New Jersey. Photo c. Crystal Springs Resort.

Families in the mid-Atlantic region can get their resort fix nearby at New Jersey’s Crystal Springs Resort. Located in Sussex County, NJ, the resort is only 80 min from NYC and 2.5 hours from Philadelphia.

That may sound urban, but in fact, Crystal Springs has eight swimming pools, 10 dining areas and a climbing wall. Their six golf courses include one rated by GolfWeek as among the country’s top 200 places to play. Pamper yourself at two spas after a round of pickleball, goat yoga and more. Or, just relax and enjoy your family in an environment that is very unlike home. 

Crystal Springs Last Minute Vacation Deals

Grab a last-minute, summer’s end getaway at one of two Crystal Springs Resort hotels with 20% percent off room rates. Additionally, enjoy a $40 breakfast credit now through Aug. 31, 2023. Rates start at $415/N at the AAA 4-Diamond Grand Cascades Lodge and $319/N at the more family-oriented Minerals Hotel. 

9.  Real Adventure Off The Grid

Girl in snorkel mask walks on the beach of Baja California Sur peninsula with Uncruise ship at sea, in the background.
Specialty Kids in Nature voyages are offered for families traveling with children 12 and younger. Here’s the Safari Endeavour in the Sea of Cortés off the coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico. Photo c. Uncruise

If you haven’t had any vacation at all yet, you’re probably ready to really get away. The small ship cruise company, Uncruise Adventures, carries only 22 to 86 passengers aboard their ships so you and your family can focus on a region’s natural beauty, a destination’s culture, and the local wildlife. Expect daily opportunities to explore by kayak, paddle board and hike in the wilderness.

Rates include adventure gear, daily activities, all meals and even alcoholic drinks. Very few 2023 departures still have room but, for example, you can save $500 per person or buy one cabin and get half off the second cabin on Belize trips if booked Oct. 31.

Maybe you want to picture yourselves in Southeast Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, the Galapagos Islands or Hawaii. If this sounds like your thing, have patience…

Uncruise Adventures Summer Sale

The big Uncruise super early bird Summer Sale is for 2024 and 2025 departures. Book by Oct. 31, 2023 and save 10%, a savings of $720 to $2,980 per cabin on 2024 itineraries. They’re only requiring a $250 deposit per person now.

Let us know what other end of summer offers you find by writing back in our Comments Section!

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1 Reply to “9 Last Minute Vacation Deals For One Last Summer Vacation”

  • Celeste Hedequist

    It sounds like you’re looking for a last-minute summer vacation deal. You can find some great deals on destinations across the USA, from California to Florida, New York, Las Vegas, and more. If you’re flexible with your travel dates and plan around 6 weeks ahead of departure. You may even find incredible deals on last-minute vacations up to 1 week before you plan to travel if you are flexible with your destination. From budget-friendly breaks to vacations that are all about pure indulgence.

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