9 Last-Minute Vacations to Take Before Summer's Over — Affordable Trips

Happy family admiring the sunset view at the beach with copyspace. Relaxing during a summer vacation and enjoying the scenic landscape with calm waves. Loving parents bonding with their little kids

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It’s not too late to book that summer trip!

Procrastinators, I have great news—it’s not too late to book an amazing end-of-summer trip that won’t break the bank. In fact, the experts at Skyscanner, the global metasearch booking tool, have discovered that waiting until the last minute could actually be the best option if you’re traveling on a budget. Yep, you read that right: You might get a better deal if you wait. (Take that, planners!)

For this list, Skyscanner hooked us up with some stellar airline deals you can take advantage of right now, for travel in August through Labor Day. We rounded out their international suggestions with ideas for affordable Labor Day weekend getaways in the U.S. from vacation rental company Vacasa, as well as a few places we’ve been keeping an eye on too.

How to score the best deal

The best piece of advice for booking a late-summer break? “Be flexible,” says Laura Lindsay, global travel trends expert at Skyscanner. “Searching by multiple dates is one of your best chances of finding a bargain on a flight. Consider traveling a day before or a day after your original departure dates [to find a deal].”

Being flexible about your destination can also uncover surprising discounts. Try expanding your parameters for a sunny beach destination to another locale or one that’s just beyond U.S. borders. Or if you’re set on a specific city, search multiple airports in the region. For example, check out JFK, LaGuardia, Newark and Westchester airports if you’re planning a trip to New York City to find the best price.

With that in mind, here are our top picks for the best last-minute getaways at huge discounts. You’re welcome!

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Houses of Parliament (Westminster palace) and Big Ben tower, London, UK

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London

If you’ve been wanting to hop over the pond and visit London but have been thwarted by high prices, now is the time to book: Skyscanner found round-trip flights from New York to London from just $147 each way. I’m personally going to take advantage of these super-low prices to visit London’s West End and catch up on theater, shopping and museum exhibits.

If you’re bringing the kids, stay at the Treehouse Hotel London, where the Summer Fruits offer gets you up to 30% off and a credit to visit the cozy Nest rooftop bar and terrace. Arriving in August also means you’ll be here for Kids Week in the West End, a program designed to introduce children to live theater with a “buy one adult ticket, get one free for kids under 18” deal through August 31.

And whether you’re with the kids or not, head to Covent Garden’s Annual Ice Cream Festival, The Cool Down, to sample 40 varieties of ice cream. It’s a sweet end-of-summer tradition you won’t want to miss.

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