While in theory planning a getaway should be done weeks in advance, that’s not always possible. Maybe you just found out that you don’t have to work this weekend or perhaps it has been a bad week and you’ve decided at the last minute that you just need to get away.

With the hectic pace of modern life, more people are making last-minute plans, and that means you have more options when you’re ready to getaway from it all.

Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. —Psalm 55:9, KJV

Your Local High-end Hotel

A getaway doesn’t have to be a three-hour drive away from your home. Many high-end hotels offer cheap, last-minute packages and you can save even more by using travel web sites such as Priceline or HotWire that allow you to book a hotel with the amenities you want at a fraction of the listed price. After a hard week, sitting by the pool all day can be the best type of getaway. Or you can pick a hotel that’s located in an area where you can walk to nearby specialty stores or a popular downtown area.

National Park or Campground

Whether you want to rough it and camp out or just visit the sights, the nearest national park can be a great choice for a quick getaway. Many of the sights are free or priced reasonably and most are available without a reservation. While camping spots can be sold out, it’s almost always possible to get a last-minute hotel room, unless you get the urge to getaway on a popular holiday weekend such as the Fourth of July or Labor Day. Some hotels also include reduced cost coupons or vouchers for local tourist spots.

The Beach or Lake

While not everyone lives close enough to drive to the beach or the lake at the last minute, for those who do, it can be a fun choice for a last minute getaway. You probably already own the swimsuits and beach towels, and if you’re lucky, you live close enough so that you can just drive back and forth the same day. Even if you don’t live that close, you can book a hotel that is within easy driving distance and save money by opting out of the waterfront view.

Theme Park

Most people live within driving distance of a theme park, and those who are really adventurous can book a plane and fly to one. But either way, theme parks can be a great choice for a last minute getaway because they are, by nature, set up to be visited at the last minute. Depending on the theme park, they might include hotels and other events such as concerts and live performances. Passes can be purchased at the gate and nearly all the restaurants have tables available for last-minute visitors. 

But don’t let these suggestions be the only ideas to consider. Check with tourists bureaus and local chambers of commerce to see what last-minute suggestions they have on file. You can also check out the options available on many travel web sites, which offer last-minute travel packages at very reduced rates.

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