Money, budget, office laptop, cash, money calculator, loan, debt, credit

Last updated Jun. 24, 2024 by Peter Jakes

Tips for an Affordable Last Minute Memorial Day 2023 Weekend Getaway

Memorial Day is a cherished time for many, providing an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of military personnel, while also enjoying the unofficial start of summer. If you’ve found yourself contemplating a last-minute getaway but are deterred by the potentially high costs, you’re not alone. Planning a last-minute trip can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are several tips that can help ensure your Memorial Day weekend is both enjoyable and affordable.

1. Leverage Last-Minute Deals

Many travel websites and smartphone apps offer enticing last-minute deals. Websites like Expedia, Kayak, and Priceline specialize in offering discounted rates for flights, hotels, and rental cars. Subscribing to their newsletters or enabling notifications can keep you updated on these bargains. Another great resource is Last Minute Travel, both the website and the app. They often aggregate deep discounts that can make a getaway more feasible.

2. Opt for Road Trips

Instead of booking airfare, which can be exorbitant at the last minute, consider a road trip. Not only are you in control of your travel schedule, but you can also avoid airport hassles. Choose destinations within a few hours’ drive to save on fuel costs and enjoy the scenic route. National and state parks, local beaches, and small towns can be excellent, cost-effective destinations.

3. Use Discount Travel Websites

Websites like Airbnb and VRBO can provide affordable lodging alternatives to traditional hotels. Often, you’ll find entire homes or apartments for less than the cost of a hotel room. Plus, these lodgings usually come with kitchens, enabling you to save on eating out by preparing your meals.

4. Travel Off the Beaten Path

Popular destinations often come with hefty price tags, especially during holiday weekends. Instead of heading to well-known tourist spots, explore lesser-known places that offer unique experiences without the high costs. Websites like Atlas Obscura can help you discover hidden gems that won’t be packed with crowds or expensive.

5. Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs

If you frequently travel, loyalty programs can be your best friend. Whether it’s hotel points, airline miles, or rental car credits, now is the time to use them. Many programs also offer last-minute deals for members, which can significantly cut costs.

6. Public Transportation

If your destination has a robust public transportation system, take full advantage of it. This can save you the cost of renting a car or relying on expensive taxis and rideshares. Cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco have excellent public transit options, making them accessible while reducing travel costs.

7. Pack Smart

Restrictions on budget airlines often mean added fees for checked baggage. By packing light and utilizing only a carry-on, you can avoid these extra costs. Prioritize versatile clothing, and remember that most lodgings have laundry facilities if you need to refresh your wardrobe during the trip.

8. Explore Local Activities

Once you arrive at your destination, seek out local activities and free attractions. Many museums, botanical gardens, and historical sites offer free or low-cost entry. Local festivals, farmers’ markets, and public beaches are other good options for budget-friendly fun.

9. Travel with Friends or Family

Organizing a group trip can significantly lower individual costs. Sharing expenses such as lodging, food, and gas can make a getaway much more affordable. Additionally, many vacation rentals are specifically designed for groups and offer better rates compared to booking multiple hotel rooms.

10. Book During Off-Peak Hours

Traveling during less popular times can also save money. Consider departing early in the morning or late at night, when travel demand is lower. Similarly, booking return trips at unconventional times can also be less expensive.

11. Plan, but Be Flexible

While having a plan is important, being flexible with your travel dates and accommodations can help you snag better deals. Sometimes staying an extra day (or leaving a day earlier) can make a significant difference in price.

12. DIY Meals

Dining out for every meal can quickly deplete your travel budget. Instead, consider cooking some of your meals. Vacation rentals often come equipped with kitchens, and even hotels frequently offer microwave and refrigerator options. Prepping simple meals or even picnicking can be both enjoyable and economical.

Sample Itinerary


  • Depart early to beat the rush and save on gas.
  • Check into an affordable Airbnb or vacation rental.
  • Explore local attractions or walk through the city.


  • Visit free museums or parks.
  • Have a picnic lunch.
  • Enjoy cost-effective local dining options for dinner.


  • Partake in a local tour or festival.
  • Spend the afternoon at the beach or another free destination.


  • Prepare for the drive/flight back home.
  • Avoid peak traffic times to save on travel expenses.

Here is a summarized version of the article to incorporate into your webpage:

✓ Short Answer

For an affordable Memorial Day 2023 getaway, leverage last-minute deals, choose road trips to control costs, explore discount travel websites for accommodation, and opt for lesser-known destinations. Utilize loyalty programs, public transportation, and smart packing to cut down expenses. Eat in more often, travel with friends to share costs, and explore local, free activities. Flexibility can further help in snagging the best deals.


Q: How can I find last-minute travel deals?
A: Websites like Expedia, Kayak, and Priceline, as well as apps like Last Minute Travel, offer excellent last-minute deals on flights, hotels, and rental cars.

Q: Are road trips more economical for last-minute travels?
A: Yes, road trips can be more economical, especially if the destination is relatively close. You avoid airfare and have flexibility in travel plans.

Q: Can I find affordable lodging options?
A: Absolutely. Websites like Airbnb, VRBO, and even last-minute hotel deal sites often have discounts for short-notice bookings.

Q: How do I save on meals during my trip?
A: Opt for stays with kitchen facilities and prepare some of your meals to save on dining expenses. Simple picnics and DIY breakfasts can also be cost-effective.

Q: Is it possible to travel on Memorial Day weekend without prior bookings?
A: While it is more challenging, it is possible by leveraging last-minute deals, being flexible with your plans, and opting for less crowded destinations.

Q: How can I maximize the use of loyalty programs for a last-minute trip?
A: Use accrued points or miles for flights and accommodations. Check for special deals or promotions exclusive to loyalty program members.

Q: Are there specific travel times that are cheaper?
A: Yes, traveling during off-peak hours, such as early mornings or late nights, often results in cheaper prices. Avoiding the busiest travel dates and times can also help.

Whether you choose to explore a hidden gem close to home or venture a bit further, your Memorial Day 2023 weekend getaway doesn’t have to be costly. With a bit of planning and some flexibility, an affordable, memorable escape is well within reach. Happy traveling!

Similar Posts