Travel Trends: What Is The Cheapest Destination for a Last Minute Summer Trip?

by on August 2, 2013 · 9 comments

in Kayak

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Our friends at Kayak are among the best at tracking travel trends, and as summer winds down (it’s already August) and travelers start to consider a last (or several) summer trips before fall comes around again, they have put together some handy facts about top destinations for a last-minute getaway as well as tips and tricks to help save you money on your airline tickets.

Go South

The biggest trend that Kayak points out in its new data release is that airfares to destinations all across the South have dropped by double digits for the end of summer. That’s no surprise given the soaring temperatures and humidity, but you could catch a lucky break and get a breezy weekend. I’m in Miami right now and the sun is shining making it perfect beach or pool weather- while it is rainy and gross in NYC.

It's hot in the South right now, and southern destinations like Nashville are hot!

It’s hot in the South right now, and southern destinations like Nashville are hot!

Kayak’s top pick is New Orleans because the average airfare there in August dropped 11.8% to $313.30, and the average hotel rate dropped a a whopping 30.2%, to $146.69. Other Southern hotspots (pardon the pun) include Nashville, Houston and San Antonio – airfares to all three drop about 11% this time of year. It might be boiling hot, but at least you can go hear some great music, enjoy some fantastic restaurants, and just have a leisurely, drawling Southern getaway – that’s why the American South is one of my top 10 places to visit in 2013.

By contrast, one of the top destinations for Labor Day weekend is actually Atlanta, with a 62% increase in airfare searches to the destination, which Kayak believes is because of the NASCAR races at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Virgina Tech versus Alabama game.

Hit the Beach

Of course, the end of summer also means one last beach vacation for a lot of folks, but Kayak suggests waiting until the weekend after Labor Day to travel.

Waikiki is home to many of the islands' resorts.

Looking for a great beach vacation spot – hit Honolulu after Labor Day.

Cancun and San Juan are the third and fourth trending destinations for the holiday weekend, and average airfares are $495.63 and $362.38, respectively, but airfares to Cancun drop an average of 18.2% the week after Labor Day and 16.6% to San Juan for the week prior to Labor Day.

However, if you’re going to hit Honolulu for some fun in Waikiki, Kayak suggests traveling on the actual holiday weekend to save because you’ll pay a whole lot less than the weeks before or weeks after Labor Day, with airfares averaging $600.

What are your plans for the end of summer? Any under-the-radar destinations where you scored some deals?

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • carlos danger


  • Ben Price


  • jammanxc

    Mexico… Cabo, Guadalajara, and Mexico City are all sub $300 from LA

  • Chip Douglas

    Rainy and gross in NYC? Quite the contrary, beautiful sunshine and 80 degrees. I’m leaving work soon to head out to the beach.

  • Mikeyb

    Yeah, gorgeous day in NYC! Time for hamptons staycation!

  • Justwinginit

    It’s a bit of a different story this weekend mind you.

  • Frank C

    I think he prewrote it and didnt check the weather for today

  • thepointsguy

    Yea I wrote this up yesterday when it was rainy and gross in NYC. Enjoy the beach!

  • Haute Momma

    Hi I wanted to weigh in about my experience with Allianz Travel Insurance. We booked two trips through Hotwire in June. Hotwire is notorious for great prices but they do not give refunds so I was surely going to insure our stays. The trip was for myself, husband and two kids.

    About a month before the trip, my father had had open heart surgery (he was not going on the trip) A few days before we were to leave, he had a complication. My mom was going to meet us on the trip and a neighbor and a friend were planning on checking in on dad. Because of his complication, we decided that we would stay with dad and just let mom go. When I called Hotwire, they were gracious enough to tell me that they DO refund due to medical conditions and are very specific about family members being ill. But, since I purchased insurance thru Allianz, that I was to call them directly for my refund.

    After a month of preparing paperwork, bothering my father’s cardiologist and staff for paperwork and letters on their letterhead etc. I got a ruling that, since my father had a “preexisting condition” I was not able to collect on the two policies. I explained that my father was never traveling in the first place and that his complication not a direct result of the surgery itself (which is neither here nor there since he wasnt traveling anyway_ and the woman just kept reading her script over and over. She was kind enough to hand me over to a manager who told me that if you know of anyone, you, or anyone else, with any kind of preexisting condition, the policy is null and void. I think everyone on this earth knows of someone who has something. This was the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. Next, I asked if I could get a refund on the policies themselves ($18) and they told me that, since it had been over 10 days that I purchased them (it takes at least 10 days to get any response whatsoever) that I could not get a refund.

    There are several other options out there for travel insurance and I would say that Allianz is the absolute worst there is. Hotwire ended up refunding my money since it was due to a medical emergency – but I am still out $18 from Allianz~

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