Sometimes you just need to get away. If your wanderlust gets the best of you and the traveler inside is itching to hit the road, there are plenty of websites and apps out there to help—fast. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a full-blown vacation, these sites can help you find great last-minute travel deals.
Last-Minute Travel Sites
These general sites cover most aspects of last-minute travel and are a great place to start your search.
Last Minute Travel
As its name suggests, Last Minute Travel is dedicated solely to last-minute travel deals. This wide-ranging site offers bargains on hotels, car rentals, cruises, transfers, and activities. In a sample search, I found top-rated hotels in Paris from just $69 per night for a trip about two weeks out. If you don’t mind being surprised, you can book “Undercover Hotels” for even less; the name of the hotel won’t be revealed to you until after you make your reservation. The site has a Last Minute Travel Club for deeper discounts and reward points to use toward free hotel stays. Membership is $50 per year.
Netherlands-based LastMinute.com also covers a range of last-minute trip options, including flights, hotels, Eurostar train tickets, vacation packages, car rentals, theater tickets, and experiences. A Paris search turned up hotel rates from about $74 per night at press time. Like the site above, LastMinute.com also has “top-secret hotels” available for opaque booking, though in my Paris search they were actually a bit more expensive than the named hotels in my results.
This venerable travel site offers last-minute deals on just about everything—including flights, car rentals, concerts, and even spa days—and at any given time you’ll find hundreds of deals on last-minute hotel bookings and packages.
Check out SmarterTravel’s roundup of the best in booking sites for 2020. Want more expert tips and vacation inspiration? Subscribe to SmarterTravel on YouTube!
Big Booking Sites
For a more traditional search experience, you can search for last-minute flights on big-name online travel agencies such as Expedia, Travelocity, and CheapOair. These are a particularly good bet if you already belong to one of their loyalty programs.
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Last-Minute Flight Deals
Just looking for flights right now? Check these handy sites.
One fun way to find last-minute flights is to plug your departure city and travel dates into Google Flights, leaving your destination blank. The resulting map shows you the lowest available prices to cities all over the world, letting you find deals in places you might not have ever thought to go.
Kayak’s Explore feature is a similar tool. You can enter exact travel dates or a certain month, then see which fares are available from your home gateway.
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Find last-minute lodging on these sites and apps.
A perennial favorite app among SmarterTravel editors, HotelTonight has been finding travelers deep hotel discounts since 2010. The app allows travelers to book same-day accommodations across the globe at discounts of up to 70 percent. If you don’t want to leave things until the literal last minute, though, the app also lets you book dates a little further out. The well-designed booking engine serves up clever recommendations and insider info—plus those remarkable markdowns. Keep an eye out for the Daily Drop, the biggest discount of the day (which you only have 15 minutes to book).
The site known for discounted restaurant meals, fitness classes, and beauty services also has a last-minute deals section that typically includes discounted hotel and resort stays. On the day I checked, options ranged from a $69 hotel near Niagara Falls to a four-star Times Square hotel for $77 a night.
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Last-Minute Vacation Packages
Put a full vacation together with these sites.
SmarterTravel’s sister site Airfarewatchdog has a nifty Weekender tool that lets you find flight/hotel packages for upcoming weekends.
If you have a specific destination in mind, your best bet is often to focus on a website that deals with one region specifically. CheapCaribbean.com has last-minute deals, many of them short-lived flash sales. Though you can’t hem and haw about whether or not to go, you’ll often have plenty of time to plan. For example, a four-night air/hotel package to the Dominican Republic might start at $509 per person for travel four to six months from now—but it must be booked in the next four days.
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Tour operators often discount last-minute trips that aren’t fully sold out—so if you’re willing to travel at a moment’s notice, you could save big.
Intrepid Travel leads small-group trips across the globe, and if you’re willing to be flexible, you can get sweet deals on tours that haven’t sold out up to two months before departure. Discounted tours might include everything from an Indian food tour to an adventure in northern Morocco.
The last-minute section on this tour aggregator site serves up discounts of up to 50 percent on trips to Cambodia, Egypt, Peru, and more. You can find these deals up to 60 days in advance.
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SmarterTravel’s sister site Cruise Critic has last-minute cruise deals to regions like Alaska, Bermuda, Europe, and the Caribbean. Trips depart in the next month or so, and fares can be up to 70 percent less than the full brochure price.
Another good source of cruise deals is the last-minute section of Cruises.com, where you can find sailings from Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and more.
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More from SmarterTravel:
- The 9 Best Vacation Rental Sites
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- The 10 Best Sites to Book a Cruise
Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated with the latest information. Genevieve S. Brown and Dara Continenza contributed to this story.