Cheap Last-Minute Family Vacations

Most family vacations are meticulously planned. You know months in advance when you’re going to be able to get a little time off from your job and when the kids are going to get a break from school. You have plenty of time to research destinations and decide where you want to go, and you have all the time in the world to save up the money. Sometimes, however, the opportunity to take a week off or a weekend away presents itself unexpectedly. On those occasions where you are short on time to plan, here is a list of cheap last-minute family vacations you can take.

cheap last minute family vacations

Reno, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey

The glamour of Las Vegas is seductive—the big, flashy casinos, the blackjack tables, the shows, the buffets and the opulent hotel rooms, but not everyone can afford an expensive city like Las Vegas. That’s where these two “second cities” of gaming and entertainment come in. Atlantic City is like the Vegas of the East Coast, and the flight will be cheaper, especially if you live east of the Rockies. Besides, unlike Vegas, it has beaches!

Reno is like Las Vegas’ smaller, less expensive little sibling. Like Vegas, it has bright lights and lavish entertainment, but at a fraction of the cost. If the state of Nevada were TV’s The Simpsons, Reno would be Shelbyville to Las Vegas’ Springfield.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

“Fourscore and seven years ago …” If your history teacher did her job well, then you know how the rest of that quotation goes and who said it. For parents that like to combine cheap last-minute family vacations with entertaining (and valuable) education on our country's history, Gettysburg is an excellent destination. The battle at Gettysburg was one of the most important of the Civil War, and the battlefield today is a giant, open-air museum. Plaques and statues indicate the positions of troops and the sequence of events, and audio tours on CD can be purchased to play in your car as you drive through the place.

Kissimmee, Florida

The Disney area is a vast area in Central Florida, so there's a lot more than the theme parks! While you can still enjoy Disney World and Orlando's amusements (ranging from Sea World to Universal Studios) with a Kissimmee rental, it's much easier to enjoy a more budget-friendly and private getaway here. That's because you'll be located on the outside of the chaotic hub that is Disney and still have access to great family-friendly attractions like the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament and Fun Spot USA . Plus, HomeAway has loads of cheap Kissimmee rentals available throughout the year.

How to Book a Cheap Last-minute Deal

In order to get a great last-minute deal for your next family vacation, you can simply browse the current deals on HomeAway. If you have a destination in mind, see what cancellation specials and offers owners are offering up. Or find the deal first, and then decide if the destination is ideal! You can start shopping for a vacation rental destination two months or all the way up to the week of your vacation.


Kid-friendly Vacation Rentals on a Budget

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1  Night Minimum Stay
6 BR, 6 BA, 1 HF, Sleeps 18


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7  Night Minimum Stay
2 BR, 2 BA, Sleeps 6


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7  Night Minimum Stay
2 BR, 2 BA, Sleeps 6


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3 - 7  Night Minimum Stay
3 BR, 2 BA, Sleeps 8


3 - 5  Night Minimum Stay
4 BR, 3 BA, Sleeps 16