Aug. 31, 2012 at 9:54 AM ET
Summer is almost over, but procrastinators and the budget-conscious still have a chance to plan an inexpensive Labor Day weekend getaway.
Last year, 25 percent of hotel bookings for stays over Labor Day weekend were booked the day before or the same day as check-in, according to travel site Expedia.com. And it seems that procrastinating paid off, because customers who booked one day before paid, on average, 11 percent less than customers who booked a hotel one week prior to their intended check-in date.
Need inspiration for Labor Day getaway destinations? Atlanta, Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C., are recording higher demand according to Expedia, but for those who are looking for quieter options that won’t break the bank, Expedia suggests Denver, which has, at $120 a night, some of the lowest rates in the country, and Myrtle Beach, S.C., which has lower-than-average occupancy rates.
Along with Atlanta and Orlando, Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, Anaheim, Calif., New Orleans and Dallas are some of the most popular destinations for the holiday weekend, according to Orbitz. For those seeking an overseas trip, London and Dublin are in the top 10 destination picks, and average hotel rates have dropped this year from $208 to $171 a night in London and $141 to $139 in Dublin. Airfare to both destinations has also dropped from $958 to $944 to London and $941 to $932 to Dublin.
The Bahamas topped Travelocity’s list of the Top 10 Up-and-Coming Labor Day Destinations, but you had to book by Aug. 20 to take advantage of the travel booking website’s $350 instant savings promotion on air-inclusive packages of six nights or longer to the Bahamas.
Other top destinations include Vancouver, Madrid, the Dominica Republic, Dublin, and Toronto, which all topped the list ahead of domestic destinations like Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Madison, Wis., Savannah, Ga., and Burlington, Vt.
No matter where you choose to spend the three-day weekend, The Daily Meal has dozens of inspiring trips to ensure your last weekend of summer is memorable.
The idea behind the website HomeExchange is "you stay in my house, and I stay in yours." With 42,000 members, the budget-friendly option eliminates the hotel fee while letting travelers experience destinations in 150 countries like a local. Most of the homes have gourmet kitchens.
The Last Minute Exchange feature lets procrastinators find a swap quickly.
Turnberry Isle Miami
The 300-acre Mediterranean-style Turnberry Isle Miami is offering a Labor Day weekend package that includes accommodations in a Golf View Room, parking, daily American breakfast buffet for two at Cascata Grill, and a dive-in family movie Sunday evening at the Laguna Pool, which includes kids activities like face-painting and a temporary tattoo artist.
Rates: $199 per night; two-night minimum. For military personnel booking the stay, the following is also included: up to two complimentary vouchers to Burgers, Barbeque & Beer at the Laguna Pool from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2.
Telluride Film Festival, Colo.
Check out the celebrity sightings at the Telluride Film Festival while catching future award-winning films before anyone else. Last year, the lineup included the "The Artist" and "Albert Nobbs." The Hotel Madeline Telluride’s Festival Package includes a 20 percent discount on room rates and an extensive library of the festival’s past screenings that can be rented for free.
Rates: Starts at $994 for a three-night stay.
The Homestead, Hot Springs, Va.
The historic Homestead, which is currently undergoing a $25 million renovation, is celebrating the end of summer with the grand opening of Allegheny Springs, a two-acre attraction with a family pool, whirlpool, and children’s pool. The resort’s Labor Day Weekend package includes an end-of-summer party with a cookout on the casino lawn, live music, and fireworks.
Rates: Starts at $250 per night; based on double occupancy.
The Lodge at Tiburon, Calif.
Located across San Francisco Bay, The Lodge at Tiburon’s Labor Day Escape includes a two-night stay, daily breakfast and dinner for two at the newly opened Tiburon Tavern, which takes a farm-to-table approach.
Rates: starts at $168 per night; minimum two-night stay.
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