Last Minute Labor Day Trips That Won't Break The Bank

Last Minute Labor Day Trips That Won’t Break the Bank

A recent Travelocity survey showed that more than 70 percent of Americans believe that Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer.  Last year, more than 40 percent of hotel bookings were made only during the week before the long weekend, so there's still plenty of time for planning. Make the most of the season while the sun is still shining and the heat is still blazing without breaking the bank. Generally, the earlier you book a flight the cheaper it will be. Prices begin to gradually increase a little less than a month before a holiday, according to CheapOAir. Labor Day airfare prices are expected to rise 6 percent after August 16 and 15 percent after August. Your ticket will cost about a third more of what it should if you book the week of Labor Day.

Cheyenne, Wyoming

The average Labor Day weekend daily hotel rate in Cheyenne is $100.46, according to Travelocity. Go to the capital of Wyoming to try some delicious food, be part of unique heritage events, and see rodeos. The city has been known for decades as the prime location for railroading and rodeo-ing in the country. There are also many steam engines and working dude ranches to check out.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

The No. 1 destination on the rise in the U.S. is Gatlinburg, according to TripAdvisor. You can vacation there during Labor Day weekend for an average price between $70 and $85 per night. People describe it as beautiful, clean, and very peaceful. Gatlinburg offers access to the Great Smoky Mountains and lots of good places to eat delicious southern food. Nearby Dollywood will soon open the world's fastest wooden roller coasterCycling in the Smokies, zip lining and mountain golf are some of tourists' favorite activities.

Helena, Montana

You can follow the path of Lewis and Clark exploring the "Gates of the Mountains," nestled half way between Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, for $16. Visitors can also go on the Last Chance Tour Train to see the lavish mansion district and cruise by a restored miners' village. Helena is a top early fall destination, according to Travelocity. The average hotel rate per night on Labor Day Weekend is $105.

Park City, Utah

Far more famous for its winter offerings, Park City is a gem in the summer too. Labor Day is Park City Miner's Day here, a tradition dating back to more than a century. Locals and visitors celebrate the area's rich mining heritage. Events include a community pancake breakfast, live music, races, the Funky 5K Fun Run, and the annual Miner's Day Parade located down on Historic Main Street. One of the most anticipated events is the Running of the Balls, a charity fundraising event. Take to the mountain for adventures on the Alpine Slide, one of the longest in the world, ride the Alpine Coaster for a rush or take to the air on Park City's zip lines.

Phoenix, Arizona

The average Labor Day weekend daily hotel rate in Phoenix is $107, according to Travelocity. You can find various hotel and spa establishments for as little as $80 per night. If you can't accept that summer is going to be over soon, go to some of the city's best water parks and enjoy poolside food and drinks, a 92-foot waterslide, private cabanas, seasonal Splash Cinema, and a multitude of pools. Go on a tour around the iconic Tovrea Castle, visit the Heard Museum for artifacts and history of Native Americans, and see the Mystery Castle.

Mammoth Lakes, California

"No way' is never far away," as locals like to say. Mammoth Lakes is one of those rare places that you have to see. "The size of the mountains, the expanse of the valleys, the incredible number of crystal clear mountain lakes and the endless opportunities for adventure just outside your door" are attracting many tourists in the summer. Go mountain biking, hiking along the Mammoth Crest Trail which overlooks Lake George, and stay in wood cabins with stone fireplaces. The average hotel price per night is around $150. 

Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach is a family-friendly vacation destination, not just an ideal guys-only getaway around Daytona 500 if you are into cars. Catch a free Grunge Lives concert – a Nirvana/Stone Temple Pilots/Foo Fighters Tribute on September 2. Stay the next day for the Bruce Springsteen Tribute & Fireworks, which is also free. See the Classic Car Cruise-In with its more than 300 classic cars and trucks. You can find affordable hotels in this part of Florida with rates averaging $100-$115 per night.

Lake Tahoe, California

There are so many reasons to visit Lake Tahoe, one of the most spectacular lakes in the world, but perhaps the most simple is the chance to witness its sheer, unspoiled beauty. The largest alpine lake in North America is admired for many incredible features, but especially for its surrounding mountain panoramas and its stunningly crystal clear waters, which are said to be 99.9 percent pure. Don't miss the Labor Day Lake Tahoe Fireworks Extravaganza on September 4, a pyrotechnic exhibition featuring a variety of patterns, shapes, and designs. The average hotel rate per night is around $160 but you can find rooms for $130, according to

Washington D.C.

Spend the national holiday at the nation's capital. Go on a walking tour of the monuments and learn about the country's history. One of the highlights of the long weekend is the National Symphony Orchestra's concert, scheduled for September 4. Steven Reineke leads the event, featuring singer Storm Large and her band Le Bonheur in a program of patriotic favorites alongside American Songbook standards. Don't miss the 28th Annual Free DC Blues Festival on September 3. A more active-adventure option is renting a kayak to get a unique view of the city from the Potomac. You can find hotels for as little as $125 per night.

Chicago, Illinois

The Windy City is a music paradise during Labor Day Weekend. Don't miss the chance to enjoy the Chicago Jazz Festival at the iconic Millennium Park September 1-4 and the North Coast Music Festival September 2-4. Don't miss the spectacular fireworks at Navy Pier, a summer staple in the Second City. The pyrotechnics bonanza show is perfectly synchronized to music on Lake Michigan. Relax at one of Chicago's 23 beaches or travel from park-to-park on the Lakefront Trail. You can find hotels in Downtown Chicago for $150-$180 per night.

Las Vegas, Nevada

The average Labor Day weekend daily hotel rate in Las Vegas is $133, according to Travelocity. Las Vegas is known for its wild pool clubs and parties, and Labor Day weekend is a great time to enjoy them. Dance the night away at many of the city's discos on the strip after sundown. There are many adventures in the Sin City that have nothing to do with gambling – hunt for hot springs, hop aboard a hot air balloon, zip line over Boorleg Canyon, and race dune buggies on the outskirts of Vegas.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach, the 14 miles where the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean connect, is a popular Memorial Day weekend destination, especially for families, because the number of activities is astounding. The same applies for Labor Day Weekend. Don't miss the 23rd Annual American Music Festival scheduled for September 2-4. Take a picture with the iconic King Neptune statue, walk down the 3-mile boardwalk connecting you to other beaches, or try your luck fishing and kayaking off the coast. A trip to Virginia Beach also guarantees you live music, tasty food and a lively nightlife. The city is also a great place for boaters. You can find hotels for about $160 per night, or as little as $65 per night, according to Expedia.

San Antonio, Texas

LaborFest San Antonio is an annual 3-day multi-cultural Music and Art Festival which started as a way to provide family-friendly entertainment that appeals to the city's growing community. The 2016 "Bigger & Better" event takes place during Labor Day weekend with food and drink vendors and live performances from national, regional and local artists. There is a lot more to do and see – River Walk, the Alamo and SeaWorld, to name a few. You'll get to taste some of the best Mexican food in all of the U.S. The average hotel rate per night is about $120.

Charleston, South Carolina

You won't miss the beach because you are only a short drive away from five beach towns. People go to Charleston for the food, golf courses, and historic sites. You can get an all-inclusive "ticket" to a few restaurants, and drink and eat as much as you want for one price. Kids love the dolphin sightings and pirate quests on the Palmetto Breeze Catamaran. The city where the Civil War began undoubtedly tops the list of must-see places for American history buffs. Wander the cobblestone streets, lined with buildings that date back to the 1700s. Some hotels in North Charleston offer rooms for $97 over the long weekend, according to Expedia.

Ocean City, Maryland

This resort city has plenty to offer – boardwalk for awesome days at the beach and fun party nights. Try some of the best seafood in the country. Check out Assateague's famous wild ponies, just 9 miles away. Hike "with" foxes and thousands of birds around you. Don't miss the highlight of the weekend in the city, which is the Fireworks Finale with Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra & U.S. Army Blues Band on September 4 and enjoy American jazz, swing, and classical music. Get on some amazing amusement park rides by the water, parasail across the ocean, or just enjoy the powdery sand. You can still find hotel deals for under $160 per night, according to