After more than a year stuck at home, Americans are getting their vaccinations and hitting the road again this summer. Fortunately, it's not too late to plan a trip for the long Labor Day weekend.
We're still finding cheap flights for a trip over Labor Day – and sending them to Thrifty Traveler Premium members. And there are some great tools you can use to find a bargain getaway for the holiday, too.
So what should you do for a last-minute getaway? We've got a few ideas…
Use Google Flights Explore to Find a Cheap Flight
Let us introduce you to one of our favorite tools: Google Flights Explore.
Google Flights is the best airfare search engine out there, and ithis Explore feature can help you find a flight to the cheapest destinations possible from your home airport, whether your dates are flexible or you're looking specifically for Labor Day weekend.
If you're searching for a Labor Day weekend getaway, just enter the dates you'd like to travel. Labor Day weekend is Sept. 4 through Sept. 6, 2021.
You can similarly tailor your destination. It can be as broad as “United States of America” or as specific as a given state or city … or, just leave it blank! Move the map and zoom in to see what flight prices pop up.
Once you’ve zeroed in on a destination, click on the result. You can find the specific flights and even play around with the schedule to see if there are better dates at the same or similar prices.
With a last-minute trip (anything less than 30-45 days away), you'll want to stay flexible. Still, you can set some preferences: Filter for a maximum number of stops, maximum price, departure and arrival times, airlines, and flight duration.
But odds are you'll find a cheaper option the fewer filters you set for Labor Day weekend. So try searching filter-free first to get an idea of a base fare price and go from there.
Thrifty Tip: While it's not always the cheapest, we know there are some loyal Southwest fans out there. If you're looking for a flight on Southwest Airlines, you won't find them on Google Flights. Southwest flights don’t show up, so you'll want to search separately on Southwest's website for those.
Cheap Flights for Labor Day Weekend
Many of the domestic flight deals we've found and sent to Thrifty Traveler Premium members in the past month have had Labor Day weekend availability. And a domestic trip is the perfect long weekend getaway: no major time changes, no long flights or layovers.
September is an awesome time to visit Colorado for some outdoor activities. And we've found fares into Denver under $200 (and even sub-$100!) roundtrip for the start of September, including Labor Day weekend:
Want to get one last summer weekend in at the beach? We've seen rock-bottom flight prices to Florida, California, and other coastal beach cities under $200. Take this rare cheap deal to Myrtle Beach as low as $116, for example:
Want instant alerts for the next deal we find? Sign up for Thrifty Traveler Premium for just $5.99 a month and get them delivered to your inbox!
Looking for something a little more exotic? You don't have to go abroad to have a tropical long weekend getaway. Cheap fares to Florida have been plentiful lately, including flights to Key West. And yes, that goes for the beginning of September and Labor Day weekend, too!
Flights to Key West are normally $400 – or more. We recently found flights as low as $136 roundtrip to this top destination:
See? Booking a cheap domestic getaway for less is possible. While these deals are no longer live, we're still finding other cheap flights for late May and instantly alerting our Thrifty Traveler Premium members.
Try a Nearby Adventure
Don't want to fuss with finding a flight out of town? Explore your own little part of the world: whether it be a five-minute drive or a five-hour trek.
One perk of sticking close to home is that you can use your own car to pull off a mini-road trip. Rental car prices are skyrocketing right now, and using your own wheels will save you big-time. But sticking close doesn't mean more of the same. Here are a few ways to spice up your “staycation” plans.
Book a luxurious Airbnb on a budget! Treat yourself to a stay with a stunning view for a much-needed change of scenery. Fellow Midwest folks: make the drive up to the Upper Peninsula for a scenic weekend view, like the one from this epic chalet on Airbnb.
Check out a new hike on the AllTrails app. Get out and explore some natural scenery you've been missing in your region. Grab a National Parks pass and finally explore those national parks, waters, and lands in your area.
Thrifty Tip: Read our tips for planning the perfect road trip!
If you're looking for a last-minute Labor Day weekend getaway, don't fret! Take advantage of the long weekend and use Google Flights Explore to find the cheapest destination city from your departure airport, or book a cheap Thrifty Traveler Premium flight deal.
Don't feel like flying? Drive to a nearby town, scenic area, or landmark you've been meaning to check out instead. Then get out and enjoy the holiday weekend!