How to Find a Last-Minute Getaway for Memorial Day Weekend
memorial day

How to Find a Last-Minute Getaway for Memorial Day Weekend

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After a year stuck at home, Americans are getting their vaccinations and hitting the road again. Fortunately, it’s not too late to plan a trip for the long Memorial Day weekend.

We’re still finding cheap flights for a trip over Memorial Day – one upside of the pandemic is that airlines have stopped charging exorbitant prices for booking just a week or two before departure. And there are some great tools you can use to find a bargain getaway.

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 its 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 Memorial Day weekend.

If you’re searching for a Memorial Day weekend getaway, just enter the dates you’d like to travel. Memorial Day weekend is May 29 to May 31, 2021.

google flights explore

You can similarly tailor your destination. It can be as broad as “The 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.


google flights explore


With a last-minute trip (anything less than 30-45 days away), you’ll want to stay flexible, but you can still 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 Memorial 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 Memorial Day Weekend

Many of the domestic flight deals we’ve found and sent to Thrifty Traveler Premium members in the past month have had Memorial Day weekend availability. And a domestic trip is the perfect long weekend getaway: no major time changes, no long flights or layovers.

May is an awesome time to visit Phoenix (and nearby Sedona or Grand Canyon) for some outdoor activities. And we’ve seen fares under $200 (and even sub-$100!) roundtrip for the end of May, including Memorial Day weekend:
premium deal phoenix

Want cheap fares like this one? Sign up for Thrifty Traveler Premium for just $5.99 a month and get them delivered to your inbox! 

Feel like hitting the beach? Cheap fares to Florida have been plentiful lately, including for late May and early June – under $200 roundtrip. Here’s just how cheap – and widespread – we’re talking:

premium deal florida


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 Portage Lake Paradise on Airbnb.

memorial day
Photo courtesy of 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.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a last-minute Memorial 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!

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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