For the carefree and impetuous, last-minute vacations are a fantastic opportunity to live for the moment and save some cash. However, if you’re the kind of person who likes to have a plan of action well in advance, the mad rush for cheap flights and accommodation has the potential to be stressful. Making sure that keeping stress levels low when navigating phone calls and web pages to find the perfect and most affordable flight is a must-do to ensure having a great vacation. Next time you’re considering booking a last-minute vacation, keep in mind these top tips to prevent your dream of a low-cost getaway from turning into a nightmare.

Tips for Stress-free Travel

Choose a Vacation Rental

While hotel rates tend to remain quite stable, except for busy periods, last-minute vacation rentals usually offer more opportunities to negotiate a better value. The prices drop around September and, if you avoid peak times, you have the best chance of a good deal. Nashville offers perfect opportunities to get out of the house and on a vacation that will be exciting and memorable.

Touch on Nashville here: Nashville is the perfect city for a stress-free vacation. Music permeates the streets as do delicious restaurants and a fantastic Arts scene. Venture to this fantastic Tennessee city for an easy-going and fun vacation.

Things to do in Nashville: The Country Music Hall of Fame and The Grand Ole’ Opry House are two major attractions to see here. Or, go out and see a local show for a truly authentic experience.

Where to stay in Nashville: Downtown Nashville is where all of the action happens in this city. Mouthwatering food, fantastic music, and a lively nightlife scene make this neighborhood perfect for an easy-going play-it-by-ear vacation.

Don’t Waste Time

It may be called a last-minute vacation, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait for the last minute. As soon as you start getting itchy feet, fire up your computer and start looking for deals. Even one extra day of planning may be enough to prevent stress. Escape to the wilderness of the Poconos for a truly restful and replacing getaway that is sure to relieve any stresses.

Touch on the POCONOS here: The Pocono Mountains are Pennsylvania’s answer to the Mountains and forests of New England. Beautiful rolling hills inhabited by numerous species of animals make for a  truly peaceful getaway that is easy to access and fun to explore.

Things to do in the Poconos: Skiing in the winter, leaf-peeping in the fall, hiking, and bird-watching in the spring and summer. There are a multitude of different outdoor opportunities to explore in this fantastic wilderness that is sure to relieve stress and get anyone in touch with nature.

Where to stay in the Poconos: Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania is a cute town that offers all the fun to be asked for in The Poconos. Stop by the craft restaurants and boutique shops for a very authentic experience that will ground visitors and bring them back into the moment.

Go Off-Peak

Avoiding the busiest times is the best way to get good deals. Traveling midweek means you avoid crowds and get the best prices. For the best value, plan your getaway to include a Saturday night stay. Austin, TX offers the perfect opportunity to get out of town to new places that offer excitement any day of the week. Be sure to check out this southern town for a stress-free vacation.

Touch on Austin here: A lively music and arts scene coupled with world-class restaurants and more parks and lakes than one could count. Austin is a perfect place to go with little to no itinerary and still expect a great time to be had.

Things to do in Austin: Go hiking, biking, swimming, or boating in this fantastic city that offers so many things to do all within its limits. Many parks and other green spaces offer a relaxing vacation that will be talked about for years to come.

Where to stay in Austin: Austin has numerous hotels both economical and high end to choose from or book a stay on Vacationrenter to find the perfect place to stay that has no thrills or hidden policies or fees.

Get Value on Flights

Getting the best value on flights gets your vacation off to a good start. Airlines often discount tickets on Sundays and Tuesdays for flights that week, so be prepared to move quickly. Furthermore, you may find it’s possible to get a better price by booking two one-way tickets rather than a return ticket. Escape to the islands of Hawaii for a truly magical experience that will wipe away the stresses of everyday life. This magnificent state is perfect for rest and relaxation.

Touch on Hawaii here: Hawaii is a chain of islands like nowhere else on Earth. Sun, surf, and magical moments are had here daily. World-class dining and shopping paired with truly breathtaking hikes and scenery make this the perfect place to escape.

Things to do in Hawaii: Go for a hike in Volcanoes National Park for views of the island and a glimpse at active volcanoes. Or, grab a blanket and stretch out on the beach for some rest in the sun.

Where to stay in Hawaii: The North Shore offers the perfect amount of opportunities for vacationers to choose from. Hiking the lush jungles or learning to surf from one of the many local surf schools. This is the perfect place to get away and relax in the beauty of this state.

Go for a Cruise

If the thought of battling for a cheap flight gives you cold sweats, consider a cruise instead. Such excursions are usually available cheap during March and August while prices soar during the summer and late-year holidays. Just keep in mind that onboard activities may incur additional charges. Ft. Lauderdale is a wonderful option to choose when thinking of the perfect place to go for a stress-free vacation.

Touch on Ft. Lauderdale here: Calm white sand beach and canals that are just as numerous as the streets make Ft. Lauderdale seem like a western hemisphere Venice. Stunning restaurants and upscale shopping allow vacationers to be whisked away into a calming land of luxury.

Things to do in Ft. Lauderdale: Go for a hike in the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Beautiful hiking trails teeming with wildlife as well as a majestic lagoon make this park a must-see while on vacation here. Be sure to pack a camera and grab some snapshots of this wonderful state park.

Where to stay in Ft. Lauderdale: Many upscale hotels and condos are available for rent in this magical town. We recommend finding a hotel to be close to all the action while still having the opportunity to retreat to the fantastic amenities offered by these hotels.

Get Notifications

Travel websites and airlines usually offer a subscription service so that you get weekly email blasts with the latest last-minute discounts. There are also several apps available that scour vendors in search of the best deals and cancellations. Death Valley National Park offers vacationers an escape to a seemingly different world and lets the stress of daily life disappear in this vast wilderness.

Touch on Death Valley National Park here: Sitting below sea level this deserted land features many of the harsh extremes that mother nature can throw at it. Be amazed at the snow-covered peaks and the wonderful colors at this fantastic park. Pack the hiking boots and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Things to do in Death Valley: Looking to spend a night under the stars? There are many different camping sites available at this park. With sites ranging from primitive to having a full RV hookup capability. There is an opportunity for any camper to get away from it all here.

Where to stay in Death Valley: Staying in nearby Pahrump is a fantastic option for those looking to be close to the park but not camping inside of it. Choose from modern hotels or even RVs to rent in this cute desert town for a relaxing experience in the desert.

Stay Grounded

If you’re considering a short-haul journey, going by train is often more cost-effective, and there’s usually less competition for seats. Gatlinburg, TN offers a romantic Appalchain experience that is as relaxing as it is unique. When it comes to traveling while remaining stress-free, choose this town as a must-see destination.

Touch on Gatlinburg here: Gatlinburg is known as the Gateway to the Smoky Mountains and many of its attractions are centered around this majestic neighbor. Cabin-style shops and restaurants line the streets in this sleepy city making for a quiet and restful vacation.

Things to do in Gatlinburg: Visit the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park for unparalleled views of tree-topped mountains that seem to roll on for miles. World-class hiking trails will take you to a place far away from the worries back at home.

Where to stay in Gatlinburg: Renting a cottage or cabin right in Gatlinburg is the best way to enjoy this beautiful town. Stay right at the foothills of the neighboring mountains and live amongst the forest with wildlife seemingly knocking on your door every morning.

Forget Renting a Car

A last-minute car rental has the potential to bump up the cost of your trip. Stick to public transport and taxi services where possible. You’re on vacation anyway, so let someone else do the driving. San Diego has an amazing public transportation system and could be the best place in the US for a stress-free vacation. Be sure to check out this hip city for a memorable experience that is relaxing as it is cool.

Touch on San Diego here: Situated right on the border of Mexico. San Diego mixes cultures to create a fantastic blend of arts, food, and attractions. Enjoy a day on the beach or hang out in the famous Gaslamp Quarter, anything is possible in this lively city.

Things to do in San Diego: Visit the world-famous zoo located here. Numerous animals and mammals from around the world call this place home allowing visitors to get in touch with their wild side. Bring the camera for a memorable picture in front of one of the exhibits.

Where to stay in San Diego: Staying on the famous Mission Beach is a wonderful option when looking to have a stress-free vacation. Wonderful restaurants and beaches that stretch on seemingly endlessly will be at the doorstep in the fantastic neighborhood.

Join the Club

Members of online travel sites enjoy additional benefits, including discounts on last-minute travel. Bonuses can include seat upgrades, free travel, and reduced costs with company partners. Take a relaxing vacation to the beauty of the northwest by paying a visit to Portland. A wonderful city with plenty of options and freedom to play things by ear.

Touch on Portland here: Portland is a fantastic city with more options on things to do than just about anywhere else in the United States. A lively arts scene along with many cafes and boutique shops make this city a very unique gem of the Northwest.

Things to do in Portland: Forest Park is the absolute most relaxing thing to do in Portland. Wander through the meandering paths and gaze upon streams, wildlife, and waterfalls in a seemingly enchanted forest.

Where to stay in Portland: Renting an apartment in the heart of the city is a fantastic way to experience everything this city has to offer. There are many things to do and see and being in the heart of it all is the perfect way to experience it all.

Stay Flexible with your vacation plans

Grabbing a last-minute vacation deal means staying on your toes and, sometimes, making compromises. If you stay too set in your schedule or aren’t prepared to rearrange some plans to go a day earlier or later than you wanted to, you may end up going nowhere fast.

Plan a Stress-free Trip Today!

Looking to plan a stress-free getaway that will be both fun and relaxing? VacationRenter has you covered with a list of some of the best places to visit for a quiet and relaxing yet fun adventurous escape from daily life.