Summer’s Not Over: Three Last-Minute Vacation Ideas

Summer’s Not Over: Three Last-Minute Vacation Ideas

by John Davis

Have you gone on vacation this summer? Are you concerned about the cost or that it’s too late to plan and take your trip? 

Don’t worry! Summer is not over, and you still have time to take the family out for some quality relaxation and fun. No matter what part of the country you live in, or your budget, we’ve got you covered with three last-minute vacation ideas that won’t break the bank.

Number One: Visit Your Local State Park or Nature Reserve

State parks are an excellent resource for nature lovers of all levels. They usually charge a low-cost day fee, and some are even free. 

Many state parks and nature reserves offer a variety of activities for you and your family. From hiking and mountain biking to fishing and swimming, there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. 

For a fun and affordable last-minute vacation, consider a weekend camping trip to your local state park. Ditch the cellphone, grab a small tent, and venture into the woods to relax and unwind. 

Number Two: Fun in the Sun at a Waterpark 

According to Travel+Leisure, the average cost for waterpark tickets in the U.S. is $39.82. Waterparks are fun for all age groups. Whether you’re single, in a couple, married with children, or retired, you can enjoy a relaxing day at your local waterpark. 

You're guaranteed to find something you can enjoy, from lazy rivers and wave pools to towering water slides and cabana bars.  

The nation’s most consistently affordable park is NRH2O in Texas. Ticket prices start at $20.99 for guests under 48” tall, $27.99 for guests over four feet, and children under two are free. The park also offers reduced ticket prices for seniors and veterans, as well as several value-packed season pass options.

Following NRH2O, Splash Kingdom Oasis in Shreveport, Louisianna, provides general admission tickets for just $24.95. 

Buccaneer Bay in Spring Hill, Florida, rounds out our list of affordable waterparks. Located within the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, tickets cost just $13!

Number Three: Let Fate Decide With a Raffle of Locations From the National Register of Historic Places 

The National Register of Historic Places is an excellent resource to use when choosing a last-minute vacation. 

For this method, simply pick 10-15 interesting locations near you (don’t worry, there are thousands to choose from on the map), mix them all up in a hat, and select two or three.  

From a giant grain elevator in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, to a six-story elephant in Margate City, New Jersey, the National Register of Historic Places offers a near-endless supply of strange and exciting sights to see. 

Don’t Let Summer Pass You By

It’s still possible to take a fun and memorable trip this summer. Don’t let a lack of preparation or small budget stop you from hitting the road and seeing something amazing. 

Even close to home, there’s sure to be something incredible to visit right in your own backyard. So, check out the resources provided here and go explore!