These U.S. Destinations Have the Best Deals for Last-minute May Travel, According to Expedia
If you're craving sun, sand, and surf but haven't even begun the booking process, don't despair — you can still squeeze in a spring trip to the beach without spending a fortune.
The public relations team at Expedia Group told Travel + Leisure by email that even though summer vacation homes on Vrbo, a vacation rental company owned by Expedia, are being snatched up earlier than ever — outpacing last summer by nearly 15 percent — there are still a handful of destinations where you can find a good deal. And that includes a last-minute trip to the beach.
Expedia reports that there are several beach destinations across the U.S. — from Hawaii and California to Alabama and Florida — that still have availability and good rates for last-minute travel in May. The five beachy destinations below still have an average daily rate (ADR) that's under $400 a night or are showing prices that are comparable to the same timeframe in 2019. (That's saying something considering that we're in the midst of a travel surge.)
- San Diego, California
- The Big Island, Hawaii
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Gulf Shores, Alabama
- Pensacola, Florida
In addition to showing availability and stable prices — and providing a much-needed spring escape — each of the beach destinations offers travelers a little something different. You'll find water sports and coastal trails in Gulf Shores, a strip of sugar-white sand as far as the eye can see in Pensacola, and a mix of city and surf in San Diego. Travelers to Virginia Beach can cruise the three-mile boardwalk or visit one of the area's state parks. The inclusion of Hawaii on the list is particularly impressive. After the state lifted travel restrictions in March, Expedia reported a nearly 30 percent increase in searches for spring and summer trips to Hawaii's major ports.
An affordable weekend spent lounging on Hawaii's Hapuna Beach — or any of the beach destinations above — is a welcome idea for travelers who have historically gone to places like Mexico and the Caribbean for their beach fix. According to Expedia, those two beach destinations are seeing double-digit percentage demand increases as compared to 2019.