Longing for a long weekend?
We know the calendar starts to look pretty dreary once February rolls around, as the thrill from the holidays is long over and summer is too far away. But hey, that’s what long weekend getaways are for!
The next one on the horizon is Memorial Day weekend, starting Friday, May 26 through Monday, May 29 for the 2023 season. Since spring tends to pass us by all too quickly, the time to book your MDW travel plans is right now, which includes flights, hotels, car rentals and then planning your itinerary for the days you get to spend away from it all.
To help you plan and to soothe any springtime stress, we consulted Jeff Klee, founder and CEO of CheapAir.com about the best time to book your travels for the lowest prices, in addition to the hottest destinations for Memorial Day and more. Then, we gathered up the best deals on travel around those dates, both domestically and internationally for a jam-packed weekend of traveling fun.
When should you book Memorial Day weekend travel by?
If you’re reading this, there is a good chance the answer is “right now.” Since the spring-into-summer weekend has been known to be a busy one, the best thing to do, according to our expert, is treat this weekend like summer and get booking as soon as possible.
“Spring is one of the cheapest seasons to buy a flight during the year, and I recommend that people shop about three months out for the best fares,” said Klee. “However, Memorial Day is more of the ‘spiritual’ start of the summer season, even if the actual start is a few weeks away. Because of U.S. traveler’s propensity to travel this weekend, we recommend shopping like it is summer, and purchasing airline tickets even earlier.”
Being practical really does matter for this short weekend, and Klee also recommends forgoing the last-minute plans for something more mapped out — as it may also be cheaper, too.
“The key to making a Memorial Day weekend vacation everything a traveler wants it to be is to plan ahead,” said Klee. “While it is less glamorous than being spontaneous, it will get travelers the best values, schedules and accommodations they are looking for.”
Where should I travel for Memorial Day weekend?
This depends on what type of traveler you and your family are, of course.
The most popular destinations that Klee and his team have seen are Las Vegas, Orlando, Anaheim and Honolulu, most likely for their warm climates and ease to get to from the contiguous United States.
“Last year close to 40 million Americans traveled more than 50 miles from home for Memorial Day weekend,” he said.
If the above destinations seem great but you’re worried about overcrowding or higher prices at some of these hotspots, Klee also provided some alternatives that satisfy all types of travelers.
“Travelers can also do the best of both worlds — visit a more popular destination and branch off for some less touristy diversions. Laguna Beach is a relaxing, laid-back alternative to Anaheim, the home of Disney California Adventure Park, and a 45-minute drive from the theme park. Las Vegas is popular, but if travelers like gambling, they might consider Lake Tahoe, instead. The Nevada side of the lake offers casinos, but also outdoor activities and stunning natural beauty.”
He also suggested national parks as a great way to get out of dodge and see some wildlife before heading back to the city in June.
The best Memorial Day weekend travel deals of 2023:
Spring travel is way more fun than winter, as all you need are some bathing suits, light clothes and a ticket to your destination. See below for the best flight deals during the Memorial Day weekend dates, but also keep in mind that flexible travelers who can extend on one or either side of the weekend may get even better rates.
CheapOAir: The budget travel site already has their MDW rates up and ready to shop! Also keep a look out for their price tracking, so you can compare which dates are truly the best bang for your buck.
Expedia: April planning brings May flights, right? Expedia has a whole page for cheap May flights, including information on the best destinations, like New Orleans and Cancun.
Southwest Vacations: Book your flight and your hotel all at once this Memorial Day with Southwest. They are currently offering plenty of deals in Hawaii, Florida, Las Vegas and more, plus get $20 off per night at select Hyatt Hotels.
CheapAir: Get in on Memorial Day savings with cheap flights from CheapAir. The Memorial Day landing page is live now, with tips and tricks for booking, plus how to book now and pay later.
Skyscanner: If you know you want to get away, but not sure where to yet, Skyscanner can help. They compare rates all over the world and can tell you the cheapest places to fly for any given dates and origin cities.
Hotel booking can either be a breeze or super stressful — depending on when you book!
“The main consideration for hotel stays is supply and demand for Memorial Day weekend,” said Klee. “The busiest destinations may sell out, or leave travelers with much less attractive options, so it is a very good idea to shop early. Most hotels have generous cancellation policies right now, so travelers can shop and book, even while they put the final touches on their flight plans without fear.”
Read below for the best hotel deals during MDW, and bookmark this page for more last-minute deals should you choose to wait.
Marriott Bonvoy: While MDW weekend deals aren’t posted yet, weekend getaways are, and many can be booked on that May weekend. Take a look and then keep this page bookmarked for more.
Expedia: Bundle your flight and your stay together with Expedia’s Memorial Day travel packages, found here.
JetBlue Vacations: See the sea, and the sand too with JetBlue. Bundle your flight and get great deals on hotels, with up to $300 off plus other perks, set in Aruba, Mexico, Florida, Jamaica and more.
CheapCaribbean.com: Want to head to the Caribbean for the long weekend without the hefty price tag? Now you can, during the Memorial Day sale, offering an extra $100 site wide with code “MEM100” plus more savings on packages here.
Groupon: Yes, that Groupon! The savings site has plenty of Memorial Day weekend hotel and resort deals, live right now. Take a look at this 4-star resort in Key West, a villa in Mexico and more.
It’s easy to find a car rental service deal year-round, but for Memorial Day, be sure to book early to find the best rates and the car you need to fit the whole family, plus luggage and the all-important road trip snacks.
In the meantime, find our favorite car rental deals here and then bookmark this page for when more Memorial Day specific sales come out.
Activities and other MDW travel deals
Ready to have an amazing Memorial Day weekend? Not without finishing up your itinerary!
Regardless of where you go, make sure you and the kids have something fun planned, aside from chilling in the hotel. We recommend Viator for all types of activities, tailored to your location and dates.
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