By Vince Font
There’s something truly sublime about last minute vacations that gets lost whenever you plan in advance. Some of the most memorable experiences are those that are had at the spur of the moment. Think you can’t afford to take an impulsive vacation to the west coast? Think again. You can find cheap last-minute flights and book cheap California hotels at a moment’s notice if you know where to look. Rest assured that if the urge to get the heck out of dodge for a weekend and do something exciting should strike, you’ve got plenty of options.
- San Francisco: If the view of the city skyline from the Golden Gate Bridge sounds like something you’d like to take in on a whim, don’t presume your urges are unreasonable. You can find last minute deals that might surprise you, like round trip airfare and a two-night stay at the famous Queen Anne Hotel for $360 per person. For a hotel that averages a nightly fee verging on $200 per night, that’s about as sweet a deal as you’ll get, especially when it comes to a last minute vacation — and you can save even more if you’ve got time for a three-night stay. According to local legend, the Queen Anne is one of those places that patrons keep returning to even after they’ve shuffled off this mortal coil. If half of what they say is true, you may find you don’t want to leave either.
- Los Angeles: San Francisco’s not the only city in California that you can get to on short notice if you’re making last minute vacation plans, and it’s certainly not the only place worth seeing on the west coast. A round trip flight and one-night stay at the Hollywood Historic Hotel in Los Angeles will only cost you $200 per person — a small price to pay for adventure, something that L.A. is certainly good for. Think about it: With L.A.’s vast number of world-class restaurants, you could live out that long held fantasy of flying to a faraway city for dinner and an overnight stay. If you do, consider calling ahead and making a reservation to Meson G, a wildly popular restaurant on Melrose Avenue where small plate dishes are the gimmick, but nobody’s going to complain if you order half a dozen.
The cheapest of the cheap last minute vacations are best booked in combination, and you’ll get the biggest savings when you book your flight and hotel stay together.
Vince Font is a freelance writer born in Puerto Rico and currently escaped to Utah. When not dreaming of interstellar travel, he’s on the hunt for weird, wacky, and off-the-beaten-track vacation destinations. Next stop: The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.