5 ways to have the ultimate end-of-summer getaway on a budget

By Jessica Armstrong

Editor's note: This guest post was written by Ashley Rossi of SmarterTravel.

The end of summer, particularly in August and September, is often referred to as the "sweet spot" for travel. Summer crowds disperse, as families get ready to head back to school, meaning there is less demand at popular summer vacation spots. If your schedule allows, this is actually one of the best times to plan a long-weekend escape! Here are five budget-friendly tips from SmarterTravel that’ll make your end-of-summer getaway the best one yet.

Stay local

The best part about planning a staycation or a getaway to a nearby destination is that you'll save on transportation costs and time by staying local. Here are some suggestions for a number of major cities across the U.S.!

From New York City, we recommend a trip to Dutchess County in New York.

This quirky tiny house is located on a charming farm nearby in Sullivan County, New York.

From Atlanta, Georgia, head to Asheville, North Carolina.

Couples will love this romantic tree house cabin near Asheville, North Carolina.

From Houston, Texas, head to San Antonio.

A unique getaway awaits at these traditional tipis in nearby New Braunfels, Texas.

From Seattle, Washington, head to Bellingham or Whidbey Island.

A trip for two never looked so good than at this glamping tent on Whidbey Island in Washington.

From Los Angeles, head to San Diego, California.

This bell tent rental comes with its own mini-tennis court in nearby Carlsbad, California.

For even more exciting escapes near nine major U.S. cities, check out these top, cheap weekend getaways!

Hit the road

You can cut costs on transportation by driving to your weekend getaway. Even if you don't own a car, renting a car or using a service, like Zipcar, gives you freedom and flexibility to make a road trip a viable option. What's more? Zipcar has a partnership with state and provincial parks across the U.S. to give you free parking at select locations.

Make sure you're using an app, like GasBuddy, which is a crowd-sourcing app that tells you where the cheapest gas is nearby. Since you already have your smartphone out, take a second to download these nine other essential road trip apps, too!

Ditch the hotel

Try looking into different types of accommodations when planning an end-of-summer getaway—with glamping being a top choice. Not only are you staying in Instagram-worthy properties, but you'll likely be saving on nightly rates since these are usually a non-traditional form of shelter. You'll also be able to cut costs on dining out if you book a place with a kitchen or cooking area and avoid the potential high costs of hotel parking lots.

Embrace the off season

Significant savings can be found in destinations that are in their off season, as these locales are less popular this time of year and typically have lower prices to attract guests. This is especially true in summertime in mountain towns, like Stowe, Park City, Vail, and many more. Other popular destinations where summer is considered to be the off season include Arizona, Florida, and New Orleans.

Get outdoors

It's time to get outside! Most hikes and beaches are free to enjoy, and the great outdoors provides a naturally relaxing backdrop to celebrate the end of summer. Be sure to check out free National Park entry days—one is coming up on August 25!—and look at passes for state and national parks if you're looking to visit often. Don't know which park to visit? We've got some suggestions for you that come recommended by the park rangers themselves here.

Check out Glamping Hub and SmarterTravel's Weekend Road Trip Giveaway on Instagram! You and three friends have the chance to win the perfect end-of-summer getaway.

The Ultimate Summer Giveaway with Glamping Hub & Friends

By Jessica Armstrong

Hey there glampers, summer is finally here and we are kicking it off with our "Ultimate Summer Giveaway"!

Ultimate Summer Giveaway
Enter to Win 5 Incredible Prizes with Glamping Hub & Friends

What better way to plan your next glamping vacation than by entering to win some extra goods and gadgets to keep you stocked, prepped, and ready for adventure? By partnering with our friends over at MPowerd, Project 7, Wear Panda, and Hand in Hand Soap, we will be bringing you fun in the sun all summer long.

Don't wait any longer and enter to win before it's too late.

Want to know more about the "Ultimate Summer Giveaway" prizes? Check them out below:

1. $300 Glamping Hub Gift Card

Glamping Hub Gift Card

With over 10,000 unique glamping accommodations across the globe, grabbing a gift card is the first step towards filling your (or anyone's!) summer with adventure. Whether you're heading to Australia to sleep in a dome in the Outback, or to Mexico to stay in your very own beach-side tree house, this gift card is your ticket to get movin'.

2. Project 7's Summer Pack Supply

Project 7 Summer Pack Gum

With four new flavors of gum to give your palettes a burst of summer goodness, Project 7's summer pack is made for a getaway. With flavors including half & half, margarita, s'more, and cotton candy, this gluten-free, sugar-free gourmet gum is going to be every glamper's favorite treat this summer.

3. Wear Panda Monroe Sunglasses

Wear Panda Sunglasses

Stylish for both men and women, available in multiple colors, and fit for adventure and luxury, these sunglasses by Wear Panda cannot be beaten. Customers and reps love these glasses and you glampers will too. Plus, with every pair bought, Wear Panda helps to provide eye care to someone in need.

4. Hand in Hand Soap - 4 Pack

Hand in Hand Soaps

Hand in Hand Soap is bringing you your must-have toiletry item this summer, with four delicious scents you won't get enough of. You can bet that these bars made of Coral, Orange Blossom, Lavender, and Sea Salt extracts will be found in every glamper's luggage this year. And for every bar bought, Hand in Hand donates a bar of soap and one month of clean water to a child in need.

5. Three Luci Lights by MPowerdInc

Luci Lights by MPowerdInc

The newest thing in outdoor light technology, MPoweredInc is proud to introduce Luci Lights. With adjustable straps to make them easy to attach to any surface, these lightweight, waterproof lights are the perfect addition to any of your night-time glamping adventures. Explore the shore, beaches, mountains, and more, but not without your go-to Luci Light, available in different styles and colors.

Don't miss out on these one-of-a-kind products, enter here to win.