Endless Summer: 8 Last-Minute Vacations to Book Now


Summer is almost upon us, and there’s no better time to begin planning your trips than now when flight deals and hotel stays abound. Whether you’re interested in a gondola ride on the canals of Venice or a horseback ride on the Rocky Mountains, we’ve got you covered with the best vacation spots to visit this summer. From culturally immersive travel in Europe and Australia to tequila tasting in Mexico, our list covers the globe — while still highlighting the best places to visit in the U.S., of course. Read on and get ready to start planning your next summer trip. Summer may not begin for a few weeks, but emotionally, we say it starts the second you book your trip. Cheers, and happy travels!

A stone arch overlooking Lake Titicaca

Fall in love with Lima and Puno. Discover the legends of Lake Titicaca.

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Peru is a perennial favorite for adventurous travelers, thanks to its wondrous landscapes and fascinating culture and heritage. But while many visitors opt for Machu Picchu and Cusco, this summer, we recommend a trip to Lima and Lake Titicaca. Spend time in the capital city before heading to Puno and exploring the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, learning the history of the high desert region while adventuring on kayaks, bike trips, and boat excursions throughout the region. We suggest booking a trip for earlier in the summer, as the landscape remains very lush and green post-rainy season, and the heaviest flock of tourists has yet to arrive (August is a peak month for visitors). However, Peru is so full of hidden gems that, no matter when you decide to visit, you’re sure to be enticed and delighted by what you find. ¡Vamos!

A beach paradis in Panama

There’s no off-season for this Central American paradise. Journey coast to coast, from the Caribbean to the Pacific.

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This summer, why not book a trip to a country that combines the best of both oceans — the Pacific and the Caribbean — in Central America? Panama is both a paradise for wildlife, home to sloths, parrots, hummingbirds, whales, and more, and a coastal haven for beach-lovers, boasting islands, beaches, and rainforests on both the Caribbean Sea, as well as the Pacific. Plus, as it’s a quick 5-hour flight from New York (and the time zone is only an hour behind), travel to Panama is seamless and easy. So, while there are endless activities and locations to explore in Panama during a week-long vacation, it’s also perfect for a shorter, long-weekend trip. So you can’t blame a lack of vacation days as an excuse not to visit — all the more reason to book your trip now. We promise you won’t regret it.

Aspen, Colorado
A ski lift in summer

Rocky Mountain High There’s no off-season Out West. 

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We’ve already covered how Aspen is a tremendous place to visit during the wintertime, but what about summertime, too? The hotter months are perfect for lovers of hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and rafting in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, and this summer, why not consider making a trip out west yourself? Sometimes the wide-open spaces are the most-needed landscape of all (thank you, Dixie Chicks), so prepare to book those flights and get back in the saddle this summer season. Giddy-up! 

A scuba diver in Australia

A road trip Down Under! Why not book the ultimate bucket list trip? 

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Cross an item off your bucket list with a trip Down Under this summer. Australia is the perfect destination for the adventurous traveler, with plentiful opportunities for activities in the great outdoors — whether it’s road-tripping through the Outback or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, there’s something for everyone, by land or by sea. Another plus to traveling now is the opportunity to take advantage of the wonderful last-minute flight deals that provide the chance to make your dream vacation a reality. So, what are you waiting for? Happy travels!

Lake Tahoe
Shoreline of Lake Tahoe

A road trip Down Under! Why not book the ultimate bucket list trip? 

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This summer, head out west to discover one of the most gorgeous spots in the U.S.A.: Lake Tahoe, of course. Fly into Reno, and spend a few days exploring this underrated Nevada city. Often overshadowed by Las Vegas, Reno is home to a spectacular culinary scene and fantastic street art and is the perfect place to begin your trip. Next, rent a car for the gorgeous 45-minute drive out to Incline Village, and make reservations for dinner at Lone Eagle Grill, where you can watch the sunset over the lake and order the famous Blooming Tahoe dessert. Another item on the itinerary? A drive around the perimeter of the lake, boating out on the water, and a hike to Monkey Rock for gorgeous panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. 

Venice, Italy

People enjoying a meal in Venice

Gondolas, artwork, & more. Check out the Biennale.

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Italy is always top-of-mind for travelers, and after years in which travel to Europe has been infinitely complicated, why not schedule a revenge travel trip to Venice this summer? And while summertime is not usually the best season to visit, as the city becomes too crowded, the city has recently had a major opportunity to breathe after being free of the throngs of tourists that visit year-round, and Venice is even more beautiful than ever. Lastly, you will have an opportunity to check out this year’s Biennale, which showcases spectacular art from around the world. International art and delectable Italian cuisine? That’s Amore. 

Kennebunkport, Maine
Entrance to the town of Kennebunkport

New England bliss. Set sail in Maine! 

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There’s more to New England than leaf-peeping, and summer is one of the most beautiful times of year to visit Vacationland, a.k.a. Maine. The state’s slogan is “The Way Life Should Be,” and we find that hard to disagree with, especially when the weather gets warmer. Whether it’s a blueberry pie or lobster bake, hiking the rocky coast, or setting sail upon its waters, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities for the seaside-loving traveler. We suggest visiting Kennebunkport to experience the perfect blend of bustling downtown and rural New England coastline. Plus, summertime is the only time of year when taking a swim in the Atlantic is a not-entirely-freezing experience. So go ahead, and dive in.  

Jalisco, Mexico
Women dancing in traditional Mexican garb

Guadalajara & Tequila. Tequila tasting is the new wine tasting. 

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Sure, you may be familiar with Cabo and Cancun, but have you considered exploring Mexico beyond the coasts? Jalisco, Mexico, is the perfect place to explore, as it's the home not only of mariachi music but also tequila! Check out the gorgeous downtown of Guadalajars before paying a visit to Tequila, Mexico, to witness the gorgeous agave fields and sample the local flavors. You will return home with a greater appreciation for the history of the agave plant and an expanded palette for tasting tequila. Salud!

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