The summer season might be winding down with the arrival of Labor Day Weekend, but that only means travel is about to get a whole lot cheaper. Plane, train, hotel, and cruise deals are as good as ever, reminding wanderlusters that there’s never a bad time to see the world and there’s always an opportunity to save a buck.
In September, there’s something to book for everyone. Students can trim some costs off their next international Lufthansa flight, large groups can earn free tickets on one of EF Go Ahead Tours’ stunning vacation packages, and anyone can benefit from Celebrity Cruises’ two fleeting mega-discounts on upcoming sailings. Renting electric vehicles earns drivers perks at Hertz this month, and children ride cheap on Rocky Mountaineers’ Red Rocks train tours. So don’t be sad that summer’s over, be happy about the new opportunities arriving with fall.
All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date. Additional reporting by Alex Erdekian.
College students save big with Lufthansa’s flights and baggage fees
Verify your student status with Lufthansa and immediately reap the rewards, unlocking a host of discounted economy flights between the United States and Europe, India, Africa, or the Middle East. Students also earn one free piece of checked baggage and the option to get a refund without fees. The program only applies to students in college who are over the age of 16.
Cut costs big time with Frontier Airlines’ shockingly cheap one-way flight sales
Autumn sales are in full swing at Frontier Airlines, where travelers can currently snag one-way flights as cheap as $19 between select locations on select dates. This option works best if you’re flexible with dates and destinations—you won’t have a lot of wiggle room with these deals. If you’re feeling restless, on a budget, or are eager to get out of town, consider Frontier for an affordable start to your getaway.
Save up to 30 percent on vacation packages with Spirit Airlines
The budget airline is making it a cinch to save big not just on airfare, but hotels and more with its vacation packages, which are currently up to 30 percent off when travelers book flights, hotels, or rental cars together. Several of the top deals offer trips to Las Vegas and Cancun from cities such as Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta, starting at shockingly low prices that include flights and a hotel.
Save up to 40 percent on hotel stays in Etihad Airways’ Stopover Package
Stopover packages are a great way to add another destination to your journey without spending too much extra cash. Travelers who want to experience Abu Dhabi can take advantage of Etihad Airways’ discounted Stopover Packages, which currently include 40 percent off two- or four-night hotel stays in top properties, or a free stay in select three- or four-star hotels. The offer also comes with discounts on restaurants and other experiences, as well as amenities like 24-hour check-in and buffet breakfast. Travelers must make bookings at least three days in advance before arriving in Abu Dhabi.
Save $700 on children’s bookings for a scenic train tour through the Southwest
Bring your kids on a journey through the scenic American Southwest with Rocky Mountaineer’s family pricing promotion, which applies to bookings made before October 31. The eligible train tour is called the Rockies to the Red Rocks, a three-night journey that takes passengers from Denver, Colorado, to Moab, Utah. Children—anyone 17 and under—can get $700 off their tickets as long as they’re sharing a room with a parent or guardian. Read up on the promotion and call to apply the discount at booking.
Ride out Amtrak’s range of ongoing sales
Amtrak is offering some good longer-lasting deals. Tickets on the Downeaster train, which runs five round-trips between Boston and Maine each day, are now eligible for a buy one, get one half-off deal. The special discount runs through December 2023, so you have plenty of time to enlist a travel buddy—just book at least three days in advance. More details on the discount here.
Riders can also enjoy up to 20 percent in savings on train rides booked at least seven days in advance, trimming costs on a variety of routes that range from coast-to-coast with no change fees. Plus, on most journeys, seniors save 10 percent on ticket costs—that means people 65 and over for qualifying domestic trips and ages 60 and up on cross-border expeditions. In addition to all that, Amtrak recently sweetened the savings on its children’s discount, so little ones between 2 and 12 years old may travel for 50 percent off with an accompanying adult.
Plan a large group outing and earn every the spot free
Looking to take your next family reunion to a new level? Get the ol’ college friends back together? Go on a quadruple date? Whatever the occasion, EF Go Ahead Tours’ Group Coordinator Program caters to large groups, allowing you to handcraft your next experience and save along the way. For every six people who sign up, you’ll get a seventh tour spot for free. You can view this as buy six tickets, get one free; or buy 12, get two free; or buy 18, get three free—you get the point. There’s no cap to the number of free spots you can earn. Why not go all out?
Get half-off a second room for the kids at international Marriott hotels
Sometimes, families can’t all fit in one hotel room. Marriott is making it easier to bring the kids along on your next overseas vacation by offering 50 percent off a second room if it’s occupied by children under 16 years old. The discount—which applies at participating locations across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East—is valid on reservations between now and January 2, 2024, providing enough time to get a plan in place.
Book a suite with Loews Hotels and get extra on-site perks
Loews Hotels is sweetening its suite experience by giving travelers up to $125 daily for food and drink—the credit amount varies by location—plus free Premium Plus Wi-Fi. Currently, the hotels offering the largest dining credits are Loews Miami Beach and Loews Regency New York, but other properties still put up a good fight. Check out the offer page to find out what you can expect at your dream Loews destination.
Bundle flights with your Atlantis Bahamas resort stay and save up to $300
Now through July 2024, guests can save up to $300 for booking flights and rooms at the same time through Atlantis Paradise Islands’ website. All five of Atlantis’ Bahamas resorts are honoring the special, and the only condition is that guests stay a minimum of two nights at the resort and pay the flight and hotel costs in full at the time of booking.
Make up for part of those flight costs with perks at a new Cabo resort
Corazón Resort and Spa in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is drawing people in right now with its Sea, Sun & Savings deal, offering credits on credits to help guests afford the full experience. Bookings come with a daily $75 credit for food and beverages, a $150 massage credit, a $50 credit for a rooftop tequila tasting, and $100 to spend at Cabolectric, a sustainable activity company most notable for its electric surfing equipment.
Save 15 percent or more on spontaneous bookings with Booking.com
Booking.com loves a getaway deal, which comes in handy when you’re letting your wallet determine your next vacation. The site promises at least—not “up to”—15 percent off qualifying hotels of all price ranges, which are sorted by destination on the site to help guide you to a decision.
Stay longer, save bigger at Omni Hotels
The longer you stay, the more savings you’ll rack up with Omni Hotels & Resorts’ Longer Days, Longer Stays promotion, running now through September 28 and eligible for trips during the same time frame. The enticing package means that a one-night stay equals 10 percent off, two nights equals 15 percent off, and three nights or longer equals up to 20 percent off the cost of the booking. Countless Omni properties in every corner of the United States are participating, giving you full control over where you venture. The question now is…how do you choose?
Earn 20 percent off nightly rates and a $100 daily resort credit at Beach Enclave Turks & Caicos
This butler-serviced villa resort in Providenciales is welcoming families this summer with 20 percent off the best available rate, plus a $100 nightly resort credit (and a gift for kiddos under 12), for travelers who book before September 30 for trips through December 18, 2023. Activities on tap for kids and teens this summer include bone fishing excursions, sailing lessons, and private cooking classes.
Get a sweet, suite deal at Mondrian Los Angeles
Level up your LA vacay with discounted suites at Mondrian Los Angeles—they’re currently 20 percent off and also come with a $25 daily in-room dining credit and guaranteed late check out of 1 p.m. (early check-in is based upon availability; the deal also is subject to availability, and blackout dates may apply). The suites offer travelers a spiffy home base right in the heart of West Hollywood, and the property’s dreamy rooftop pool is a perfect way to wind down after a day of sightseeing and celeb spotting.
Buy one cruise ticket, get 75 percent off the second guest
If you’re hoping to finally take the cruise you’ve been eyeing, now is your moment. Celebrity Cruises has all sorts of offers going on for a short time, including a buy one, get one 75 percent off deal on cruises hitting the seas between now and April 2025. All regions, domestic and international, are eligible for the promotion—all you have to do is make your choice before the offer expires on September 7.
Earn up to $800 off an Alaskan expedition that’s part-cruise, part-land tour
Save the big bucks with Celebrity Cruises when you set off on an unforgettable Alaska “cruisetour,” a unique spin on a typical cruise that also incorporates land touring via trains and lodges. From now through September 7, travel duos can get up to $800 off their choice of three itineraries departing in 2024. No promo code is needed to redeem the offer, just head to the deal page and start window shopping.
Take your family on a Disney cruise with a 30-percent-off special
The famously family-friendly Disney Cruise Line is now offering between 20 and 30 percent savings on select cruises setting sail between now and February from ports including New York City; San Juan, Puerto Rico; New Orleans, Louisiana; Port Canaveral, Florida; and Brisbane, Australia. Some of the current cruises on sale are themed as well, around things like Halloween, Marvel, and Pixar, for some extra flair.
Kids cruise free in parties of three or four with Holland America Line
Family vacations with Holland America are extra affordable in 2023 and 2024 with the cruise line’s limited-time Kids Cruise Free booking deal. The special offer provides free travel to destinations like Alaska, Europe, and the Caribbean for up to two kids, if they’re booked as the third and/or fourth guests in the party. As far as Holland America is concerned, anyone 18 and under qualifies as a kid, so you can bring your teens along for the journey just as well.
Jump on a Mediterranean cruise sale starting at $399 for seven nights
Through September 8, Costa Cruises is taking some serious dollars off its Mediterranean cruises, offering a variety of 8- to 15-day itineraries. The two most affordable options start at $399: One departs from Savona, Italy, and the other from Civitavecchia, Italy (outside of Rome). The various itineraries on sale offer range, with many centered around Italy, Spain, and France, and others stopping through ports in Greece, Croatia, and Turkey.
Even more travel deals
Earn 25 percent off your Hertz rental car when you choose an electric vehicle
Hertz is going all-in on incentivizing its electric vehicles, which now includes offering up to 25 percent off your electric car reservation. The offer requires no promo code, but only applies on trips taking place by September 30, so start plotting.
Get a quarter of the price cut on rental cars picked up by December 31
Rental car company Budget is offering up to 25 percent off its weekly car rates for 2023 reservations lasting five nights or more, so long as you mention the code BCD D111800 at checkout. The offer is subject to vehicle availability, but there’s no room for complaining with a deal this painless.
Save hundreds on extended stays with Cabana Camper Vans
Cabana is a modern mobile hospitality company with a fleet of luxury, high-tech camper vans for rent. This fall, they’re offering $600 off trips lasting 10 nights or longer, and $200 off trips lasting at least five nights. Use the promo codes 10NIGHTSTAY or 5NIGHTSTAY at checkout to cash in on the deal. Find additional deals to take advantage of on the site’s offer page, including deals for teachers and first responders.
Invest in a milestone trip
If a Kenyan safari is the adventure you need after the United States’ warm season winds down, Cottar’s Safaris, a luxury outfitter based in Maasai Mara, has an enticing offer for travel between November 1 and December 19, 2023 (Kenya’s springtime). Three-night stays at both of Cottar’s facilities—the 1920s Camp and the Bush Villa—come with a fourth night for free. Additional restrictions apply, and travelers also confirm availability before booking.