Many travelers believe that the only way to score a great deal is to book months in advance. But this summer, the great hotel deals aren't disappearing anytime soon. So congratulate yourself for having the good sense to procrastinate. As these resorts prove, sometimes good things really do come to those who wait.
Save 50% This Summer at Jekyll Island Club Resort
Though summer just officially started in late June, many families around the country are already halfway through their school breaks. To help you squeeze out every last drop of the season's fun, Georgia's Jekyll Island Club Hotel has launched an End of Summer Special good for stays Aug. 1 through Sept. 2. The BOGO offer is as straightforward they come: Stay one night at the regular rate, and you'll get a second night free, which equals a 50% savings. The deal is good on all room types except the Presidential Suite. August rates start at $249 a night for a double room, so this promo could save you about $500 on a four-night stay (wow!).
Once the winter retreat of millionaires such as Rockefeller, Goodyear, and Astor, the historic hotel now offers up a luxurious yet laid back line-up of family-fun activities, from golf and tennis to croquet, swimming and more (see WeJustGotBack.com's review).
To book this offer, call tel. 800/535-9547. The fine print: There are two black out dates (Aug. 6 and 7). Taxes and resort fee are not included.
Get Up to $500 Credit at San Diego's Paradise Point
Spend your vacation in a town with a lot of kid-friendly attractions -- theme parks, museums, zoos -- and you'll blow a good chunk of your budget on overpriced, concession-style meals. So we were intrigued by the Experience More Paradise package at San Diego's Paradise Point Resort and Spa (tel. 800/344-2626; www.paradisepoint.com), which works on a sliding scale: stay three nights and you get a $300 resort credit; four nights earns a $400 resort credit; five nights comes with a $500 credit. You can use it at the resort restaurants, shop and spa -- and, according to the reservations agent we spoke to, also at the kids' club and bicycle rentals (online, the site says the credit is only for dining). But even if you do only use it for dining, $100 a day would cover at least one meal a day at the resort.
And this is just the kind of resort that you would want to log some time at and not just use as a base camp for area attractions. The 44-acre, 460-room resort, set on the edge of San Diego's Mission Bay, feels nicely isolated, thanks to the bay on one side, and the lush vegetation that surrounds the rest of the island-style resort (proof: patios are called "lanais"). It has a bayside beach, five pools (one for adults, one for little kids), tennis, an 18-hole, kid-friendly putting course, water sports rentals, and a summertime kids' club for ages 4 to 12.
The resort is also blessed with a fantastic location, just a couple minutes' drive into the heart of Mission Bay and funky, neighboring Pacific Beach, with an ocean beach, restaurants, and a small, Coney-Island style amusement park. You're also within a half-hour drive of the San Diego Zoo or Legoland. Best of all, you're within walking distance to SeaWorld.
Now for the bad news: The Experience More Paradise offer is only good on the Garden Bungalow or Bayside Bungalow suites, one-bedroom-plus-living rooms priced at $645 a night on the dates we checked.
The good news: We quickly saw a better deal, good for all room types: a Summer: 4th Night Free promo which offers a 25% break on rooms that start at a more modest $279 a night for standard digs with two double beds and a garden view.
WeJustGotBack.com is an award-winning family travel site, featuring reviews of kid-friendly hotels and resorts, expert planning advice, readers' travel tips, and more. Want an easy way to find out about vacation deals? Sign up for our family travel e-newsletter. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers on our Family Travel Forum.