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From Route 66 to ski resorts in Japan: Last-minute trips before school is back in session

From Route 66 to ski resorts in Japan: Last-minute trips before school is back in session

Summer days may be drifting away in parts of the world but there is still time to squeeze in one last family trip before the kids are back in school. From iconic American road trips to popular European cities, we’ve rounded up some last-minute trips around the globe that not only offer a great value, but are still available to book. 

Life is a highway
According to The Vacationer, 80% of American adults (more than 200 million people) plan to take a road trip this summer. Route 66 embodies the quintessential great American road trip. Often called the “Mother Road,” Route 66 is an epic drive through the American West littered with must-see sights and attractions along the way as travelers pass through deserts, farmlands and small towns. Before hitting the open road, treat yourself to a stay at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, an urban retreat in an unmatched location with its proximity to the start of Route 66 near Millennium Park. From there, well-known stops along the drive include Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri; Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas; ¡Explora! Children’s Museum and Albuquerque BioPark in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and so much more.

Road trippers looking to rest and recharge along the way can stay at these properties along this historic route:
  Holiday Inn Express & Suites Springfield North (Springfield, Missouri)
  Holiday Inn Express & Suites Clinton (Clinton, Oklahoma)
  Holiday Inn Express Santa Rosa (Santa Rosa, New Mexico)
  Holiday Inn Express & Suites Albuquerque East (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
  Holiday Inn Amarillo East (Amarillo, Texas)
  Holiday Inn Express Los Angeles - LAX Airport (Los Angeles, California)

To support the demand for leisure travel in the U.S., IHG is offering a Gas & Go package. Earn a $25 gift card towards gas per stay when you book two to three nights (at participating properties). Plus, IHG’s Make A Break For It promo has options for all your summer travel plans in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Latin America.

European escapes
Last-minute trips from London are a breeze via Eurostar rail service, and you can’t go wrong with a visit to Amsterdam. Known for its rich history, beautiful art and world-class museums, Amsterdam is a charming city with several family-friendly spots like ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo, Vondelpark, and Van Gogh Museum. Plus, it has the number one travel experience in the world (voted in Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards), the Amsterdam Open Boat Canal Cruise. Kimpton De Witt is located in the heart of the city, with complimentary bikes to ride along the canals, visit nearby attractions such as the Anne Frank House, and indulge in city center fine-dining. The hotel also has its own kids’ program, which includes a welcome gift, child safety kits with nightlights and outlet covers and kid-friendly amenities. Another great family-friendly option that offers views of the canals is Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam - City Hall. Kids will love the hotel’s complimentary breakfast buffet, and parents can relax at the Express Café & Bar while enjoying a local brew.


Is a quick jaunt to Paris ever a bad idea? And while it may be nicknamed the City of Love, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities for a jam-packed weekend – especially during summer months. Popular attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Lourve Museum (perfect for the art-loving child or teenager) and the local zoo, Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes, are definitely worth visiting. However, make sure to also explore one of the many picturesque parks around the city like the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, with its lush meandering paths, waterfalls and carnival games. Holiday Inn Paris - Gare de Lyon Bastille is the perfect place to stay for families. Not only do kids under 12 eat free, but it is only a five-minute walk to the nearest train station and Disneyland Paris is just a 35-minute train ride away.

Summer chills
While some may equate last-minute summer vacations with a trip to sun, sand, and water, in New Zealand and Japan, the “summer months” are peak ski season. In New Zealand, the Remarkables in Queenstown is known for its epic terrains, and ski experiences for beginners and pros. Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park puts you within 30 minutes of the ski park, and the property offers a convenient storage room for ski gear. The lobby is open and inviting, ideal for unwinding and socializing after a day of skiing. Before hitting the slopes, make sure to fuel up at Giants Restaurant. The hotel also rolls out the red carpet for children with its Very Important Kids (VIK) program, which offers discounts at five family-friendly attractions in the area, including a trampoline park, escape rooms and the Buzzstop Honey Centre and Café.

In Japan, Appi Kogen is one of the largest ski areas in the Northeastern Tohoku region, famed for its stunning snowcaps and “powder snow,” and you can’t go wrong with a stay at ANA InterContinental Appi Kogen Resort. The hotel offers picturesque views of the Appi ski slopes and its intricate suite designs immerse you in the rich beauty of the region for an unforgettable stay. After a day on the slopes, rejuvenate in the hotel’s spacious onsen (a Japanese hot spring) and enjoy a world-class gourmet experience at SHIRATSUYU restaurant or the Japanese bar, MOCCO.

With the new IHG One Rewards, booking that last-minute trip has never been easier. Get richer benefits and faster ways to earn on each stay, and start booking your travel here.