Bargain Summer Destinations

Memorial Day is just a few weeks away, but procrastinators still have time to grab a cheap summer vacation. Some popular spots still have lots of availability and big sales. Kelli Grant, Senior Consumer Reporter for SmartMoney.com, gives you five suggestions to consider.


Orlando typically has good summer deals, but they're even better this year. Hotel prices are down 7% compared with last year, to an average $146. There's also wider availability as timeshare owners try to rent their properties. You could get a three-bedroom rental for $700 per week. Just check cancellation policies in case of a hurricane or other summer storms.

Las Vegas prices have yet to recover. The average hotel rate is $99, a 6% drop compared with last year. With a package, travelers might do even better. A round-trip flight from New York and four nights in June can be as cheap as $500 per person. Of course, Las Vegas is literally, as well as figuratively, hot. The average summer temperatures top 100.

Exchange rates have also become more favorable over the past year, with a dollar buying 27% more. Travelers can expect to see substantial savings in resort towns such as Los Cabos, Puerta Vallarta and Cancun, Mexico with deals of roughly 50% off. Experts suggest reviewing travel advisories before booking. The State Department has suggested deferring non-essential travel to some areas.

A slow winter season has made hotels more competitive during the usually slow summer season in Colorado. Some deals are as much as 60% off. Vacation rental markets like Breckenridge still have 69% availability for summer rentals, and rates for a one-bedroom may be as cheap as $89. But overnight temperatures can still dip into the 30s and 40s in some areas, which may turn off travelers looking for a warmer trip.

Travelers willing to wait until the end of summer for a vacation can already find deals of 30% to 50% off regular hotel rates in Hawaii. Timing may be tricky though. Many of the deals kick in just as schools and colleges are back in session. Plus, airfare may make up for those great lodging discounts. The cheapest round-trip fares between Los Angeles and Honolulu during August come in at roughly $400.

For more information on bargain summer vacation destinations and other consumer tips click here.

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