With the end of Summer quickly approaching, if you haven’t gotten over the bite from the travel bug, don’t worry, this one is for you!

Planning a summer escape seems simple – until you factor in choosing a destination that fits all of your travel companions’ needs, tastes and vacation styles. After pinpointing a region that appeals to the group, you must select a place that offers activities, accommodations and natural attractions catering to the interests of kids, outdoorsy types, crowd-averse pals, sun worshippers and the like. And then there’s the matter of finding a spot that offers immersive and memorable vacation experiences, even on a tight budget. That’s why we’ve tapped top travel experts to deliver a list of diverse and cost-effective summer vacation options. Whether you want adventure or relaxation, culture or history, a coastal retreat or an off-the-beaten-track getaway, there’s an inexpensive locale for you to explore this summer.

 

Cape CodCape Cod, Massachusetts

Along the East Coast, you’ll find plenty of affordable summer escapes that are relatively inexpensive, says Clara Sedlak, senior special projects editor at Jetsetter.com. She points to Salt House Inn, a boutique property in Provincetown, Massachusetts, as a budget-friendly favorite. Nightly rates are currently listed at an average of $210 per night for a weeklong stay in June. Plus, goSeek lists hotels in Cape Cod for under $100 in June. And amid Cape Cod’s quaint cottages and clam shacks, you’ll also find affordable (and free) attractions, from picturesque bike trails to idyllic sands along the 40-mile-long National Seashore (admission is $3 from May to September). If you’re itching for more activity, hit the scenic Cape Cod Rail Trail, which snakes through the lower Cape, or check out the rugged landscape and plentiful migratory seabirds and seals at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge.

 

MadridMadrid

“The good news about travel this summer is that flight costs are down and the dollar is stronger than ever,” Sedlak says. Beyond inexpensive spots like Lisbon, Athens and Dubrovnik, Croatia, there are plenty more destinations with reduced airfare, including Madrid, which the travel app Hopper predicts will be about 15 percent lower in 2016. Madrid also features a smattering of bargain-friendly and culture-rich attractions, from the free Retiro Park and El Rastro (a sprawling open-air flea market), to the must-see Prado Museum and the Palacio Real. If you’re traveling with kids, make sure to check out the planetarium, which offers free admission and hands-on exhibits. And thanks to Madrid’s cheap and simple-to-navigate metro system, it’s easy to trim transportation costs. Google Flights currently lists round-trip flights from airports in the District of Columbia to Madrid starting at $792 in June and round-trip flights from Chicago airports starting at $1,008 for the same time period.

 

Big SurBig Sur, California

Big Sur‘s rugged natural beauty and scenic 90-mile coastline between Monterey Bay and San Simeon is known for its lavish accommodations (hat tip: the Post Ranch Inn), but according to Klee, there are plenty of affordable options, including campsites. And “the stunning natural beauty is best experienced sleeping under the stars anyway,” he adds, emphasizing that campgrounds are plentiful, but your best bet is booking months in advance, since many campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis and tend to fill up quickly. Big Sur Campground and Cabins, for example, offers tent sites for $60 a night, along with access to a picnic and fire pit as well as a nearby bath house. “Glamping [high-end camping] has come to Big Sur as well, and prices for luxury tents run anywhere from $110-140 per night,” Klee says, pointing to Fernwood Resort as an ideal choice. And getting to Big Sur is a breeze with round-trip flights from San Diego and Chicago airports to San Jose hovering at at around $250 on Alaska Airlines during the summer season, Klee adds.

 

CancunCancun, Mexico

After the crush of college students that flock to Cancun over spring break, the area tends to slow down come summer, Klee says. And despite the high temperatures and humidity, the area’s wealth of all-inclusive resorts, eco-friendly lodges and natural attractions to pick from make planning a trip easy and pain-free, he adds. For families, Sedlak highlights the Paradisus Cancun, an all-inclusive property as an ideal choice for broods. With its striking sea and lagoon views, spacious accommodations and versatile dining and bar choices, top-notch spa, nine-hole golf course and secluded atmosphere, the property makes for a memorable stay, she adds. Breaks from soaking up the sun and splendor can be spent admiring impressive archeological sites like Chichén Itzá or carving out a daytrip to laid-back (and budget-friendly) Tulum. Plus, round-trip flights from Dallas airports to Cancun average at around $360 with American Airlines and round-trip flights from Los Angeles to Cancun hover at around $500 with United Airlines, Klee says.

 

 

VietnamVietnam

If you’ve always wanted to experience Southeast Asia’s charms, this is the year to cross Vietnam off your bucket list, Klee says. Beyond can’t-miss cities, such as Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh City in the south, the “resort town of Nha Trang and provincially charming town of Hoi An to the north cannot be beat,” Klee says, pointing out that you can easily navigate the country on a shoestring budget and the region is home to incredible cuisine, culture and lesser-known historical gems. And in Nha Trang, you’ll find unspoiled sands and picturesque temples. Plus, in the summertime, during the rainy season, transportation and lodging prices are low, Klee adds. In terms of flights, “China Southern Air has flights out of SFO for just over $500 round trip,” he says, adding that round-trip flights from LAX this summer are around $600, making it an especially affordable time to plan a trip. And Aaron Baker, public relations manager for Travelocity.com, points out that instead of visiting the same popular beach destinations, many travelers are seeking out unique travel experiences. In fact, a quarter of the U.S. population is classified as millennials who crave immersive travel experiences, Baker adds. Rather than hitting crowded beaches, millennials are visiting off-the-grid destinations and “traveling to be more like a traveler than a tourist,” he says. And with Travelocity currently listing hotels in standout spots across Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City, for less than $100 a night in June, it’s easy to travel well on a tight budget.

 

Source: http://travel.usnews.com/gallery/10-cheap-summer-vacation-destinations/

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