Slideshow: Get Great Deals by Planning Summer Travel to These 12 Destinations Now
Ambergris Caye, Belize
If you don’t mind some light afternoon showers that are sure to pass, then Ambergris Caye is a wonderful summer destination with affordable deals. Popular sites won’t be as crowded and rates for hotels and airfare will be reduced, so you’ll be able to explore this lush, tropical paradise on your own schedule without worry of other tourists flocking in. you’re there in mid-June make sure to check out the Caye Caulker lobster festival.
Arenal, Costa Rica
Rates to Costa Rica are at their lowest in August, but summer in general is the cheapest time to travel here, as most people visit during the dry season (from December through April). However, the wet season is also considered the green season in Costa Rica — the forests are especially lush during this time, making an already beautiful landscape even more vibrant. If you want to spend your days zip lining and hiking in Arenal Volcano National Park, then this is the place to be. Check out hotels like Arenal Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens for potential summertime deals.
A destination with uncertain weather conditions during the summer, Cancún is an underrated summer destination and has much to offer beyond being a spring break hub. Cancún not only has beautiful beaches but is also home to UNESCO World Heritage sites you can take short day trips to — such as Chichen Itza or the Tulum Ruins. If you book now you can find great prices for summer flights.
Hội An, Vietnam
Central Vietnam is the place to be if you’re visiting during the summertime, and Hội An is a great destination for a beach getaway and enjoying the old town. Summer is usually rainy, making it an unpopular time for tourists, so you can find more affordable deals for visiting at this time. While you’re there, make sure to try cao lầu (a Vietnamese noodles and pork dish).
Las Vegas is a bit harder to find summer deals for than some of the other vacation spots on this list, but it’s not impossible. Luckily, if you book now there’s still enough time to find cheap airfare under $300 roundtrip (depending on where you’re flying from). If you live in Southern California, you can even drive and save money on a flight. Sin City gets incredibly hot during the summer, but the countless pool parties and ubiquitous high-blast air conditioning make up for it. While you’re there, be sure to check out the modernist cuisine art gallery that opens this summer.
With snowbirds heading home during springtime, summer in Miami is considered the off-season. To fill up rooms, many hotels lower their rates or offer packages to bring guests to the city. Boutique hotels like the COMO Metropolitan are offering early booking deals where guests can enjoy a savings of up to 15 percent on their daily rate if they book before the end of March. The Faena Hotel, meanwhile, is offering up to 20 percent for booking in advance. Make time for a delicious brunch at Beaker and Gray or Asian fusion cuisine at Talde.
A fun destination year-round, New Orleans tends to be less sought-after during the summer months due to the heat and rain. This is a great city for foodies, with a nearly endless list of must-try restaurants, like Willa Jean and the famous Café Du Monde. Various hotels, such as the Ace Hotel New Orleans, have sales running now offering a discounted rate on your stay if you book before the end of March.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
The island heat is manageable in the summer when you’re in light attire and have the ocean breeze to cool you down. Take a guided tour of the famous Dunn’s River Falls, and eat at local places like Stush in the Bush. Most resorts offer their lowest rates during this time of year, making Ocho Rios a perfect summer destination to plan for now if you want a relaxing trip on the beach.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Rates for Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, are significantly lowered during the summer season making it a cheap destination to find deals to right now. As with most travel planning, the sooner you book your trip, the cheaper the rates tend to be. This time of year will be a bit quieter than other seasons, so you’ll be able to enjoy the beach and other tourist sites like Hoyo Azul without the large throngs of people.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
As with many other destinations on this list, summer is the official off season for tropical destinations like San Juan. With the potential for stormy weather spanning from June through November, things slow down during this time. However, there is still plenty to do and even more to eat. Experience Puerto Rican cuisine like the locals at Mojito’s Puerto Rican Restaurant or check out a few of Old San Juan’s hotspots. For those who don’t mind the a little rain, the lack of crowds and lowered resort rates make San Juan a great summer destination to book now. One hotel offering great rates is the Sheraton Puerto Rico, with prices starting at $180 per night and family package discounts for a second room.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
With most travelers visiting Cambodia in the fall, the best time to score deals is during the summer. Discover Siem Reap’s ancient ruins such as Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom without a sea of tourists to maneuver around, and explore trails off the beaten path at your own pace. Book through sites like Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz or Skyscanner now and you’ll find great deals for flights and hotels.
St. Joseph, Barbados
The best time to travel to Barbados if you’re looking to save is between June and November. This is typically the stormy season, so airlines and hotels drop their prices to bring in more visitors, creating deals that can save you a couple hundred dollars — and that you wouldn’t get any other time of year. While there, experience the beautiful gardens (Huntes Gardens is the most popular) and eat at some of the island’s best joints, like Oistins.