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Travel Rankings & Advice

Best Cheap Summer Vacations

With kids out for summer recess, more travelers are packing their bags and getting out of town. That means fewer hotels and airlines are desperate for your business. And given the economy's fickle nature, destinations that were bargains last year may not be so now. U.S. News used expert insight along with an assessment of affordability and traveler appeal to bring you our list of the best summer vacations to take on the cheap. We need your vote to help us determine next year's ranking, so please choose your favorite destination from the list below.

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Why go: A one-time fee grants entry into Yellowstone National Park for seven days. That's plenty of time to take advantage of the best of the park's majesty, including Old Faithful or the Mammoth Hot Springs. Save on lodging by staying at the park's campground facilities. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Yellowstone

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227 190

Why go: This Caribbean metropolis makes for quite the urban adventure. There's no shortage of art and culture at the Alcázar de Colón and the Malecón. And with numerous attractions and affordable hotels, you're bound to leave with your savings intact. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Santo Domingo

#3
Biloxi
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205 179

Why go: With its brazen Southern charm, this affordable Mississippi retreat offers beach access at a low cost. That is, if you don't gamble your savings at the Beau Rivage Casino. You can also spend your time touring Biloxi's cultural sites like the Beauvoir and the Biloxi Lighthouse. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Biloxi

#4
Lisbon
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304 337

Why go: Lisbon stands as one of the most affordable European destinations at any time of year. But in the summertime, Lisbon hotels are more likely to offer deals to those willing to forgo seaside lodging in Cascais and Estoril. Book at least three months in advance for the best deals. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Lisbon

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359 222

Why go: Like the Caribbean, Fort Lauderdale and other Florida beach towns are more popular during the winter and spring. So you can snag lower flight and hotel rates if you plan a summer trip. And with more beach than beach bums, you won't have to fight for a prime location. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale

#6
Crete
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333 330

Why go: Ancient ruins, magnificent beaches, scenic hikes — take your pick or check out all of the above. July and August are the busiest months on the island, but there are also lots of early booking bonuses on package deals. Visit at the tail end of summer for the best deals. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Crete

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194 87

Why go: Key West beckons travelers year-round thanks to its relaxed atmosphere and unconventional residents, but frequent rain showers make summer the shoulder season for the 4-mile island. This means fewer crowds and lower than average room rates. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Key West

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167 98

Why go: One of the most popular beach spots in the mid-Atlantic, Ocean City, Maryland, offers affordable hotel room and rental home rates. Although summer is its busiest time of year, many restaurants and attractions offer coupons and discounts for beachgoers. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Ocean City

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