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Tips for vacationing on a budget this summer

Getting away from it all is likely to cost you big time this summer.

According to a recent American Express study, the demand for travel is high, as three in four Americans are planning a summer getaway.

That's up from 59 percent just two years ago, and the travel industry is responding. Over the Fourth of July weekend, Travelocity found that the average domestic roundtrip airfare rose 3.6 percent to $402 while the average hotel rate jumped 8 percent to $171 a night compared to last year.

But Travel + Leisure Magazine's International Editor Mark Orwoll says it's not too late to score a last-minute vacation deal.

"You know that If you can be a little bit flexible, you can get better airfares," Orwoll explained. "There's a website called Adioso that uses what it calls human language. You don't just have to put in dates and destinations. You can say Europe sometime in the fall for 10 days, and it will give you all of the options often at rock bottom airfares."

What about hotels? Orwoll says there's an app for that called Hotel Tonight. "They will get you rates of half off, even 60% off, because the hotel owners are scared to death of having an empty room overnight. That's lost revenue they'll never recoup."

A few other tricks Orwoll suggests are using Priceline.com's Name Your Own Price feature when reserving rental cars and checking out CruiseCritic.com's price drop alerts when searching for affordable cruises.

The destination you choose is also important to securing great deals. With 70 percent of Americans planning to travel within the U.S., Orwoll advises to look at the major cities like New York, Los Angeles and Orlando for the best bargains. "Competition is the traveler's friend so you want to look for places where the airports have the most airlines and the most flights, and the cities that have the most hotel rooms."


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