By Cameron Huddleston, Kiplinger Consumer News Service
11:41 AM PDT, May 20, 2011
Finding travel bargains this summer may be a little harder. Airfares are expected to rise 15 percent, to $561 on average, from $485 last summer, according to Bing Travel, a website that predicts fares. And hotel costs are expected to rise 7 percent, to $242 a night on average, from $227 in 2010.
But you still can find deals if you travel at the right time and to the right spots, and book flights as soon as possible, according to the Bing Travel summer forecast.
When to travel: The cheapest week to travel will be May 30 to June 5, when airfares will average $518 for a round trip, according to the Bing forecast. The priciest week will be June 27 to July 3, when airfares will average about $595.
Where to travel: Orlando, Fla., will be among the cheapest destinations, with round-trip airfare averaging $300 and hotel prices averaging $107 per night. You'll also find deals on flights to Boston and Denver. Las Vegas has some of the lowest rates on three-star accommodations, and you also can find deals in Miami and San Diego. Traveling overseas this summer will be more expensive, with the airfare averaging $1,250, up from $1,100 last summer.
When to book: Book flights as soon as possible. "Travelers who are planning to wait out the rising fares in hopes of finding a deal will likely be disappointed," said Krista Pappas, global travel industry director at Bing.
As for accommodations, consider a vacation rental home. Renting can be cheaper than a hotel room. Check HomeAway.com or VRBO.com.
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