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6 Summer Bargain Destinations

Summer’s here and the travelling’s easy. So book your time off, buy your tickets and pack your bags! We’ve got the lowdown on six hot vacation destinations that offer great summer values, no matter what your travel budget. Adventure. City living. Culture. It’s all here, so dig in and start planning.

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With a little research and our experts’ advice, you’ll be travelling on the cheap in no time!

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1. South Africa

Once turbulent, now trendy, South Africa has more to offer than just the 2010 World Cup. In fact, if you want to travel there, waiting out the soccer tournament is essential, since prices are currently at their peak, says John DiScala, the Los Angeles-based blogger behind

Any other year, summer’s the off-season and hotel and resort prices will reflect that. “It will be a bit rainy and chilly,” warns DiScala, but that’s fine if what you’re after is the great shopping and art, food and wine culture, and gorgeous landscape.


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2. Whistler, British Columbia

Summer’s high season in most of B.C., which means hotspots like surfing-safari town Tofino will cost top dollar to visit. If you’re looking to save, try snow-sports renowned Whistler instead. One current promo we found is Whistler Blackcomb’s “3rd night free” deal, which covers budget to high-end accommodations alike, if you book by June 30, 2010.

What can you do in Whistler in the summer?

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3. The Middle East

“Summer’s the off-season: it’s way too hot,” for many travelers, says DiScala. How hot? Expect average daytime temperatures of 35°C in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; 35°C and higher in Cairo, Egypt; and up to 40°C in Tel Aviv, Israel.

But if you’re healthy and willing to limit active excursions to the cooler morning or evening hours, the heat isn’t insurmountable. And if you park yourself on a beach-Tel Aviv, for example, is a surfing and beautiful-people-watching hotspot-you should be good as gold. Just pack a hat and high-SPF sunblock.


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4. Cottage Country, Canada

Even if you didn’t luck into a family cottage, you can still plan a cottage getaway. With a plethora of websites dedicated to rentals, complete with photos and, often, user reviews, finding a vacation home isn’t a terribly risky proposition. Try websites like Cottages in Canada and Cottage Link.

Rentals run from a few hundred dollars a week for bare-bones huts lacking running water and electricity, to the thousands for a lakeside mansion, but all these options will generally save you money compared to a long-haul getaway.

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5. The Caribbean, Mexico and Florida

The Caribbean, Mexico and US Gulf Coast, says DiScala, have great deals during hurricane season. Though hurricanes are a real danger in these regions, severe weather fronts are more likely from late-August to December, so booking a July vacation in hurricane hot spots like Grand Cayman, the Bahamas, Cancun, and parts of Florida like Delray Beach, Hollywood and Boca Raton can yield substantial savings without taking a significant risk. It’s a gorgeous time of year to visit if you like heat.

TIP: Research trip insurance options. Although insurance will bring up the overall cost of our trip, it will give you peace of mind.

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6. Northern Territory, Australia

Canada’s summer is Australia’s winter. If you’re a skier or snowboarder, get yourself over to New South Wales, Victoria or Tasmania already! Summer vacations in Australia mean cheaper, low season deals to Oz-including opportunities to visit the gorgeous Northern Territory.

If you’re looking for heat, head to Darwin, Northern Territory’s state capital, where the tropical winter averages between 20°C and 30°C. Darwin is the gateway to Kakadu National Park in the aboriginal territory of Arnhem Land. This area of Australia is both intensely rich in biological diversity, ancient aboriginal rock art, and world-class hiking, fishing and cultural adventure. For a slightly cooler desert climate, fly into Alice Springs and go on an outback adventure tour in the Red Centre area, where you can view mind-boggling limestone cliff formations and sleep under the stars.

Qantas Airways offers the discount Aussie AirPass so you can hop the nation without breaking the bank.