7 summer trips...that won't break the bank
Paris and Italy are nice. But you don't need thousands of euros for a memorable summer holiday.
By Donna Rosato, MONEY Magazine staff writer

NEW YORK (MONEY) - Summer time means vacation time for most people. But planning your getaway is anything but relaxing this year as the cost of vacationing skyrockets.

With gas prices expected to hover over $3 a gallon and prices for airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars surging, finding bargains is a challenge, especially for families.

Cheap and fantastic
These seven travel destinations will blow your mind - without breaking the bank.
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You're not just imagining the sticker shock. The price of a vacation is 5.4 percent higher this year than last summer, according to AAA's Annual Vacation Costs survey. That means a family of two adults and two children can expect to pay an average $261 a day for food and lodging.

And American Express forecasts that domestic airfares will rise 5 percent to 8 percent while hotel room rates will be up 3 percent to 5 percent this year.

But you don't have to deplete your bank account if you want to take a summer break. While super-cheap deals are scarcer this year, they're not impossible to find if you know where to look.

"Even though prices are going up, you can still find good values if you pick a destination a bit off the beaten track," says Barbara Messing, vice president of customer experience at discount travel site Hotwire.

Here are 7 vacation destinations in the U.S. and abroad where you can stretch your vacation dollars this summer.

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.