Skip Rome and the French Riviera...
Think Lisbon and the Dalmation Coast instead. These destinations are just as nice but not as pricey or crowded as France and Italy in the summer.
You can get a three course meal in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, for less than 15 euros, which is about $20, said Anne Banas, executive editor at SmarterTravel.com, who was in Portugal last month. "For a major city, it's pretty affordable."
Have your heart set on a quiet countryside vacation? Head out to the Alentejo area of Portugal near the coast of Spain, where quaint 10-room inns average 80 euros or $108 and you'll find castles and Roman relics. Try finding a deal like that in Tuscany.
Bookings to Eastern European destinations are stronger than Western Europe, according to AAA. Travel volume to the Czech Republic and Poland are up 100% and to Hungary up 125%.