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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