Vacationing in Europe can be a bargain for U.S. travelers, particularly in countries which use the Euro
Bargain hunting for summer travel
Get advice from the experts
Editor's note: This is the third in a five-part series for National Tourism Week
(CNN) -- As the weather heats up in the northern hemisphere, so does the search for vacation savings. One place teeming with ideas is the Internet.
"Consumers looking for a good deal this summer should really go to the Web," advises Dana Dickey of Conde Nast Traveler. "You can get lots of package deals you might otherwise not know about."
She recommends travelscape.com and iExplore.com as valuable resources for vacation packages.
Web sites including Travelocity offer special negotiated airfares
Check out Travelocity and Expedia.com for special negotiated airfares, says Tom Parsons, editor of Bestfares.com. The airlines' competition is the passenger's gain, he adds.
"Places you think could be unaffordable are becoming affordable because the major airlines are in such an intense battle today to get market share," Parsons says.
"There's a site called smarterLiving.com, which will send you an e-mail notice each and every week with discounted airfares."
| NATIONAL TOURISM WEEK|
If you've already chosen your destination, check with local tourism offices to find the best deals. They often provide coupons for attractions and lodging, and most have Web sites where you can do pre-trip research.
The Washington Convention & Visitors Authority, for example, can alert you to free events and activities in the nation's capital this summer, says Bob Diener of Hotel Discounts.
Being flexible helps, too.
"If you're looking for a summertime deal, you might want to consider going to a warm place, where you otherwise might not think to go," Dickey says. "For example, you can get great rates to the Caribbean and to (Miami's) South Beach this summer."
Los Angeles also is eager to please summer vacationers. It's offering visitors a Hollywood CityPass, a one-price ticket to eight attractions connected to the movie industry. The pass, which is good for nine days, runs about $50 for adults, and $38 for children.
The National Park Service allows you to visit as many as parks in a year as you want, for just $50 per vehicle
Looking for a good deal in the great outdoors? The National Park Service is answering the call of the wild with a Parks Pass. A $50-per-vehicle pass allows you to enter any of the country's parks for a year.
It's especially practical if you plan to visit a few of the most popular parks -- Yellowstone, Yosemite or the Grand Canyon -- where the $20 entrance fee is good for a week.
This summer, European holidays can be a bargain for U.S. travelers, especially in 11 countries now using the weakened euro.
"You can get up to 20 percent more," says Nathan Lump of Travel & Leisure Magazine. "Indeed, throughout Europe, the dollar is strong."
But if there's one piece of bargain-hunting advice to walk -- or cruise -- away with, Diener says, it's this: "Don't pay the first price."
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