Bahamas Makes Top Bargain Summer Destinations List

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Summer may be Myrtle Beach's busy season, but with expanded air service, a new boardwalk and free events, it can also be a time to find affordable fun.     
Enlarge image Enlarge     By Steve Jessmore, AP
Summer may be Myrtle Beach's busy season, but with expanded air service, a new boardwalk and free events, it can also be a time to find affordable fun.
By Christine Sarkis, SmarterTravel.com
Summer means vacation, but it's also the season of high prices and big crowds. Choose wisely and shop smart, though, and you'll be able to take advantage of deals and discounts that put even popular destinations on the budget travel radar.

I've monitored trends, industry news, and sale patterns to point you in the direction of places that offer the best bargain value for the coming season. Below you'll find examples of deals presently available for summer trips. Like all deals, these are sure to expire; however, a little research on your part can yield similar results when you're ready to book.

1. California

2. Bahamas

New flights and free flights, nights, and cruises, along with air credit promotions put the Bahamas on the bargain destination map this season. Keep in mind that summer (especially late summer) is hurricane season in the Caribbean, so when you're researching and booking, check hotel and airline hurricane policies, and look into travel insurance.

The Bahamas will get new air service just in time for summer: On June 13, Delta will launch flights on Wednesdays and Sundays between Atlanta and The Exumas, with fares starting from $129 each way.

Package promotions offer a variety of ways to save. With the Fridays Free in the Bahamas promotion, book four or more nights and get your Friday stay free, plus receive daily breakfast and a Friday welcome cocktail. The offer is good through September 30 at participating hotels on Nassau, Grand Bahama Island, The Abacos, and The Exumas. Discovery Cruise Line's Book Three Cruise Free deal offers a round-trip day cruise ferry service from Ft. Lauderdale with a three-night resort booking. And you can get free companion airfare on packages booked via The Out Islands of the Bahamas website by May 10 for stays through December 22.

There are also air credits up to $400 available on four-night vacation package bookings made for summer and fall stays at participating resorts.

3. Quebec City

4. Myrtle Beach

5. Ireland

Source: SmarterTravel.com