Top 5 bargain summer travel spots for 2011

Get out of the country without spending a fortune

Author: Rebecca Kelley, Contributing writer
Published: Jun 17 2011 02:45:17 AM EDT   Updated On: Jun 24 2011 02:47:17 AM EDT
U.S. passport and money.jpg

Given the economy, many people are wondering whether they can afford to travel outside the United States in 2011.

However, those who explore the world as a way of life will find a way to cut costs to keep traveling. Rest assured there are still some travel destinations that are very affordable.

In fact, some countries are doing all they can to attract travelers to boost their tourism this summer and their prices for hotels, transportation and restaurants reflect that effort.

The following five travel destinations are both exciting and affordable and you can expect to save money getting there and once you arrive. So if you are tired of hearing about everyone else's exotic adventures, go ahead and plan your own getaway.

In need of a little luck?

Dublin, Ireland, street market

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is more than 1,000 years old and for that reason has a wide variety of attractions to explore that include museums and historic buildings.

Exchange rates have improved by 7 percent compared to last year and the lodging prices are some of the lowest in Western Europe. In other words, if you want to stay at a luxury three- or four-star hotel, it's affordable. A one-night stay at "The Burlington Hotel," a four-star hotel that is located in the heart of the action, is just $115 a night.

There are plenty of cheap eating houses encompassing all nationalities of food that can be found around the city centre. Summer events such as the Dublin City Soul Festival, Bloom in the Park and the Dublin Writers Festival 2011 are just a few of the events this summer.

For more information about Dublin, visit the Dublin Tourism website.

Where can you find luxury on the cheap?

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Visitors to Portugal will find that luxury comes cheapest in Lisbon. What's also nice about the Iberian Peninsula is how easy it is to escape the crowds by taking a short bus ride or walk across the countryside to reveal rarely visited places.

Five-star hotels average around $160 a night and shopping in Lisbon offers an abundance of beautiful treasures from Asia such as porcelain, silks, rare gems and silks. Lisbon is also a major European hub and for that reason flights are competitively priced.

The Lisbon Oceanarium is the largest in Europe that offers visitors a unique and enchanting experience. Fairytale palaces with sandy beaches nearby make this destination a place to relax and enjoy long dinners to soak up everything Lisbon has to offer.

For more information about the events in Lisbon this summer, visit GoLisbon.com.

Looking for a beach adventure?

Sri Lanka beach

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is shaped like a giant teardrop falling from the southern tip of the vast Indian subcontinent. Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, it is a great place for beach lovers.

This year the island of Sri Lanka launched a goal to attract 2.5 million visitors between now and 2016. Its tourism department has even declared 2011 "Visit Sri Lanka Year."

If you like adventure, take an elephant safari or book a tour with an English-speaking tour guide.

Hotels are beautiful and very inexpensive, with most rates lower than $100 per night. Restaurants are running all sorts of promotions this summer, including 50 percent off wine. Couples can also find sundown cocktails and tables for two in exotic surroundings on the beach or in the jungle.

To find beautiful accommodations with budget prices, visit HotelTravel.com.

Want something a bit closer to home?

Cascade Mountain, Banff, Alberta, Canada

Banff, Alberta, Canada

It is the massive Alberta Rockies that bring tourists to Banff year after year. However, this year Alberta is motivated to attract more tourism since there has been a 6.5 percent drop in visitors over the last few years due to the world's economic climate.

Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle in the heart of Banff National Park, the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is offering reduced rates this summer. A room that normally costs $353 is now $265 a night.

Take the Banff Gondola ride for a spectacular view of the Banff National Park. Entrance into the National park is inexpensive at just about $10 for each adult. There are lots of specialty shops in the alpine village of Banff such as the "Bear and the Butterfly" a wonderful shop devoted to the Banff National park.

For more information about Banff visit, Banff.com.

Looking for a vacation on ice?

Dettifoss waterfall, Iceland

Iceland

Iceland is a breathtakingly beautiful island that is extremely affordable since its economic crash in 2008. A hotel that used to cost $200 a night is now $130.

There are hundreds of natural wonders to see, such as the Dettifoss, the largest waterfall in Europe, and The Great Geysir, Europe's most powerful gusher and the very source of the English word geyser.

The best way to see Iceland is to go by car and head out on the Ring Road to see sparkling crystal lakes, jagged seaside cliffs, black sand beaches, sheep and horses grazing by the road and hundreds of waterfalls.

The "Big Fish Day at Dalvik" is the second weekend in August. Fish producers and others invite guests to a free seafood buffet at the harbor in Dalvik while enjoying free entertainment at the harbor.

To get more information about Iceland, click on VisitIceland.com.

Distributed by Internet Broadcasting. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.