Tips on Taking an Affordable Summer Vacation

Tips for dealing with high travel costs
  • Consider a road trip this summer. It's often times much cheaper to drive than to fly and with special offers online (Expedia is offering a $50 gas card with hotel bookings) you can really save!
  • Consider short flights to nearby destinations... there are a lot of low cost carriers out there offering great deals right now.
  • Choose a destination that is in its off season during the summer so hotel prices remain low. Plus, look for hotels that are condominium style that offer kitchens -- you can load the refrigerator with snacks and even cook a meal together as a family in the comfort of your own hotel -- big savings!
  • To keep costs down this summer, book summer vacation travel packages online which include hotels, cars, flights, etc. Travelers on average, save around $220 doing this.
  • You can make a vacation this summer work for the budget that is just right for you and your family just by doing a little homework. If you book on Expedia right now you can take advantage of their Summer of Adventure Sale, which is currently offering up to 30% off hotels, cars, cruises and activities in more than 220 destinations worldwide.
Trip recommendations from Chicago

  • Right on the shores of Lake Michigan, Harbor Country is being cited as Chicago's "Hamptons" (drive to the region is just under 2 hours)
  • Hit the beach, hike or bike on one of the many outback trails, take the kids to one of the abundant "u-pick" farms featuring fresh strawberries, blueberries or sun-ripened veggies
  • Relax and enjoy the fresh air of this "off the beaten path" summer destination
  • Nearby Benton Harbor features the "Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail" featuring 11 wineries
  • Take a day trip to nearby Kalamazoo (about an hour) and visit the famed Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum
  • Another great day trip is to Dearborn, where you can visit the largest indoor/outdoor museum in the US, spread over 90 acres -- Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum -- housing tons of inventions and Americana, also take in the IMAX movie
  • Hotels start at about $100/night
Destination #2 -- LOUISVILLE, KY
  • This unlikely destination is only a four-and-a-half hour drive from Chicago, but has tons to do for both adults and families
  • Home of the Kentucky Derby, visit the Racetrack at Churchill Downs or the Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Known for its vast array of museums, baseball fans will enjoy the Louisville Slugger Museum and music fans can stop in at the Bluegrass Museum
  • Adults can't miss the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a tour of all of Louisville's finest bourbon distilleries -- or take a stroll through the lush Botanical Gardens.
  • Hotels start at $110/night
Destination #3 -- PHOENIX, AZ
  • If you don't mind the heat, Phoenix is a great couple or family destination with incredibly low off-season rates (a quick 2 and a half hour flight from Chicago)
  • Nearby Scottsdale is the perfect destination for total relaxation -- featuring some of the best spa resorts and award-winning golf courses around
  • Many hotels include shuttles to nearby shopping areas
  • Hotel recommendation: stay at the 3-star Hotel Scottsdale
  • Rates in the summer are as low as $56/night
  • Total package with airfare - $395pp for air + four nights
Destination #4 -- SAN ANTONIO, TX
  • Also a quick flight from Chicago, San Antonio is great for families wanting to experience some culture and history without paying the price of going to a foreign country
  • Visit the historic Alamo or meander the San Antonio River Walk, which takes historic turns through this cosmopolitan city
  • Take the kids to Six Flags theme park or San Antonio's own Sea World
  • Hotel recommendation: stay in the heart of it all at the Radisson Hotel San Antonio Market Square
  • Rates in the summer are only $106/night
  • Total package with airfare - $429pp for air + four nights
  • If you want to get out of the country this summer, visit Mexico's newest hot spot -- Riviera Nayarit on the Pacific Coast of Mexico
  • Cited as Mexico's newest hotspot, this area is outside of the hurricane belt and boasts great off-season deals
  • This area is to the north of Puerto Vallarta in the new Nuevo Vallarta area -- featuring smaller crowds and remote swimmable beaches
  • Hotel recommendation -- stay at the 3.5 star Samba Vallarta All-Inclusive Hotel
  • Features an oceanfront location, sandy beach and tons of family activities including a kid's fun club
  • This stay is an unbeatable price of only $156/night per person, but includes all food, drink and activities once you are there
  • Total package with airfare -- only $644pp for air + four nights stay, including all food, drink and activities
For more information call 1-800-EXPEDIA or visit

Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.