10 summer vacation spots that won't break the bank

It’s not too early to start booking flights for summer, especially if you’ll be traveling early in the season; for others, it’s a good time to see what prices are like, which can be of big help in finding the perfect destination.

This list is loaded with wonderful cities in scenic regions and all boast plenty of fun things to do. Even better, most of these destinations can be downright cheap.

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Each of these 10 summer vacation destinations include sample, round-trip airfare prices that were found late last week on an airfare comparison site for travel in June. But beware: You could pay more or less, depending on where your departure city is, and which days you want to fly.

Boston

cape cod istock

Cape Cod  (iStock)

A fun city as well as the gateway to all New England. Make it a fly-and-drive vacation; rent a car at the airport then head to the mansions of Newport, R.I., or up the rocky coast of Maine. Or take a shorter drive to the pretty beaches of Cape Cod.

Sample fare: Chicago to Boston, $119

Denver

denver mountain istock

Rocky Mountain National Park  (iStock)

Take a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park to hike amidst incredible beauty; head back to town and enjoy a bowl of Colorado chili at one of the many hot brewpubs.

Sample fare: New York to Denver, $208

Seattle

seattle istock

Seattle  (iStock)

Admire the view from the Space Needle, grab some delicious seafood at Pike Place Market, and hop on a boat for whale watching in the Puget Sound.

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Sample fare: Los Angeles to Seattle, $129

Fort Lauderdale and Miami

Looking down South Beach in Miami. Full view of the beach on the left and the city on the right. Beautiful blue sky on a clear day.

Miami Beach  (iStock)

We pair these south Florida cities since the airports are only about 25 miles apart. Always compare fares to both, because one can be a much better deal than the other from your town, and what’s better than a warm, beautiful, cheap beach?

Sample fares: New York to Miami, $168; Detroit to Fort Lauderdale, $136

Cancun

cancun istock

Cancun  (iStock)

We’ve been seeing lots of good fares in recent months to this popular Mexican resort city, and prices look at though they’ll stay reasonable even during peak season.

Sample fare: Atlanta to Cancun, $284

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik istock

Reykjavik  (iStock)

Thanks to discount carriers like Wow Air and Icelandic, this once seemingly remote region is now a wildly popular destination. Visit an ice cave, take a dip in a hot pool, enjoy the dazzling nightlife and the breathtaking scenery, then return in winter to try and catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Sample fare: Pittsburgh to Reykjavik, $310

Amsterdam

Amsterdam  (iStock)

This charming city, with its elaborate canals and narrow, gabled homes from the 17th century, is filled with art – don’t miss the Van Gogh Museum or the Rembrandts at the Rijksmuseum – and don’t miss the city’s wonderful restaurants and bars. Want to explore more of Europe? Take a cheap regional airline from Amsterdam or hop on a train.

Sample fare: Miami to Amsterdam, $479

London

LondonIstock

London  (iStock)

This city really does have something for everyone from ancient castles to trendy shopping, from Westminster Abbey to the London Eye. Enjoy.

Sample fare: Seattle to London, $459

Paris

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Paris  (iStock)

The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées and all those irresistible sidewalk cafes. What more do you need to know?

Sample fare: New York to Paris, $390

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OK, so how do you find the best deal to these destinations from your city? Try using a deal-finding tool that searches out best prices by month or season (FareCompare has such a tool, but there are others). Another way is to avoid the height of the season (and the height of the airfare prices) by vacationing by mid-June or in early September.

Rick Seaney is an airline travel expert and the co-founder of FareCompare.com, an airfare comparison shopping site