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Saving Money At 2 Of Summer's Hottest Destinations

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According to a recent press release by Orbitz, 77 percent of Americans have summer travel plans. This same release stated that consumers are upping their budgets by more that 50 percent that the summer before. July has the highest amount planned travel, followed by August and then June.

Using this data, consumers should try and plan vacations accordingly based on demand and timing. Having flexible dates and thinking about mid-week travel may be a way to get more bang for your buck: Hotels sometimes run special mid-week specials and airfares have a history of offering lower fares departing and returning mid-week.

Among the destinations that Orbitz predicts will be most popular this summer are Las Vegas and Orlando. A couple of these strategies can make your trip to either a bit more affordable.

The heat of summer is a great opportunity to take advantage of deals and steals in Las Vegas. Most of the hotels there offer discounted rooms and often there are special packages that may include show tickets or a meal voucher. Check out online travel agencies like Expedia.com or Travelocity.com for travel deals that include air, hotel and perks including cocktails and shows.

Even though the heat is a factor in the summer, there are plenty of pools where you can relax and lounge. There's also the Las Vegas Monorail that is a convenient alternative to walking in the stifling heat. Most major airport hubs offer direct flights and there's a special summer-travel website to help with the trip-planning process this season.

With kids in tow, think Orlando, which recently announced that it welcomed more than 55 million visitors in 2011, the most of any city in the country. Orlando is offering visitors more reasons than ever to pack their bags this summer. New adventures and experiences include rides, parades and attractions, and sun-drenched Orlando offers a range of accommodations from budget-friendly hotels to posh resorts.

At Walt Disney World Resort, the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland is doubling in size. Phase one is already open and includes classic attractions plus the new Storybook Circus area with dueling Dumbo attractions, the Great Goofini Coaster and interactive role-play adventure games where young guests become apprentice sorcerers to help battle an army of Disney Villains. Universal's Island of Adventures treats visitors to enhancements to The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman that transform the attraction into a cutting-edge experience with the addition of new animation and crystal-clear visuals. Universal Orlando Resort also adds Superstar Parade at Universal Studios Florida, an all-new daily parade featuring larger-than-life floats, beloved characters and hundreds of energetic street performers.

SeaWorld Orlando now boasts TurtleTrek, which invites guests to visit two new naturalistic habitats teeming with hundreds of freshwater fish, more than 1,500 saltwater fish and more than a dozen sea turtles. What follows is a first-of-its-kind 3-D, 360-degree dome theater film immersing viewers in the inspirational underwater journey of a sea turtle.

Visit www.visitorlando.com for planning tips, to book travel and to learn about seasonal specials and events.