Paris is never a bad idea, but according to the data it’s an especially good idea in August. (Photo: Thinkstock)
If you’re planning to visit a popular destination such as Las Vegas or Paris this summer, value is everything – when to go, where to stay, and what to eat. To that end, TripAdvisor today released a summer vacation value report for the 10 cities getting the most interest.
Along with suggesting budget-friendly hotels and restaurants, and free attractions, the site predicts the least expensive week to visit. According to the data, August is the summer month to go exploring, unless you’re visiting Las Vegas or New York City.
“Travelers can find value toward the end of August, when prices tend to dip below their mid-summer peak,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor.
Here are the site’s estimated costs for visiting the top 10 summer destinations, by category:
Values are relative, of course: you’re going to spend less visiting Myrtle Beach than you will in Paris or London (though you can visit Europe for less these days).
The following are TripAdvisor’s estimates on when to visit each city, plus some value picks for lodgings, food, and attractions. The nightly hotel rates are what you’ll find on TripAdvisor over the summer:
No. 1: Las Vegas
Early June is best for a Vegas visit. (Photo: Thinkstock)
Least expensive summer week: June 1-7 ($1,833)
Value hotel: Desert Rose Resort ($128), which is off the Strip but includes a kitchen, so you don’t have to splurge on any buffets.
Value restaurant: The Grand Lux Café, where entrees go for $10-$15.
Free attraction: The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at Bellagio. You can stop and smell the flowers, but just don’t follow the sounds of the slot machines.
No. 2 Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Least expensive summer week: August 24-30: ($1,706)
Value hotel: Best Western Plus Grand Strand Inn & Suites ($163), which is the one of the top 10-reviewed Myrtle Beach hotels on the site.
Value restaurant: Get the dinner buffet at Simply Southern Smokehouse, which costs $10.
Free attraction: The Grand Strand, which comprises 60 miles of white beach (sunlight is free).
No. 3 Orlando, Fla.
(Courtesy: The Point Orlando Resort)
Least expensive summer week: August 17-23: ($1,556)
Value hotel: The Point Orlando Resort ($118), which has a shuttle bus to Disney World.
Value restaurant: Yellow Dog Eats, where entrees go for $9-$13.
Free attraction: Lake Eola Park. It’s not the Magic Kingdom, but they do have paddle boats.
No. 4: Cancun, Mexico
Least expensive summer week: August 24-30 ($1,729)
Value hotel: Mallorca Hotel & Suites ($89)
Value restaurant: Pik Nik, which serves Mexican fare with entrees at $5-$10.
Free attraction: Playa Delfines, an undeveloped beach
No. 5: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Least expensive summer week: August 24-30: $2,679
Value hotel: The MT Hotel ($94)
Value restaurant: Balicana, where entrees go for $8.50-$11
Free attraction: Bavaro Beach
No. 6: Paris
Luxembourg Gardens (Photo: Thinkstock)
Least expensive summer week: August 3-10: ($2,920, about $400 less than average for summer)
Value hotel: New Orient Hotel ($163)
Value restaurant: Au Forum, which serves French-Asian fusion with entrees worth $7.50-$12.
Free attraction: Luxembourg Gardens, one of the city’s finest parks where if you have to spend some money, you can bet on the kids’ sailboat races in the pond.
No. 7: New York City
Least expensive summer week: June 29-July 5 ($2,922)
Value hotel: Chelsea Lodge ($184, well below the city’s average rate of $304)
Value restaurant: Hummus Place, where entrees are $9-$14
Free attraction: The High Line, where you can walk for 1 ½ miles and get a lovely view of the city from above
No. 8: London
Least expensive summer week: August 17-23 ($3,732)
Value hotel: The Hide London ($157), a Certificate of Excellence winner on TripAdvisor near the Hendon Central tube station.
Value restaurant: Bunnychow, with snack-sized entrees at $6-$7.50
Free attraction: St. James’s Park
No. 9: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Least expensive summer week: August 24-30 ($1,789)
Value hotel: Luna Blue Hotel ($83)
Value restaurant: Kaxapa Factory, a top-rated Venezuelan eatery with entrees at $4.50-$5.50
Free attraction: Boca Paila
No. 10: Rome
Least expensive summer week: August 24-30 ($2,935)
Value hotel: Hotel Re di Roma ($92), conveniently located near the metro.
Value restaurant: NOI Nuova Osteria Italiana, with entrees ranging from $11-$16
Free attraction: Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, the world’s oldest papal basilica.