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Popular summer vacation spots likely to be crowded and expensive

The best advice is to plan ahead to get the best prices.

TAMPA, Fla. — Now that schools out, let the summer vacations begin. 

With so many people vaccinated and restrictions loosened, many of you are ready to travel. But, if you're hitting the road this summer, be prepared to put a dent in your wallet! Be prepared, wherever you go, whether you fly or drive, it's likely to cost more and be more crowded than you expect. 

"My biggest piece of advice I've been telling people is not to wait for those last-minute deals. They are just not going to be there this summer. In fact, we're seeing prices across the board: airfare, hotel, car rentals, are continuing to go up to meet the demand that we're seeing out there right now, " travel expert Jeannene Tornatore said. 

She says it's more important than ever to have solid reservations and a good plan than to try and save money.

RELATED: How to work around the pandemic rental car shortage

Since many airlines are adding flights to more destinations, consider destinations that we normally go to in the winter.  

"Even to some of these smaller destinations, places like here in Colorado, Vail, Aspen, Crested Butte. They're adding more direct flights to these because they're seeing there is a great demand still for those outdoor spaces."

Places like that are adding attractions like bike trails and museums to try and appeal to all different crowds.  

"The fact is that while we're starting to get out of the woods with the pandemic, the data shows that people are still really looking for these outdoor wide open spaces this summer."

Many state and national parks are filling up before noon. Planning ahead and knowing what to expect can really help you navigate the crowds. One more helpful tip, once you decide where you're going, follow those places on social media and use hashtags. You'll see what real people are posting and saying and it can show you what to really expect.

RELATED: What to know to save money on your long-awaited summer trips

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