Not everyone is excited about the sweltering heat of the summer sun. If you’re looking for a vacation destination to cool down this summer, we’ve got you covered. Plus, we’re going to highlight the cheap flights we’ve found to get you there.
Sometimes a pool or an ocean just won’t do it for you during the summer. This is especially true if you live in the sunbelt. It’s time to beat the heat. Even in the US, offices tend to slow down during the summer months, so it’s the perfect time to pack up and travel.
Cool summer vacations can be made even cheaper by taking advantage of attractive bonus points and miles offered by our two favorite travel credit cards; Capital One Venture X Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. With some of travel picks, your entire vacation could be covered once you have earned the bonus points or miles spending requirement.
Spoiler Alert: Most of our destination picks include the mountains.
- Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada / Glacier National Park (Montana)
- Asheville, NC
- Denver, CO
- Seattle, WA
- Interlaken, Switzerland
Waterton Lakes National Park & Glacier National Park
Did you know that there are two amazing national parks separated by the US/Canadian border? The busy season for both parks begins in June and goes through the end of August. If you travel in June, flights are considerably cheaper (and the weather is still very cool). Peaks at both parks will still have snow melting.
Waterton Lakes National Park is located a couple of hours away from Calgary (YYC). This is where you will want to fly into if you’re coming from the US. Flights are nearly half the price of flying into Montana during this time of year. Start your journey in Canada, enjoy Waterton Lakes National Park, and then make your way across the border for Glacier National Park in Montana.
You will want to rent a car (we recommend 4×4/AWD options if you travel in June) and of course, pack your passport.
Booking a hotel in Waterton gives you access to Waterton Lake, restaurants, shops, and plenty of outdoor activities. Taking a boat tour on Waterton Lake is popular, and worth it. The boat takes you down to the US/Canadian border.
You can spend a couple of days here, then it’s off to your next adventure; Glacier National Park.
Glaciar National Park is full of activities, miles of hiking trails for all abilities, and plenty of wildlife to see. The park is large enough to spend a week or two exploring all it has to offer.
Flights: We found Atlanta to Calgary tickets ranging from $275 to +$350 throughout the summer.
Visit Asheville, NC This Summer
Asheville, NC is a must-visit destination for travelers who crave breathtaking views, unique experiences, and a dash of southern charm. And with summer just around the corner, there’s no better time to plan an adventure in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While it’s easy to get caught up in the splendor of Asheville’s luxurious resorts and high-end eateries, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the city without breaking the bank.
For those looking to explore the great outdoors, Asheville offers a wealth of hiking trails, scenic drives, and picnic spots that won’t cost you a dime. The Blue Ridge Parkway, just minutes from downtown, is a must-see destination that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. And if you’re up for a hike, the nearby Pisgah National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park boast miles of trails that are perfect for a day trip.
When it comes to affordable dining options, Asheville is home to a thriving food scene that caters to every budget. From food trucks to farm-to-table restaurants, you’ll find something to satisfy your taste buds without breaking the bank. And with local breweries and wineries offering tastings and tours, you can sample the best of Asheville’s libations without overspending.
For budget-conscious travelers, Asheville also offers plenty of affordable lodging options. From cozy bed and breakfasts to budget-friendly hotels and vacation rentals, you’ll find accommodations that fit your needs and your budget. And with a little research, you can find great deals on local attractions and activities, making your Asheville adventure both memorable and affordable. So pack your bags, grab your hiking boots, and get ready to discover the beauty of Asheville without breaking the bank.
Flights: We found Fort Myers to Asheville flights ranging from $275 to +$350 during the summer months.
Many surrounding state visitors can skip the flight and enjoy the scenic drive.
Go West, Explore Denver
Looking for an affordable way to explore the Wild West? Look no further than Denver, Colorado. With its soaring mountains, vibrant arts scene, and delicious cuisine, Denver is the perfect destination for travelers on a budget. And with summertime temperatures averaging in the 80s, you’ll be able to soak up all the sunshine you can handle.
When it comes to lodging, Denver offers plenty of options that won’t break the bank. From charming bed and breakfasts to sleek boutique hotels, you’re sure to find something that fits your style and budget. Consider staying in one of the city’s many neighborhoods, like the trendy RiNo Arts District or the historic Baker district, where you can find great deals on accommodations.
Of course, no trip to Denver is complete without exploring the great outdoors. The city is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, so you’ll have easy access to some of the country’s most stunning natural wonders. Take a hike in nearby Rocky Mountain National Park or go whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River. And if you’re feeling adventurous, consider taking a hot air balloon ride to take in the breathtaking views from above.
Finally, don’t forget to indulge in Denver’s thriving food and drink scene. From craft breweries to farm-to-table restaurants, the city has something for every palate. And with many establishments offering happy hour specials and other deals, you can indulge in all of Denver’s culinary delights without breaking the bank.
Flights: We found Dallas to Denver flights ranging from $110 to +$170 throughout the summer. Atlanta area travelers can save even more with flights starting around $90.
See the Sights of the Pacific Northwest – Seattle
If you’re looking for an affordable getaway to the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is the perfect destination. With its bustling waterfront, vibrant music scene, and world-renowned coffee culture, Seattle has something for everyone. And with average temperatures in the 70s during the summer months, you’ll be able to explore the city in comfort.
One of the best ways to experience Seattle on a budget is by staying in a neighborhood outside of the downtown area. Consider the funky Fremont neighborhood, home to the famous Fremont Troll statue and a lively arts and culture scene. Or head to the nearby Ballard neighborhood, which offers easy access to the Ballard Locks and a plethora of seafood restaurants.
Seattle is also known for its abundant green spaces and stunning natural beauty. Take a hike in nearby Mount Rainier National Park or explore the city’s many parks, like Gas Works Park, with its sweeping views of Lake Union. And if you’re looking for a truly unique experience, consider taking a ferry ride to one of the nearby islands, like Bainbridge or Vashon.
Finally, no trip to Seattle would be complete without sampling some of the city’s famous coffee. Skip the pricey chain coffee shops and instead head to one of the city’s many independent cafes, like the beloved Victrola Coffee Roasters. And for a taste of Seattle’s thriving food scene, be sure to check out one of the city’s many food trucks, which offer a variety of delicious and affordable eats.
Flights: Fares to Seattle from Atlanta this summer will cost ~$190 to +$400.
Adventure Awaits in Interlaken this Summer
Interlaken, Switzerland, is the perfect destination for those looking for a budget-friendly trip to the Alps. With its stunning mountain views, crystal-clear lakes, and charming Alpine villages, Interlaken offers a wealth of outdoor activities and cultural experiences. And with average temperatures in the 70s during the summer months, you’ll be able to explore the region in comfort.
One of the best ways to experience Interlaken on a budget is by staying in one of the many hostels or guesthouses in the area. These accommodations offer affordable rates and a chance to meet fellow travelers from around the world. And with many located in scenic locations, like the village of Lauterbrunnen, you’ll have easy access to some of the region’s most stunning natural beauty.
Interlaken is known for its abundant outdoor activities, from hiking and mountain biking to paragliding and whitewater rafting. Consider taking a cable car up to the Schilthorn peak, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Or take a dip in one of the region’s many lakes, like Lake Brienz or Lake Thun, which are known for their clear, turquoise waters.
Finally, don’t forget to sample some of the region’s famous cuisine, like raclette or fondue, which are perfect for a cozy evening after a day of exploring. And for an affordable way to see the region, consider purchasing a Swiss Travel Pass, which offers unlimited travel on trains, buses, and boats throughout Switzerland. A Eurail pass might be a better fit if you plan on exploring more of Europe during your vacation.
Flights: You will need to take a (very scenic) train no matter where you fly into, but Milan (Italy) has some of the most affordable options for arrivals. Flights from Atlanta start at $750 and train passes are around $250.
Pack Up, It’s Time for an Adventure
Start packing, set your flight trackers to grab the cheapest airfare, and get excited for your cool weather summer vacation. Do you have more questions about using a travel rewards card to cover your travel costs? Learn more about maximizing your rewards to travel for less.