Summer is close and now is a great time to plan an affordable yet fabulous getaway. Nilou Motamed, Senior Editor at Travel + Leisure magazine came to "Good Morning American Weekend Edition," to dish on some of the most exotic international locations that will not cost you an arm or a leg.
1. Great Buddy Trip: Istria, Croatia
Rent a villa from Vintage Travel for as little as $595 per week (less than $100 a day). Use *vintagetravel.co.uk.
The Adriatic's largest peninsula is giving its more popular neighbor, Tuscany, a run for its money.
Rolling vineyards, mountain villages, Roman architecture, Italian-inspired cuisine.
"This is a great summer destination," said Motamed. "It's like the next Mediterranean. And it's so much more affordable than going to Italy or the south of France. And if you're into water, it's a great destination. Istria in particular is really beautiful. It has a flavor of Italy, and great food and atmosphere. You can get your own little villa with pool and everything for less than $100."
2. Great Country Escape: Galway, Ireland
On the west of Ireland, Galway has been gaining attention as a seaside retreat for Dubliners, as well as a gateway to Connemara.
Great mix of urban with easy access to the country (including the nearby Aran Islands).
An affordable option is the Radisson SAS (rooms from $180) *radissonhotelgalway.ie.
Eat at the Quay Street Restaurant & Bar, where the owner buys her seafood right off the boat.
"The beer is great, the oysters are great, and it's just stunningly beautiful," said Motamed. "It's a more traditional trip. You're going to have a very Irish experience. And the Radisson is very affordable."
3. Great Beach Vacation: Costa Rica
Stay at Sueno del Mar for $165 per night.
Try taking a canopy zip-line through the tropical forests and see a wide variety of animals in their natural environment.
Go mountain biking or white water rafting.
Lots of water sports.
Amazing sunsets from the beaches.
"This is a super, super eco, outdoorsy place," she said. "It's absolutely gorgeous. There's all your traditional beach activities and water activities, but there's also hiking and mountain biking and the zip line if you're feeling adventurous. It's really affordable. Once you get there, it's just so cheap. You're eating fish for $5. So for the affordable minded, this is the way to go."
4. Great Far-Flung City Getaway: Cape Town, South Africa
Stay at the new 12-room inn An African Villa (doubles from $116/night); or Daddy Long Legs (doubles from $65/night).
Cosmopolitan city with lots of great restaurants and many hip hotels.
Prime location on the ocean.
Visit the nearby winelands in Constantia outside the city.
"I think that Cape Town feels very exotic for people who don't know anything about it -- but it's actually a lot like California," Motamed said. "It's very cosmopolitan, great night life, great shopping. And it has fabulous wineries. And it's just shockingly beautiful. The vistas are just breathtaking. The villa is great -- so relaxing and so fun. And once you get there, it is really cheap. It won't cost you much."
5. Cheap Flights
"Oftentimes, the airfares are the bulk of your trip -- and depending on when you are going, you may not be able to get a great 'deal' on the flight," she said. "But you can be savvy when booking your trips."
Motamed said check out these two Web sites:
Kayak.com: This allows you to search the top 25 destinations in a given region (like Europe) from a specific airport.
Airfarewatchdog.com: Has a "fare of the day," usually a fare that seems too good to be true, as well as the "top 30 deals of the day."
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