If you're the type who wonders how much your next-door neighbors (let's call them the Jones family) are paying for their fabulous summer vacation, it's very likely somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,180. Per person.
It may sound like a lot (especially when multiplied by three, four, five or more), but according to a summer travel survey conducted by American Express, that's the average amount, per person, respondents expect to spend on a summer getaway in 2012.
So low much vacation does $1,180 buy anyway? Certainly, it depends on a number of factors: If you're flying to your destination, that's going to take up a large chunk of the money. If you decide to travel over a holiday, like July 4, you can expect to pay more than other weeks. But an $1,180 per person travel budget does get a person pretty far (literally and figuratively) this summer. Here, a few still-bookable vacation options coming in at a lower per-person price than the average.
Coming in at $81 under the limit, this Playa del Carmen vacation from Living Social Escapes includes both airfare from Philadelphia or Baltimore (other airports at an additional charge) and a four-night stay at the all-inclusive, adults only Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun. Because it's an all-inclusive resort, that means all meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, non-motorized water sports, evening entertainment and gratuities are included. In other words, put your wallet away. Airport transfers are also included. Book by June 12, 2012.
Hawaii's on the bucket list of nearly every traveler, but if you're only going to get there once, chances are you want to see as much as possible. This six-night vacation from BeachDestinations.com includes airfare from the continental U.S., three nights' hotel accommodations on each island and the flight between the islands. The quoted price is for Los Angeles; other origination cities may be extra. There are 62 hotels to pick from on Oahu and 25 choices on Kauai.
The $925 per person price point is for the adults; kids are $805 per person based on a family of four sharing an inside stateroom on the Disney Dream. The lowest price was found on two sailings: Aug.19 and Aug. 24. Both itineraries are five-night Bahamas cruises out of Port Canaveral, Florida. The cruise includes all meals and lots of entertainment, but shore excursions and alcoholic beverages are extra. Even if you have to fly to Orlando (the nearest airport), you should still be able to come out under the $1,180 price point per person. Disney Cruise Line provides free transportation from the airport to the ship, so no need to pay for a rental car or taxi. Read our coverage of the Dream's sister ship, the Disney Fantasy.
Valid for travel Aug. 12 through Aug. 31, this five-day, four-night trip to Bermuda's Fairmont Southampton from CheapCaribbean.com also includes airfare. An even better-than-advertised price of $730 per person was found from New York's LaGuardia Airport departing Sunday, Aug. 19, and returning Aug. 23. Prices may fluctuate based on travel dates and departure airports. Keep in mind hurricane season is heating up in the Atlantic come August. Read our feature on preparing for hurricane season travel.