By Dorothy Tucker

(CBS) — From European vacations to family road trips, this is the best summer in years to take off. CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker takes a look at some hot deals, hot new sites and haggling tips that guarantee bargains.

“We did 12 trips last year,” said Staci Brown about her family’s camping trips. “This year there are more on the schedule.

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“It’s cheaper for us to go. We can do longer trips and further away when the gas it cheaper.”

Last summer, gas cost $3.68 a gallon. This year experts predict $2.76, almost a dollar less.

Marietta Pritt plans to go to the Grand Canyon this year. She’ll pay only $365 for gas compared to the $487 she would have paid in 2014. That’s $122 more in her pocket.

“We’re going to take a few more side trips than normal,” said Pritt.

If your summer plans include flying, the good news is some of the most exciting locations are the least expensive.

New Orleans in mid-July is $64 each way on Southwest, while Dallas in late June is $69 each way. Celebrating the Fourth of July in New York? It’s $89 each way.

Why such incredible fares this year?

It’s because American and United are competing with Spirit Airlines, and actually matching their fares dollar for dollar.

United, Southwest and JetBlue have created online calendars that can help you save.

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For example, a flight on United from Chicago to Boston that departs June 26 and returns July 3 costs $391 round trip. But depart on June 30 and stay through the fourth, it is just $161.

Foreign travel is also a bargain this summer to locales like Scandinavia, Morocco and even Scotland, but only if you’re flexible about your destination.

We recently saw Chicago to Inverness, Scotland for $777 round trip on Aer Lingus, while Edinburgh was $1200 round trip.

When you get to Europe, splurge because the euro is weak and is making the dollar the strongest it’s been in 12 years.

From summer travel, 4 star hotels, rental cars, museum admissions and even restaurants, all are going to be about 30 percent cheaper.

You can haggle with all hotels and if you book early, consider using a website called Tingo.com.
What’s the advantage of Tingo?

Tingo offers you the same rate essentially upfront as the other sites, which can result into you getting some money back.

Tingo gives you a refund if the rate drops after you book.

Carrie Scott went to a trip to Portland where the rate dropped several times.

“They were small denominations, maybe like $7, $11 here $15 there and cumulative they added up to $160,” Scott states. “So it seems like a no brainer.”

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For more information on travel deals, visit Tingo.com, www.airfarewatchdog.com and www.bradsdeals.com/blog/cheap-gas-summer-road-trip.

Dorothy Tucker