Plan to travel this summer? Travel experts recommend less popular destinations

The travel industry is expecting some of the more popular destinations in a normal year to be extremely popular this year. Beaches and national parks will be as crowded as ever.

Flights and hotels in popular international spots, like London and Paris, could be crowded and expensive. But you do have other options.

“If you want to go to Paris or you want to go to Orlando for the summer you’re going to find that prices are high and it’s going to be really, really crowded,” said Christopher Elliott, a syndicated travel columnist.

But he said there are still places in mountainous areas or bed-and-breakfasts in more rural settings that aren’t completely sold out.

“There still is a lot out there that’s available,” said Elliott. “By just adopting a contrarian attitude to summer travel you might find a great place.

“Everyone likes going to Europe but Asia is still experiencing some softness in demand,” added Elliott. He said the same could be said for New Zealand, where he actually conducted his end of the interview.

“Another thing to remember too, is that in the southern hemisphere it’s winter. So if you want to go skiing … you can go down to South America and go skiing or go to New Zealand and go skiing,” said Elliott.

But even if your heart is set on Europe, CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg said an updated passport and an open mind could help you find new places to visit.

“Don’t just look at Paris or London, look at Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Estonia,” said Greenberg. He also suggested towns scattered along the Mediterranean besides what he dubbed as “the usual suspects” of Rome, Florence and Venice in Italy.

Domestically, he said rising gas prices won’t stop Americans from seeking out national parks again.

“The national parks are getting overloaded … many of them are requiring reservations. Some of them may have to cut them off,” said Greenberg.

He advises people to visit their state parks. “The parks are loaded with great ideas and availability and camp sites,” Greenberg said.

That’s one idea also suggested by Elliott, who said “you might find a lot of availability.”

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John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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