Forgo staggering lines and sweltering heat by bumping up European summer vacation plans to June. Visiting major tourist destinations before schools let out offer deep discounts and some of the best weather the continent sees all year.
- Mediterranean Sea: Temperatures climb into the upper-80s early in the season, but sea breezes help cruisers enjoy eleven hours of sunlight that grace the region during this time. For $449 per person, depart June 3 and spend a week visiting Turkey and Greece in an upgraded balcony cabin with this offer from CruiseOne.
- Costa Del Sol, Spain: Visit Picasso’s hometown, Malaga, before tourists flood the beaches and cultural attractions. As the largest city on the Costa del Sol, Malaga acts as a hub for other towns on the coast so early visitors bypass tourist traffic jams without sacrificing prime sunbathing weather. For stays June - July, the nearby Hotel Balcón de Cómpeta has dropped rates to $48 (£37) per night at its property, which is ideally located to explore the Andalucian mountains.
- Budapest, Hungary: This capital city comes to life as spring turns to summer. Filled with public parks and open air theaters, the city hosts concerts and festivals for locals and tourists alike during the season of rebirth. The Ramada Plaza Budapest, on the banks of the Danube, has discounted rates by 55% for stays through August.
- Edinburgh, Scotland: The Gulf Stream brings warm weather to Edinburgh not found in most Northern European towns. June offers dry, sunny days and cool evenings, but the haar -- a dense fog off the North Sea -- can strike any time of the year, so pack layers. Experience Scotland from a castle with this two-night package including meals and admission tickets.
- Dublin, Ireland: Explore the Emerald Isle during its sunniest month to see the majestic countryside and ancient castles in all their glory. Celebrate Bloomsday, a holiday devoted to James Joyce’s character Leopold Bloom, on the 16th with locals criss-crossing Dublin in period clothing recounting the author’s poetic descriptions of his hometown. A five-night getaway is now $580 per person for travel May-June.
- England: The London 2012 Olympic Games kick off at the end of July, but savvy travelers can save plenty of gold by visiting England a month earlier. The island nation has almost 5,000 miles of coastline, offering a variety of landscapes and activities to fit any holiday itinerary. Visit Travelzoo's UK site to find offers across the country for stays as much as half off.