Get away while the getting's good
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(CNN) -- If you're dreaming of one last getaway while the weather is still nice, dwindling crowds and low airfares make this a good time to plan that trip.
"Probably almost any commercial airport in America has an airfare sale going on today," said Tom Parsons, editor and CEO of Bestfares.com.
The systemwide sale for midweek travel through November 17 ends at midnight Friday, August 12. Parsons believes this sale is particularly attractive to people who live in areas served by small regional airports or other airports that have little or no service from low-cost carriers.
Flexibility is key to taking advantage of these fares, but if you have it, Parsons estimates the maximum you'll be faced with for a coast-to-coast midweek fare from most U.S. cities is $328.
A drop off in family travel as kids go back to school will prompt some travel companies to offer incentives to entice travelers, said Mike O'Malley, a partner at Diplomat Travel in Chicago, Illinois.
Buying the components of your trip in a package is a good way to find savings on your late-summer getaway, said Kari Swartz, Expedia.com's leisure travel expert.
"The number one rule of thumb if you're looking to save money on a vacation is to book a vacation package," she said.
Also consider heading to hotter destinations, Swartz advises. Las Vegas, Nevada, and Arizona often offer attractive rates this time of year.
"When you're dealing with hot weather, going to a hot destination is usually a good rule of thumb to experience great seasonal value," she said.
You get the same activities, the benefit of fewer people and a comfortable air-conditioned retreat.
For cooler temperatures, a few days at a ski resort -- where you'll find hiking and outdoor activities -- could cost up to 50 percent less than it would during ski season, Swartz said.
If you're set on sand and surf, Mexico offers very good value right now.
O'Malley has seen great prices for travel from Chicago to Cabo San Lucas. In Berkeley, California, Terrence Regan of Berkeley's Northside Travel recommends the area around Cancun to clients who want "good bang for their buck."
From the East Coast, Bestfares.com's Parsons is seeing low-priced fares to Grand Cayman Island; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Montego Bay, Jamaica.
And if you can hold out on your getaway a little longer, O'Malley expects very attractive deals on Caribbean cruises in October, when many of the ships return to the area from Alaska and Europe.
No matter where your travel shopping takes you, act fast on last-minute bargains because they go fast.
"If you see a deal, you need to lock it in," Swartz said.
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