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10 Cheap Vacations For Expensive Times

Costa Rica
Into each cheap vacation, a little rain must fall. If you have your heart set on seeing Costa Rica for minimal cost this summer, a little rain can bring a lot of savings.

"Summer is their rainy season that they call the green season," Banas says. "Even though it's offseason, you're going to save 20%, 30% to 50% off."

The weather's not the only reason Costa Rica and other Central American countries are presenting a more affordable alternative to Europe and elsewhere. Spirit Airlines -- with its low fares and myriad fees -- serves Costa Rica and is launching service to Nicaragua and El Salvador this summer. Combined, the rains and the discount options are a big reason why five-night, airfare-inclusive trips start at less than $700 per person for a stay at the Barcelo San Jose Palacio or roughly "$900 at the Costa Rica Marriott.

"The rains are intense and short during the day, so it's not like it's raining constantly," Banas says. "Plus the whole country is lush and green, and that's the place you go when you want to see animals and want to see nature, so it's almost an ideal time to go."

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