"It's high season, and the folks in Ocean City know they have three months to make their yearly revenue," he says. "So they're going to charge you prices that are in line with that goal."
Elliot recommends choosing unlikely destinations to save money. "Think differently about where you want to go. Head in the opposite direction of the crowds," he says. "In the mountains, you're going to pay off-season prices, and you're not going to find a lot of people right now."
Carlson says so-called "stay-cations," or spending time off close to home, can also help keep vacation costs low. "A lot of people are still underemployed and are looking at what they can do locally. A lot of families are going back to basics," she says. "They're skipping theme parks and airports for old-fashioned road trips. Summer can be about simplicity."