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Celebrate and save with July 4 travel deals

Forget watching fireworks from home this year. Instead, pack your bags and skip town with affordable, last-minute deals that will take your holiday to the next level.

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Forget watching fireworks from home this year. Instead, pack your bags and skip town with affordable, last-minute Fourth of July travel deals that will take your holiday to the next level.

Or, use the long Independence Day weekend to book a vacation for later in the season.

Whether you’re looking to take a getaway now or later, we rounded up some of the best travel deals that you can take (or plan) this July 4.

Celebrate in the Windy City

Drop what you’re doing right now and take a journey to Chicago for less than you’d ordinarily spend. Visit Priceline, where the travel booking website has compiled special summer getaways to popular destinations so you don’t have to do the research yourself. For example, you can fly round-trip from New York City to Chicago for $162, then stay at a Chicago hotel for as little as $70 a night.

Take in the sights in California

At Hotels.com, select hotels are up to 50% off as part of the site’s Fourth of July sale. So pick San Diego, Los Angeles or Orange County to see the fireworks from the California coast. To take advantage of this deal, you must book by July 4 and travel between now and July 18. The discount is available only at participating hotels, and there may be a minimum stay requirement.

Go international

If you’re in need of a summertime escape, Travelocity has just what you’re looking for. Save up to 50% (or more in some cases) when you book at participating hotels by July 4. We have our eyes on The Mill Resort & Suites Aruba, which is priced from $96 (discounted from $191) per night between July 11 and July 18. Other international locations on sale include sites in Bali, Buenos Aires and Cancun.

Travel by bus or train

If you have a fear of flying, or just want to skip pricey plane tickets, holiday travel deals extend to other modes of transportation, too. At Wanderu, bus and train tickets start at $9 for Fourth of July weekend. Just pick your destination, input your current location, and browse for tickets by departure date.

Rent a home

Rather stay in a home instead of a hotel? In case you didn’t already know, July is National Vacation Rental Month, and that means you can find deals on vacation rentals across the country. Check the deals page of Wyndham Vacation Rentals for the most up-to-date offerings and stay in a home-away-from-home this summer.

Leave on a whim

Your travel plans don’t have to be set in advance, thanks to the Hotel Tonight website and corresponding app, where you can browse for last-minute hotel deals that you can book tonight, tomorrow or whenever. The company is currently advertising discounts for locations as diverse as San Francisco and San Antonio.

Regardless of where you choose to spend your Independence Day or your summer getaway, remember to read all travel policies carefully before booking. Service fees may apply, which could increase your total purchase amount.

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @courtneynerd.

This story originally appeared on NerdWallet.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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