Experts at Expedia forecast that the tourist crowds in European cities like Athens, Barcelona and London will be elbow to elbow this summer, where demand has grown up to 90% among US travellers.

After looking at air travel demand, experts predict that Athens will be the most popular European destination this summer, with growth spiking 90% compared to last year.

The stats are similar for cities like London and Barcelona, where demand has grown roughly 85%.

Airfare for both cities are also projected to be 30% less expensive, says Expedia.

Cash-strapped budget travellers and backpackers may also want to consider destinations like Cologne, Mykonos, Ibiza and San Sebastian which have seen significant price decreases this year: Airfare to Cologne, for instance, is roughly 65% cheaper than this time last year, says Expedia.

Travel to some of the more traditional European destinations like Paris, Madrid and Amsterdam are also seeing price reductions in airfare of up to 30%.

Experts also recommend travelling in August, when travellers can save the most on their European holiday.

Meanwhile, over at TripAdvisor, experts have compiled a list of popular summer staycation destinations in the US along with the cheapest times to book.

For example, travellers who book a holiday at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina during the week of Aug 21 to 27 can save up to 40%, while a Memorial Day week-long holiday spent at Lake Placid in New York can net guests 82% in savings.

Savings are calculated by comparing the cost of the least and most expensive summer weeks to visit each destination.

For budget-conscious travellers, the cheapest destination is Branson, Missouri, where a week-long holiday per person – which includes a seven-night hotel stay and round trip average airfare within the US – clocks in at US$1,386 (RM6,000). – AFP Relaxnews