5 of 2018’s trendiest summer vacation destinations

It may still be winter, but if you want the best deals, now is the time to begin planning for your summer getaway.

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Whether you’re aiming to hit the beach, visit a new fast-paced city or enjoy the simple life in the country, it’s never too early to start organizing your itinerary. Fortunately, with all the great travel sites and travel deals, solidifying your plans only takes a few clicks on the keyboard.

If you're looking for some inspiration or ideas for a great escape, Kayak has even crunched the data to highlight the most popular and trending destinations of 2018. The 2018 Travel Hacker Guide reveals not only the top travel spots, but also the best times to book and when the prices are the most affordable.

Using this data, we’ve compiled a list of five of 2018’s hottest summer vacation spots.

Take a look and embrace the wanderlust.

1. Maui, Hawaii

Credit: Donald Miralle

Credit: Donald Miralle

It should come as no surprise to anyone that a place so close to paradise such as Maui is the top trending travel destination of 2018.

Maui's incredible beaches, impressive waves and beautiful nature attract tourists from around the world. Find summer flight ticket deals from Atlanta under $800 in June and July. In August, the prices are lower, with deals under $700.

Although plane tickets may be more expensive in summer, hotel rates typically drop, according to the Travel Hacker Guide. You can find great Maui deals via Booking.com within any budget.

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2. Denver, Colorado

Credit: Doug Pensinger

Credit: Doug Pensinger

If you’re looking for a unique summer adventure, why not consider visiting Denver? The largest city in Colorado is one of the most popular destinations of 2018, and it’s also friendly on your wallet.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Denver is an ideal spot to base yourself as you go out and explore the nearby mountains and scenic hiking trails. The picturesque city also offers loads of cultural destinations, such as the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Art Museum, a great botanical garden and a top-notch zoo.

Ticket prices tend to rise in June and July, but slump in August. If you plan your dates correctly, you can easily book a flight from Atlanta for $200 or less.

Great hotel deals are also available, making this an affordable and unique option.

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3. Barcelona, Spain

Credit: Jack Taylor

Credit: Jack Taylor

Take a hop across the pond and enjoy an amazing European vacation in Spain!

From the famous architecture of the legendary Antoni Gaudí, to the iconic La Rambla street, Barcelona is a vibrant city sure to satisfy your wanderlust. Brush up on your Spanish and enjoy some tapas while you tour the city’s modern and historic districts.

In summer, flight prices from Atlanta to Barcelona will range from $900 to just over $1,000. Although the tickets might be a bit pricey, quality hotel rates ranging from $60 to $120 per night will make the trip a bit more affordable.

What are you waiting for? Your European vacation awaits.

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4. Los Angeles, California

Credit: David McNew

Credit: David McNew

Have you been dreaming of seeing the iconic Hollywood sign or snapping a photo next to your favorite actor’s star on the Walk of Fame? This summer is the perfect time to make those dreams come true.

Of course, beyond Hollywood, Los Angeles is home to so many fascinating cultural sites, not to mention its proximity to some of the country’s most incredible beaches. You can easily spend your days tanning in Laguna and your nights partying with celebrities in the city’s hottest clubs.

Similar to Denver, ticket prices are fairly affordable, with summer prices hovering between $200 and $300. There are also plenty of options for places to stay for around $100, or less, per night.

» RELATED: 9 tips for saving money on a summer vacation

5. Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Credit: Gustavo Caballero

Credit: Gustavo Caballero

Those looking to live it up on the beach during their summer vacation should definitely consider flying south to the Caribbean. Ocho Rios in Jamaica is the hottest beach destination of 2018 and if you start planning now, you can experience it for yourself.

From great dining, to sandy beaches that would make any desktop background envious, you’ll certainly find a relaxing and exciting time on the Jamaican shoreline.

We recommend booking your flights to Kingston and then renting a car or taking a shuttle the hour drive to Ocho Rios. Flights in June are a little cheaper, under $500. In July, the prices are still less than $550.

There are also some great private apartment deals available for less than $100 per night. But hurry! The best places will book fast, so you'd better start planning today.

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