The best time to travel is NOT our summer, the prices are always high, it is crowded and usually bad weather. Unfortunately we are traveling for my husbands 50th bday, so we have no choice this year. And when our kids were younger we were trapped in the “summer school” cycle. We are planning our next trips around Thanksgiving time, since the family is spread out now and Thanksgiving isn’t what it used to be.
So if at all possible, go off peak time, everything is a better price, Plane tickets, hotels, less crowds for the sights, and usually much better weather, trust me is the locals have left their city for the month, that really isn’t the time to be there 🙂