Entries in Holiday Travel (15)


The Cheapest Days to Fly This Christmas

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  That is, unless you have to fly somewhere.

Airfare booking data from online travel agent Travelocity shows domestic airfare this holiday season is 9 percent more expensive than last year.  The average cost of a round-trip domestic ticket is $414, including taxes.  An international ticket costs $990, 6 percent more than last year.

And prices are only expected to go up in the coming days.  Rick Seaney, CEO of Fare Compare, estimates travelers will pay an extra $5 for every day they wait to purchase holiday airfare through the second week in December and $10 per day the following week.

But not all days are created equal when it comes to finding a cheap flight home for the holidays.  Travelocity conducted a day-by-day analysis of prices over the Christmas travel season to find the cheapest days to fly.  Not surprisingly, Dec. 24 and 25 come in at some of the least expensive days.

But it may be worth it: Travelers who choose to depart on Dec. 23, 24 or 25 and return later in the week can save up to $379 on their airfare as opposed to those who leave the weekend before Christmas.

Here are some date combinations to avoid: Dec. 21/Dec. 29; Dec. 21/Dec. 30; Dec. 22/Dec. 30; Dec. 22/Dec. 31; and Dec. 22/Jan. 1.  Travelers departing and returning on these dates will pay more than $500 on average for their airfare.

The cheapest date combinations are: Dec. 25/Dec. 26: $187; Dec. 25/Dec. 27: $283; Dec. 25/Dec. 28: $329; and Dec. 24/Dec 27: $330.

And to bring down the cost of your ticket, incorporate any of the following dates into your travel plans: Dec. 24, Dec. 25 or Dec. 26.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nearly Half of Americans Are Traveling During the Holidays

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The holiday season is not only synonymous with gift-gifting but traveling as well, and millions of Americans -- as usual -- plan to get away from home, according to a TripAdvisor survey of over 1,300 travelers.

In fact, a whopping 45 percent will make some kind of trek during the holidays, compared to 42 percent in 2011.  Meanwhile, 42 percent admit they’ll be spending more to travel than this time last year.

As for those hitting the road, skies or rails, 63 percent will be out and about for Christmas, 4 percent for Hanukkah and 31 percent for New Year’s.

Overall, 48 percent of the respondents plan to drive to their destination, while 46 percent have got plane reservations.

About six in ten of those on the move are going to visit family members during the holidays and 23 percent will see friends.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cheapest Days to Travel This Thanksgiving 

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to Thanksgiving travel, all days are not created equal.  In fact, when you fly is almost as important as when you book when it comes to one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Travelocity has compiled its flights data over the Thanksgiving holiday to pinpoint which days are the cheapest -- and most expensive -- to fly.

Next to flying to your destination on Thanksgiving Day and returning the following day (Friday, Nov. 23), the cheapest date combo is departing on Thanksgiving Day and returning the following Tuesday (Nov. 27).

Want to avoid Thanksgiving day for flights altogether?  Your best bet is to depart Monday, Nov. 19, and return the day after Thanksgiving,  Friday, Nov. 23.

And to spare your pocketbook from taking the biggest hit, avoid departing on Friday, Nov. 16, and returning on Saturday, Nov. 24.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gas Up, Airfare Down for Labor Day Travel

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Thirty-three million people will travel at least 50 miles from home this Labor Day weekend, a 2.9 percent increase from last year, according to AAA.  The vast majority -- 85 percent-- will go by automobile, a 3.1 percent increase compared with last year.

The increase in automobile travel comes despite rising gas prices, up 16 cents per gallon as of Tuesday from a year ago.

Decreased airfare may play a part in the rising number of air travelers this holiday weekend, expected to rise 3.7 percent.  AAA reports average domestic airfare is down 4 percent from last year.

That decrease in airfare is even deeper to some of the nation's most popular vacation destinations.  Orbitz flight booking data found airfare was flat or down to most of its top 10 Labor Day destinations.  Airfare to Anaheim, Calif., saw the most dramatic drop at 11 percent.  Las Vegas airfare decreased 9 percent and airfare to Atlanta, 6 percent.

The vast majority of holiday weekend travelers are opting to stay stateside, turning the three-day weekend into an all-American holiday.  That's according to online booking giant Priceline, which compiled the top 50 Labor Day destinations based on bookings.  Some 47 of the top 50 destinations are domestic; Niagara Falls, Montreal and Toronto are the only international spots on the list.

"It appears that the Olympics hype and favorable exchange rates didn't do enough to offset high international airfares for the holiday," Priceline spokesperson Brian Ek said in a news release.  "Major U.S. cities, however, are going to be crowded over the long weekend, as visitors get in their back-to-school and fall shopping, and enjoy the restaurants, theaters and museums."

New York, Seattle and Las Vegas appear four times each on the top 50 list, while Chicago, San Francisco and Boston make three appearances each.  Philadelphia, with four spots on the list, and Hawaii, with two spots, failed to make the top 50 list in 2011.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lower Gas Prices Driving More to Travel on Memorial Day

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Summer unofficially kicks off this weekend and millions plan to hit the road for Memorial Day.

The automobile group AAA expects that nearly 35 million Americans will travel 50 miles from home for the holiday weekend -- a 1.2 percent increase over last year.

That boost is partly due to drivers getting some relief at the pump.  Gas prices have fallen about 25 cents in April, contradicting predictions by experts who said they would hit $5 a gallon by Memorial Day.

Yahoo! Finance's Daniel Gross says several global factors have led to the drop in price.

"Tensions with Iran have lessened and that was pushing oil and gas prices up.  The global economy has certainly slowed down," he notes.

Another reason for the decrease, Gross explains, is that Americans are using less gasoline.

"Our cars are much more fuel efficient.  GM sold 100,000 cars in March that got 35 miles a gallon or more.  A lot more people are riding the bus.  There's a lot more light rail than there used to be," he says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Holiday Travel to Peak Sunday

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Holiday travel peaks Sunday with over 40 million people expected to take to the skies, roads and rails, according to a report from AAA.

Ninety percent of the estimated 42.5 million people, who will travel 50 miles or more from home between Wednesday and Sunday, will do so by car. The amount of people traveling has increased four percent from 2010, AAA reports.

Predictions from the Air Transport Association estimate that Sunday will be the busiest day for air travel.

Travelers should prepare for weather delays around Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Tenn., Cincinnati and Detroit, according to forecasts from FlightAware, a national aviation database that tracks flights and reports delays.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Avoid Extra Charges When Staying at a Hotel

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- From airlines to banks, and even to your cable bill, many companies are charging more fees.  And that includes hotels.  

As the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches, many travelers should beware of extra charges they may incur when staying at a hotel.

Although the basic price for a hotel room may sound cheap, Robert Long of says "it's real easy on your vacation to bust your travel budget with all the fees you might get dinged for."

One example, he explains, are "fees to simply use the spa in the hotel."

Long says one website that may help travelers avoid fees is

"They have a wonderful resource on their site -- a guide to hotels that offer a variety of complementary services," he explains.

And if you're traveling with pets, features hotels that don't charge extra for a dog or cat to stay with you.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Fewer Americans Expected to Travel on Labor Day Weekend

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(AURORA, Ill.) -- As Labor Day weekend approaches, fewer Americans appear to be planning on hitting the road for one last trip to celebrate the unofficial end of summer.

AAA estimates that 31.5 million Americans will travel during this year's holiday weekend, which begins on Sept. 1 and runs through Sept. 5.  The latest projection is down 2.4 percent from the 32.3 million who got behind the wheel in 2010.

AAA's Heather Hunter says "the decrease in expected travelers is a result of a mixed economic outlook.  We've had some recent poor economic news that has come out and also [high] gas prices."

Among those traveling, more will be doing so via automobiles.  According to AAA, 87 percent of holiday travelers -- or close to 27.3 million Americans -- will be hitting the roads, while eight percent will be opting to fly.  The remaining five percent will be reaching their destinations using other modes of transportation, like trains or watercraft.

If they do take to the road, travelers will be staying closer to home this year.  AAA says Americans will travel an average distance of 608 miles, down from 635 miles the year before.  They will, however, spend slightly more than last year despite the shorter distance -- $702 compared to $697 -- mainly due to the rise in fuel and transportation costs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Fewer Americans Traveling this Fourth of July Weekend

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- If you have plans to travel this Fourth of July weekend, it appears you will have plenty of wiggle room on the roads.

AAA estimates that 39 million Americans will be traveling far (50 miles or more) this year, a 2.5 percent drop from last year's 40 million travelers.

More specifically, close to one million fewer drivers (32.8 million) will be on the road during this holiday weekend compared to the 33.7 million last year.  More Americans, however, will be traveling by plane this year, marking a nine percent jump from the Independence Day weekend of 2010.

The main reason behind the overall drop in travelers?  Gasoline prices.

"AAA is projecting a slight decline in the number of Independence Day travelers mainly due to fuel prices being approximately one dollar per gallon higher than last year," said Glen MacDonell, director, AAA Travel Services. "Increased fuel costs are also responsible for a shift in the demographics of the typical Independence Day traveler as higher prices impact lower income households more significantly."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gas Prices Rising as Millions Prepare to Travel for Holidays

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(HEATHROW, Fla.) -- As millions of Americans pack up their cars to hit the road for the holidays, they are being greeted by an unfortunate sight at the gas station.

For the first time since October 2008, gas prices are now averaging $3 a gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.  Gas prices have risen slowly over the past year, and increased by 13 cents in the past month.

Experts predict the trend will continue, and it is possible that drivers will see gas prices as high as $3.50 a gallon by the spring.

The rising prices come during what is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year.  AAA predicts holiday travel this year will top what it was in 2008 and 2009, and a majority of those voyagers will travel by car.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio