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Entries in Summer Travel (3)

Monday
Jun252012

Seven Cheapest Cities for a Fourth of July Getaway

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Gas prices are going down, down, down.  ABC News reported gas prices in 16 states have dropped to under $3 per gallon and that more are expected to drop under that price point in the coming days.

And with the Fourth of July holiday just one week away, families that previously decided to stay home may be reconsidering.

“Low gas prices light a fire under Americans. They really like low prices.  This is sure to entice more people to go on vacation and spend more of their hard-earned money,” Patrick Dehann of GasBuddy.com told World News.

A road trip is surely the way to go at this late date.  As ABC News reported, the weekends sandwiching the Fourth of July -- a Wednesday this year -- are some of the most expensive of the summer to fly.

But with just days to plan a trip, where should travelers go?  Visiting a city with too-high hotel prices will cancel out any fuel savings.  Online travel agency Orbitz.com found hotel rates vary widely among cities in the top 25 destinations this upcoming holiday, from over $200 per night on average in the most expensive cities (Boston and Los Angeles) to just $99 per night in the least expensive city (Las Vegas).

Las Vegas consistently has some of the nation’s cheapest rates because hotels lower room prices to attract travelers and hope to make money from them in other ways, namely, gambling, food and alcohol.

If driving to Sin City isn’t an option, here are the six next-cheapest cities for a last-minute July 4 getaway, based on hotel rates:

  • Arlington, Va.: $104
  • Atlanta: $108
  • Orlando, Fla.: $109
  • San Antonio: $112
  • Anaheim, Calif.: $119
  • Miami: $122

One more tip: According to Orbitz, vacationers are favoring the first part of the July 4 week for their trips.  It found that 57 percent of room nights that have been booked are for stays between June 29 and July 5, while only 43 percent are booked for stays between July 3 and July 9.  Cost-conscious travelers should book a trip for the latter half of the week, as fewer travelers always translates into lower prices.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May302012

Cheapest and Most Expensive Weekends for Summer Travel

John Foxx/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Hotel prices are up.  Airfare is up.  So how can you beat higher prices and still travel this summer?

It's simple: just know when and when not to fly.

Online travel agency Travelocity analyzed two years of booking data for ABC News to find out which weekends were the cheapest -- and most expensive -- to fly.

The most expensive weekend of the summer to travel is coming up on June 1-3, likely due to Memorial Day weekend travelers who turned the extra day off into a longer vacation, said Courtney Scott, senior editor for Travelocity.

"Many travelers take advantage of their three-day Memorial Day weekend and turn it into an extended vacation, making this week into next weekend popular travel periods, which could account for a rise in fares," she said.

The average round-trip airfare for both domestic and international flights is $661 for the upcoming weekend, $63 higher than the cheapest weekend of the summer to fly: August 24-26.

That's good news for travelers who haven't booked summer vacations yet.  The weekend before Labor Day weekend, which this year falls on August 24-26, is historically the cheapest of the summer for airfare, at $598 round-trip.

"There's a dip in prices in late August as kids are busy getting ready to go back to school and many schools in the South are already in session.  Labor Day we'll see a spike in fares again as families work in one more getaway before the school season is in full swing," said Scott.

So what about those families who can't travel on August 24-26?  There are still some weekends that are better than others.  The cheapest weekend in June is 22-24 and the cheapest in July is 20-22.

Not surprisingly, the weekends sandwiching the Fourth of July -- a Wednesday this year -- are some of the priciest of the summer. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May092012

Summer Air Travel Forecast: Crowds

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Vacation season promises to be crowded this summer, especially on overseas flights. Not to mention rising fuel prices will keep flying expensive.

The Airlines for America (A4A) annual summer forecast released Wednesday predicts more international fliers than ever before, while domestic flights hold steady at 2011 rates.

The report from A4A, the industry trade association for the leading U.S. airways, predicts the 2012 summer travel season, June through August, will see an average of 2.24 million travelers globally every day on U.S. airlines.  That comes to roughly 206.2 million passengers expected to travel globally on U.S. airlines, alone.

That’s still 5 percent below the 2007 summer peak, with domestic flights expected to see almost 180 million passengers this summer, comparable to summer 2011.

“Where we are seeing a bump is in international travel,” A4A vice president and chief economist John Heimlich said.

Predicting that of the more than 200 million total passengers expected to travel on U.S. airlines this summer, almost 29 million will be traveling on international flights, surpassing last summer’s international flights record by 2 percent.

Although gas at the pump is declining, airlines saw a 19 percent increase in fuel prices during the first quarter of 2012, and the industry predicts a 7 percent increase overall for jet fuel this year.

The hottest (and we’re not just talking temperature) summer travel month is July, where A4A expects flights to be at more than 85 percent capacity, with many flights at capacity.

A recent survey by travel site Orbitz also predicts heavy travel in July, which the largest share of vacationers (31 percent) indicated to be the month for getting away.  August follows with 20 percent planning vacations and June is a close third with 18 percent of travelers.

And for those just getting ready to book your summer vacation, be prepared for slightly higher hotel prices. Orbitz predicts hotel prices will be up about 5 percent for summer.

It has been two to five years since about 25 percent of travelers surveyed took their last trip, according to the travel site survey.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio