WASHINGTON – It’s that time of year when many are deciding where to spend summer vacation.
Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor for Orbitz.com, shares her ideas on the best deals and destinations for summer travel.
Some of the most affordable trips in the U.S. (based on average airfare and average hotel rates for a five-night stay) include Tampa, Fla., Orlando, Fla., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Miami, Las Vegas, Denver, Los Angeles and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Before you plan your summer road trip, think twice about driving. Tornatore explains flying may not be as expensive as you think.
“Airfare is down year-over-year in nine of our top summer destinations, with Denver, New York and Honolulu experiencing double-digit drops in average ticket prices,” Tornatore says.
However the same is not true for hotel prices. Only Las Vegas and Denver are experiencing a drop in year-over-year prices.
One way to save money in the booking process is to book the trip components (airfare, hotel, car rental, etc.) as a package, Tornatore explains.
“You could save upwards of $350 to $500 for a seven-night stay for a family by booking it as a package,” she says.
Once the travel is booked, Tornatore also has some tips on how to save money while on vacation.
Don’t dine out for every meal. Instead of dining out for three full meals a day, consider picking up some essentials at a local grocery store or market and packing a picnic or eating a smaller meal — such as breakfast — in the hotel room.
Consider booking a condo. Instead of booking two hotel rooms for your family, consider booking a condo, instead.
“Often times it’s cheaper per person to book a condominium-style property or a suite that has those extra amenities,” Tornatore says.
Travel later in the summer. Tornatore says that most people travel in July, so waiting to take a vacation later in the summer (such as mid-August or early September) can save you some money. However, if you do travel later, don’t wait too long to book the vacation.
“The fact that we’re seeing the hotel rates up means that there is strong demand so a lot more people are booking — especially during those more popular timeframes,” Tornatore says.