Travel destination trends and tips

If thinking about a getaway during Presidents' Weekend or Spring Break look for flights and rooms now.

If thinking about a getaway during Presidents' Weekend or Spring Break look for flights and rooms now.

Travel companies predict that vacation trips will increase in 2013.

If so, it’s not too late to start planning your trip to find the best deals. You also don’t want to hear sorry, we’re booked during Presidents’ Weekend, Spring Break or whatever.

“People are really starting to think about and book their spring break
vacations,” said Mike Going, president of Milwaukee-based Funjet Vacations.

“Now that the weather has turned cold and the holidays are over, everyone is ready for a warm, sunny vacation — which means that hotels and flights book up very quickly in January and February.”

January might sound a bit early to look at destinations and flights but Going said, “January is the peak booking month for spring and summer vacation.

The questions you should now be considering are where to go and how to save money.

In answer to the destination question Mark Drusch, Chief Supplier Relations Officer of CheapOair, a major online travel agency said, “Latin America; specifically Brazil, Panama, Colombia and Galapagos, the Gulf Coast, Oregon (specifically since this part of the country is relatively unexplored, and offers ocean, mountains and a great culinary scene) and South Africa.”

Drusch, who worked for major airlines, offered a few insider tips on savings and bookings.

Be sure to check fees, taxes and other details when comparing flight deals

Be sure to check fees, taxes and other details when comparing flight deals

He suggested that travelers look at deals offered by online travel agencies, particularly for daily specials to find best airfares, hotels and car rentals. But they should also know there are best days and times to book flights.

“Always check airline tickets on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. The airline RM systems update their demand algorithms overnight, therefore available seats are released in the morning,” Drusch said.

He also recommended taking advantage of email travel alerts and social media. “People may not want to be receiving another email, but fare alerts instantly let you know when a price for a certain flight has changed. On social media, a lot of companies post last minute “fire sales” where prices can be slashed up to 50%,” he said.

Because airlines now have a variety of fees and options, Drusch warned that consumers should be sure they are purchasing what they want and know what is included when comparing prices.

Two basic tips heard in the industry is 1. if hoping to travel on a peak week or weekend, be sure to book way ahead to get what you want and 2. you are likely to find better deals when you can be flexible.

Photos copyright to Jodie

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