If the dismal economy is preventing you from taking a vacation this spring, consider this: while most are putting their travel plans on hold, vacations may actually be more affordable now than they have been in years! Hotels and resorts have been trying to attract travelers by piling on free incentives, to deal with the heavy decline in sales. The supply of rooms far outstrips the demand, and as a result everything from complimentary breakfast to discount massages are being offered at top dollar hotels. Rates are also being slashed to almost half the original prices. To find top travel deals, its been suggested that bargaining may work in this economy- as hotels are more open than ever to anything that will get travelers to come. Several resorts including The Four Seasons have been offering a third, fourth, or fifth night of travel for free. Online rates at other resorts, including the new Fairmont Chicago, have been cut in half from the standard price.
The decrease in demand for overseas flights coupled with the euros decline has made continental vacations seem more feasible this year. The U.S. dollar has also made considerable headway against the British pound, to less than $1.50. And Iceland has never been more affordable, as many have begun to take advantage of their sinking economy. As airlines continue to merge and additional cuts are made, some predict that fares will eventually be cut significantly.
Cruise lines are also offering deals as their advance booking sales have decreased, with discounts as much as 75%. For spring travel, 3-night cruise deals to the Bahamas are being offered for $169 per person; 4-night cruises to Baja are offered for $249; and 7-night cruises to the Caribbean are offered for $349.
For those who are still not ready to make a travel commitment or are uneasy about spending the extra money for leisure, there are plenty of alternative options for cheap travel. Instead of booking hotels, couch surfing is an adventurous and cost-effective way to travel, as well as home exchange. Renting a vacation home with friends is also a great way to save money on room and board while you are traveling. And lastly, taking advantage of all-inclusive vacations are the best bet in getting the most value for your money. So if you’re feeling uneasy in today’s economic climate and think you can only dream about taking a vacation- rethink your travel plans and choose a less expensive experience, or take advantage of a discounted hotel and flight while sticking to your budget!