Even in this down economy, family travel never declined, it simply changed. Traditionally, many families planned a two-week vacation once a year. Then, when the internet made it easier to organize quick trips on the cheap, it switched to three or four shorter trips each year. Now, families are inclined to do both weekend trips and longer getaways, and the next big event to capitalize on is spring break. With most kids having at least a week vacation sometime in March or April, parents are researching all kinds of destination ideas, from warm tropical climates to educational locations. Some of the most popular places for family spring breaks: Florida Panhandle; Hilton Head, South Carolina; Hawaii and New York City. It’s also very common for families to stay close to home—less than 50 miles away—and rent lake houses, visit amusement parks and camp in national parks. Family travel is a major market in the travel industry, so you can count on there being tons of deals and discounts targeting families. And parents on a budget can definitely take advantage, as long as they do their research.
Last-Minute Romantic Getaways
With limited vacation time, tight budgets and high ticket prices, romantic trips with significant others are becoming harder to plan. Weekend trips are the easiest way to get some quality time together, and spontaneity always adds an element of romance. Luckily, waiting until the last minute can work to your advantage. A majority of the time, airlines will offer super low rates for on-way flights a couple weeks in advance to places like New York City, San Diego and Miami. If you find something in your price range, snatch it up and make the trip. If flying somewhere isn’t an option, there are plenty of places within driving distance that offer a relaxing, intimate atmosphere. Many hotels will also offer special weekend deals for couples, so check with the accommodations in the city you plan to visit, and see what kind of discounts you can find.
Group travel is a huge industry, with tons of websites dedicated to organizing trips with large numbers of people. But solo travel also deserves some attention. Traveling alone allows a person to go where they want and see what they want on their own agenda. As David Henry Thoreau said:
The man who goes out alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.Solo travel offers freedom and bargains, and it’s perfect for anyone who feels comfortable enough to go it alone. There are some tours and hotels, however, that charge fees for single travelers, because they base their prices on double occupancy. There are some ways to get around these, and Connecting: Solo Travel Network is a great place to find these helpful tips. A good travel agent who specializes in solo travel can help guide travelers to the best deals. There is a lot of potential for smaller travel agencies to cater to single travelers, especially if they can give them personal attention, negotiable rates and lower fees. There should no longer be penalties for traveling alone, but rather benefits and special deals for those courageous enough to tackle the world alone.
Business travel may increase this year, but leisure travel is right behind it. And for those of us who don’t get to travel for work, a relaxing vacation is the only kind of travel we’re going to experience this year. Currently, I’m trying to plan a spontaneous romantic weekend with my boyfriend, as well as a week-long group trip to South Carolina. With any luck, I can find some low rates and good deals. And, ultimately, I hope to have a nice, fun and enjoyable vacation.