Americans will watch spending on vacationsPublished 10:52am Wednesday, December 30, 2009
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
With the holidays over and winter keeping its grip on much of the Midwest, the travel season is about to pick up again as many eager travelers take to the air – or water if such is the case – escaping their daily routines for rest and relaxation.
A recent USA Today/Gallup poll revealed that while Americans are still willing to travel, despite a year which included distracted pilots, H1N1 and recent terror attack attempts.
The economy more than anything else, however, may be what’s having the biggest impact on their travel habits.
The poll found that more than half of Americans who participated plan to spend less in the coming year on travel plans than they have in 2009.
But to hear industry players tell it, good value on a vacation won’t be hard to find.
“We are seeing people who are traveling more this year than they did last year,” Michele Boyd, owner at Signal Travel on Main Street in Niles said Tuesday.
“There are good values out there,” she added.
Some hot spots for winter travelers – the hot spots. Tropical destinations such as the Caribbean, and South America, Cancun and the Riviera Maya remain popular among travelers. For domestic travelers, warmer is also key around this time of year, with cities like Las Vegas and Orlando offering good deals and a reprieve from the winter weather.
Cruises are another way travelers can get a good vacation at a good price, Boyd said, calling them “an excellent value.”
For those looking to soak up the majesty of the winter season, Boyd said there are other popular destinations outside the Southern Hemisphere.
“London, Paris and Rome,” she said. The European destinations boast slightly warmer weather in some spots and an abundance of culture and entertainment in others.
Rome is not quite as cold as what some Americans might have at home, Boyd said, and London offers plenty of unique entertainment at the theater.
Now is the time for those who didn’t escape before the holidays, Boyd said.
“If they don’t travel during the holidays, then they start traveling mid January,” she said.
Which leaves little time for that majority of Americans who don’t want to overspend on travel plans this year. Boyd said if they’re looking for good deals they should start shopping tickets now.
As for the coming year, she’s optimistic.
“It was a pretty good year,” she said. “But I expect this year to be much better, by all signs.”