With Spring Break Around the Corner, Expedia Offers Advice on Skipping Peak Period Headaches and High Prices; Reveals Alternatives for Families and Globetrotters
BELLEVUE, Wash., Feb 08, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ — Expedia, the world’s leading online travel company, today released the latest issue of the quarterly Expedia Travel Trendwatch, focused on the upcoming spring travel season. This issue predicts a significantly shorter spring break travel season in 2008 and reveals a peak period in March that could prove to be as busy and expensive as the recent winter holidays. The report also features advice on determining the most affordable time to travel to this spring’s most popular destinations, offers inspiration for less-expensive family getaways centered on sporting events, and provides tips to those yearning for international travel experiences, but are faced with an unfavorable exchange rate that taxes the pocketbook. To view the complete report, please visithttp://www.expedia.com/tips. “Travelers love to celebrate spring break by escaping the winter doldrums and soaking up the sun at home and abroad,” said Chris McGinnis, editor, Expedia Travel Trendwatch. “Those who travel in March might be surprised by large crowds and some higher prices, but those with the flexibility to take trips later in April are going to find better deals, smaller crowds and even nicer weather.” Key spring travel trends reported in the current issue of the Expedia Travel Trendwatch include: 1) Know When to go This Spring — The spring break travel season is shorter this year, just four peak weeks (March 1-31) compared to the usual six, which could result in a higher concentration of travelers over a shorter period of time. Also contributing to increased traffic on the roads and skies are the St. Patrick’s Day and Easter holidays as well as this year’s rare convergence of “family” spring break with “student” spring break. — To get the best spring travel deals, avoid travel in March when airfares to the 10 most popular spring break destinations are running approximately 11 percent higher than last year. Consider travel in April when fares to these same cities are just two percent higher than last year and actually show declines for flights to sunny favorites like Maui and Cancun. — More Expedia travelers are heading to Florida cities for spring break this year than last with Ft. Myers and Tampa/St. Petersburg making the top 10 spring break destinations along with perennial favorites Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando and Miami. 2) Sporty Spring Breaks — Sports fans are increasingly incorporating attendance at training camps, tournaments and even regular season games as part of their spring break activities. In fact, an Expedia.com poll(1) of 3,079 U.S. adults conducted by Harris Interactive in January 2008 found that 21 percent of US adults anticipate taking a vacation in order attend a college or professional sporting event this year. — In springtime baseball fans descend on training camps in Florida and Arizona to support their favorites in the Cactus or Grapefruit league. The front-row baseball action, potential for up-close player sightings and autographs appeals to the kid in everyone. 3) Southward Migration — With the dollar at record lows against many major world currencies, travelers craving international travel are increasingly going south of the border, year-over-year bookings to Latin America are up seven percent. Despite this, airfares are flat year-over-year, with an average round trip price of $489. — Mexico is the most popular Latin American destination among Expedia travelers, garnering six times as many bookings as Puerto Rico, the second most frequented destination in the region. The five most popular cities are Cabo San Lucas, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun.