Recession Breeds Travel Breaks

The recession that has decimated home values and stock portfolios also has some positive aspects. One of them is lower prices for travelers on everything from hotel rooms to airfares.

The recession that has decimated home values and stock portfolios also has some positive aspects. One of them is lower prices for travelers on everything from hotel rooms to airfares. Travelers booking vacations can find some bargains, according to travel gurus. With the stronger dollar, overseas destinations have become more affordable, particularly countries that haven’t yet adopted the euro, including Eastern European countries like Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

There are also bargains closer to home. Travel agents are seeing an increased interest in US destinations like Alaska and a resurgent New Orleans. Central American countries like Nicaragua and Costa Rica also offer travel bargains, while Mexico, despite the highly publicized drug violence, is still on many tourists’ places-to-go lists. And there’s another perk awaiting air travelers - the elimination of booking fees by the big online travel agencies such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Priceline. The latest to join the group in cutting out booking fees is Orbitz. From now through the end of May, travelers booking airline tickets through these agencies will enjoy no-fee transactions.

Orbitz, Travelocity, and Priceline have also launched other promotion packages, including price assurance programs that promise to pay airline ticket buyers back if prices fall between booking and the actual trip.

Tip: To find travel bargains, visit sites like Budget Travel, or go to Google and plug “travel bargains” into the search engine.