Italy, San Francisco and Hawaii Offer Travelers Value This Summer
SmarterTravel.com, a comprehensive online travel resource, has revealed its list of bargain destinations for summer 2007. With airfare and gas prices at a premium and industry analysts predicting a record-breaking travel season, SmarterTravel's annual list is the result of monitoring travel trends, industry news and sales patterns to inform travelers about the places that offer the best value for the coming season.
"Summer is the busiest travel season and the most expensive, and this year will be no different," said Anne Banas, executive editor at SmarterTravel.com. "Our extensive research has determined the destinations that offer travelers the best value -- whether it is a great deal on airfare, hotels or even cruises. These vacations offer something for everyone."
SmarterTravel's 2007 summer bargain destinations include:
-- Italy. Great sales on airfare have finally made Italy affordable for
the masses. Although Europe is typically expensive during the height of
the summer tourist season, new service on three airlines (Alitalia,
Delta and European low-cost carrier easyJet) and a spate of sales on
other carriers have helped the nation top the list. Rome was recently
even voted among the top most affordable cities in Europe by U.K.-based
travel agent Travelcare.
-- San Francisco. New routes, increased service and two new airlines
moving in make San Francisco a uniquely good bargain this summer. If
San Francisco's notorious fog is a deterrent, you can combine a trip to
San Francisco with a coastal road trip or with an exploration of
sunnier destinations nearby, such as Napa, Yosemite, or Lake Tahoe.
This summer also brings Virgin America to its new hub in the Bay Area,
and JetBlue will expand its service to include both San Francisco and
Oakland, making it even easier to get there from anywhere. Plus, the
Fisherman's Wharf Pass and the free cable car tickets being offering by
the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau for booking hotel
accommodations through its Web site further sweeten the deal.
-- The Bahamas. Increased accessibility, a passport rebate program and a
pattern of airfare sales makes the Bahamas a top bargain destination
this summer. The island-nation is in the hurricane belt, but you'll
have a higher chance of enjoying cheaper rates and good weather by
visiting in early summer. Peak hurricane activity occurs from late
August through September, so aim for June or July travel to take
advantage of summer savings and avoid the worst weather.
Nassau/Paradise Island has a promotion that not only covers the cost of
a new passport, but also the $60 fee required to get your passport in
two weeks instead of the usual eight to 10 weeks, and increased air
service and discounted fares make the Bahamas that much closer for
bargain travelers this season. Cruising to ports in the Bahamas is
another great way to take advantage of lower-than-usual rates.
-- Atlanta. Not merely the home of one of the nation's biggest airports,
Atlanta has been transformed into an appealing and affordable vacation
hub as well. Recent sales from American, AirTran, Continental and
Spirit suggest the trend towards discounted fares to Atlanta may
continue at least through early summer. This will also be the first
summer you can buy an Atlanta CityPass, an attractions card that offers
savings to serious sightseers.
-- Hawaii. After years of record tourism and rising prices, affordability
is once again in sight for Hawaii vacations. New options in air travel,
inter-island fare wars and hotel sales set the stage for Hawaii's
comeback as a bargain destination. ATA is increasing its flights from
Oakland, and Continental, Hawaiian and Aloha have been offering sales
for late-spring and summer travel. Travelers can benefit from Expedia's
big summer sale and Starwood's discounts for great hotel deals.
"We always recommend travelers do their research to make the most of their travel dollars, but these destinations will help people take advantage of the best deals and get the most out of their summer vacation," continued Banas.
The full article is available at http://www.smartertravel.com/link/top-five-bargain-2007.
SmarterTravel.com is the most comprehensive travel resource site available, offering consumers up-to-date expert advice and information for their every travel need. Created by an unbiased team of dedicated journalists, the site's goal is to help travelers better manage every aspect of their travel experience by making researched, informed decisions. Unlike other online travel resources, SmarterTravel.com brings together all the best content in one place, giving consumers the tools they need to ensure a great travel experience. For more information and travel advice, visit http://www.smartertravel.com/.