The deal experts at Travel-Ticker™ (www.travel-ticker.com), a leading inspirational travel website, today announced their Spring 2012 Where To Go Now & How Guide. Each season, the Travel-Ticker team uses its years of experience traveling the globe and hunting for great bargains to provide travelers with the inside scoop, identifying the destinations that offer the best overall experience and value for each season. To form the list, Travel-Ticker.com experts look at local trends like weather and tourist traffic, as well as entertainment options, cultural experiences, and the available deals in each locale.
"Spring is the time that many folks begin to emerge from their winter hibernation to seek out new travel adventures, but this normal return in travel demand can often result in higher prices," said L. Jasmine Kim, General Manager of Travel-Ticker. "Still, there are plenty of destinations that are offering fantastic value for travelers this season, and our team of experts has uncovered exactly where these affordable escapes can be found."
From cities that still offer skiing to exotic adventures on the other side of the world, Travel-Ticker's Spring 2012 Where To Go Now & How Guide has five destinations that will fit anyone's budget and are sure to put a spring back in their step:
1. New Orleans – Peak season for only $10 more than off-season
Why Now: The Big Easy really heats up in the spring, with Mardi Gras and Carnival taking over the city in February and Jazz Fest occurring in April and May. Although the crowds may be a bit bigger than usual, this time of the year is definitely NOLA's sweet spot for activities and weather while still offering great value.
Value: The average rate for hotel stays during peak season is $87, only $10 more than off season reservations, making it well worth the splurge. Travelers should keep in mind that festival weekends will come at a higher price.
How: Deal Example: New Orleans: luxe French Quarter hotel w/breakfast, $119+: Luxury living -- and saving -- in the French Quarter. Iberville Suites near Bourbon Street has suites from $119, now-March 29. Breakfast is included.
2. Miami – Spring break with plenty of savings
Why Now: Miami might be known for its spring break crowds, but travelers seeking some fun in the sun should reconsider one of Florida's most popular cities. Wait until spring break travelers return back to school, usually the end of March, in order to score the best deals. Hurricane season starts in June, so April and May are the perfect months to thaw out from winter in one of the many beautiful beaches.
Value: You'll save anywhere from $25-$80 a night on hotel stays during Miami's shoulder season, when rates average $98. Compare that to peak season (December through March) prices of $122 per night and you've already saved a bunch just on lodging.
How: Deal Example: South Beach, Miami: stylish hotel near the beach -- $149+: The sun is out in South Florida -- and so are the savings. Thanks to Expedia, you can save 25% at Clinton Hotel & Spa in South Beach. We found $149 rates (or less) on February 20-23, 27-28, but other dates start at $20 more.
3. Tahoe – Hot deals for springtime snow
Why Now: Tahoe's prices fluctuate from January to September, with low prices concentrated in spring time. During this season not only can you score great savings, but also some fantastic snow as long as winter extends into the spring months. So, for those wanting one last bout of winter fun, Tahoe is a great place to experience the slopes at incredible prices.
Value: Tahoe hotel rates run as high as $179 per night during peak season, but in March/April, rates are as low as $69. Travelers are also more likely to receive lift tickets with their hotel stays during this time of the year, providing savings of up to 60% overall.
How: Deal Example: Lake Tahoe ski sale: up to $500 off flight + hotel packages: Steep hills -- not steep prices. United Vacations is offering a Lake Tahoe package deal with savings of 30% on a flight and 4+ night Northstar stay. You'll save up to $500 per booking. Valid February 24-April 8.
4. China – An international sweet spot with sweeter savings
Why Now: Average temperatures during spring vary depending on the region, but overall this is one of the best times to visit China from a purely weather standpoint. Layer on the fact that there are also fewer crowds and stellar deals, and a visit to the Far East sounds even better. Business and leisure travel picks up in April, so try and plan your visit in March for the lowest prices and shorter lines.
Value: Package trips to China throughout March and April range from $1,609-$1,799, and travelers can save an average of $470/person, $940/couple, or $1,880 for a family of four just by going during these months compared to May and June peak season pricing.
How: Deal Example: China tour with air, upscale hotels, and meals, from $1,499: Famous sights, a fabulous itinerary -- all at $100 off. Gate 1 is offering a 10-day trip to China that includes flights, 3.5- and 4-star hotel stays in three cities, meals, and tours from $1,499. Travel April 2-December 24.
5. Ecuador – South America's best bet for the Spring season
Why Now: Travelers wanting a more exotic trip should head south. Any one of the many regions in Ecuador boasts savings during this time of the year, and this small country has something for everyone. Visit the famous Galapagos Islands, relax on pristine beaches, explore the wonders of the Amazonian rain forest or take in views of the majestic Andes mountain range. The rain may linger in some areas, but that helps keep tourist levels and prices low. Beat the peak season rates that start in May by visiting just a month or so early.
Value: An eight day trip to Ecuador in March, April or May will average between $1,279 and $1,379, with the same trip in December averaging between $250 and $500 more. Save up to $1,140 per couple or $2,280 for a family of four when traveling during spring.
How: Deal Example: Ecuador/Amazon tour with air, hotel, meals -- from $1,199: Ecuador and the Amazon by air, bus -- even canoe. Get a nonstop flight, 7-night stay, transfers, meals, and many tours from $1,199. Explore vibrant Quito, the lush rainforest, and much more. Valid March 23-December 23.
*Prices are per person or per night, based on availability, and do not include additional taxes and fees. Other restrictions may apply. Please see website for more details.
Travel-Ticker is an online inspirational travel website that is home to some of the best handpicked, insider deals at many of the world's favorite destinations. With an ear to the ground and an eye for the unique, Travel-Ticker's experts provide users with a geo-targeted platform and a weekly newsletter to browse for researched travel bargains, the latest travel trends, and editorial insight. Travel-Ticker is an independent business unit of The Hotwire Group. For more information, visit us at www.travel-ticker.com and join us on Twitter (@travel_ticker) and Facebook. In addition to Travel-Ticker, The Hotwire Group of websites includes: www.hotwire.com, www.travel-ticker.com and www.carrentals.com.
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