Ruth to the Rescue tackles holiday travel questions
Whether you fly away to see relatives or getaway to a tropical paradise, the holidays are the busiest time of the year to travel.
We found a wide variety of holiday wishes this year. Krisanu Mukherjee told Ruth to the Rescue, "I'm originally from New York, so I got home, see family, come back, and get to work."
Others had visions of sandy beaches dancing in their heads. "For Christmas, if I could go anywhere, probably somewhere warm, like maybe somewhere tropical like the Caribbean," said Brittni Beversdorf, of Richmond.
However, making holiday travel plans is getting trickier than ever and finding inexpensive fares is getting more difficult than ever.
"It's getting there that's becoming more and more difficult because of all the consolidation of airlines has created less seats, less availability, and higher prices," said David Fishman, of Cadillac Travel Group in Southfield.
He also sees a trend in travel planning that rewards the people who start planning early. Fishman says in order to find good air fares and flexible times, you should start planning holiday trips 70 to 90 days in advance, when it used to be as little as 30 days. He says a good rule of thumb is to start planning Thanksgiving and Christmas trips in the summer, and...
"I'll tell you right now, you should be planning your spring break or winter break vacations cause then you really have better options at getting
your air," he advises travelers.
Jeanenne Tornatore is the senior editor at orbitz.com, and she agrees.
"According to our survey, the majority of travelers have already booked, or will have booked by the end of October," she told Ruth to the Rescue during a satellite interview.
Looking for Holiday Deals
You don't have to give up hope on a vacation this November or December. David Fishman of Cadillac Travel Group in Southfield says if you can find a good air fare, there are great deals on cruises to the Caribbean.
He also says you can find good deals on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico and in the Dominican Republic.
Or, he says you could gamble on Thanksgiving in Las Vegas. He's still seeing deals for about $625 per person over the long Thanksgiving weekend, and that's for the flight and a four star hotel!
Travelers seems to agree with Fishman, they've made Las Vegas one of the Hottest Holiday Destinations of 2012. Here's a look at the top ten for Thanksgiving from orbitz.com.
1- New York
6- Ft. Lauderdale
8- San Francisco
Jeanenne Tornatore says Vegas makes the list because of low prices. Since many people wouldn't think of going to Sin City over the Thanksgiving holiday, the hotels are offering great specials and a trip to Vegas could be a great alternative to the traditional holiday. She says other cities in the top ten are noted for their excellent shopping (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles)
The orbitz.com survey found a similar list for Christmas, with a little more emphasis on sunshine. While some travelers may be looking for snow! "Over Christmas, we see Denver making it into our top five list and this is because this is the time of year where people want to go skiing," said Jeanenne Tornatore is the senior editor
Here's a look at the rest of the top 10 destinations, for Christmas.
2- New York City
3- Ft. Lauderdale
7- Ft. Meyer
9- San Juan
More Money Savers
Even if you're targeting one of those top destinations, you may still be looking to stick to your travel budget.
"I'm definitely a bargain hunter- I just go for the cheapest price for everything as far as travel and... hotel," Breanna Lockhart of Bloomfield Hills
told Ruth to the Rescue.
Both our travel experts agree there are some other ways to cut cost.
1) Travel just before or just after the holidays. Prices can be much lower in those non-peak periods
2) Plan your trip on the days that other people avoid. Fly on the actual holidays, or make your return earlier, or later, after the rush is over.
3) Combine family time with a vacation. On Thanksgiving, if you visit family, stay at a hotel, rates tend to be lower on that holiday.
4) Don't limit yourself to sand and sun, consider other destinations that aren't as popular in the winter.
"Going to like you know Europe and going to London or Paris going to a big city during a holiday is actually really a special think to do, and unique, and a big cost savings," said David Fishman of Cadillac Travel Group in Southfield.