Getting more out of a vacation starts with finding ways to stretch your travel budget.
To help, travel deals publisher Travelzoo recently unveiled the top six destinations where Americans will find the strongest deals in 2017.
“We predict three trends will influence travel deals next year. Increased choice for flights, a strong U.S. dollar, and hotel openings will create increased supply leading to competition and more deals,” says Michael Stitt, president, North America of Travelzoo, which recently unveiled its annual “Wow Deal Destinations” for 2017.
FLORIDA’S GULF COAST
Seven new hotels opened in 2016 in the Clearwater area, including the luxury Opal Sands Resort. A new Wyndham Grand Resort on Clearwater Beach is among several upscale brands opening their doors in 2017. Budget airline Allegiant flies into St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport from 20 U.S. cities, and nearby Tampa airport is serviced by most major U.S. carriers, resulting in heavy competition and frequent airfare sales.
The number of airline seats to New Zealand has doubled this year, with three top airlines introducing direct flights from the U.S. The increased competition means packages that used to cost $2,000 per person can now be found for as little as $1,299. Travelzoo deal experts also recommend the Air New Zealand Explorer Pass, a cost-effective way to see the country from North Island to South Island.
There are now seven airlines flying non- stop from the U.S. to Lima, creating more intense competition than ever. The dollar is at a 10-year high against the Peruvian sol. Recently, the Peruvian government started limiting the number of visitors to Macchu Pichu, so those interested in visiting should do so soon.
The French department of tourism reports a 1.8 million drop in the number of visitors to Paris for the first 10 months of 2016 compared to 2015. If this trend continues, it will put pressure on Parisian hotel rates. At the same time, a favorable exchange rate and sharp increase in low- cost flight options mean Americans can experience the French capital for the lowest price in recent years.
The British pound hit a 31-year low after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union in June 2016. A weak pound, coupled with a drop in airfares means increasingly aggressive deals available to U.S. travelers.
A slew of new hotels makes now the time to visit a city that’s already popular with deal-seekers. Washington, D.C. has a huge number of free attractions, including world-class museums like the newly opened National Museum of African- American History & Culture on the National Mall. Fourteen new hotels this year and 16 opening next year will likely drive down room rates. For deals, consider weekends, when business travelers leave town.
For more information on the 2017 Wow Deal Destinations, visit the Travelzoo blog at travelzoo.com/blog/2017wow.
This year, consider taking advantage of the trends identified by experts that can make amazing destinations affordable and convenient.