Summer vacation travel tips: Cruise prices down, beach prices up - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Summer vacation travel tips: Cruise prices down, beach prices up

Posted: Updated:

According to travel website Orbitz, 75 percent of Americans plan to take summer vacations this year -- and nearly two-thirds of them will pay at least $1,500 for that trip.  Local travel experts say there are ways to save money on your getaway, if you know where to look.

Mel Ludovici knows a thing or two about booking vacations.  He's spent more than two decades working as a travel consultant and President of Martin Travel in Roanoke.  So when it comes to getting the biggest bang for your buck this summer, he has a few thoughts -- first, on beaches.

"The sooner you make your plans the better," said Ludovici.  "You're going to find that the prices are a little bit higher and the availability is a little more difficult to come by."

Because many popular beach communities in the Northeast -- specifically New York and New Jersey -- are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, the people who would have visited them are heading south.  That means there will be fewer openings at hotels, resorts, and other accommodations than you may have seen in previous years -- and prices are going up.

A better option, Ludovici says, might be a cruise.

"If you intend to take a cruise, which is always a good value, this summer would especially be a good time to take one," said Ludovici.

Carnival's recent woes have knocked down the cruise line's prices, which in turn is driving their competitors to lower their prices as well.

"My best guess is you're going to save 50 dollars per person on a three or four night cruise," said Ludovici.  "On a seven night cruise, it's maybe closer to 100 dollars from what one might have paid last year at this time."

Whether you plan to vacation at sea or on land, Ludovici says there are some other tricks of the trade that can save you money and stress.  First and foremost, he says the sooner you plan your trip, the cheaper it will be and the more choices you'll have in terms of hotels, flights, etc.  And as you're booking each of those pieces, he says it may be beneficial to bundle them.

"There's some value I think in shopping around," said Ludovici.  "But there's also the disadvantage of having to cancel three separate things in three separate places if you have to change your plans."

As the summer travel season winds down, so do prices -- so if you can hold off on taking your trip until late August, early September when school is back in session, you can typically score better deals.

Finally, he says don't be afraid to call a travel agency.

"We probably know a lot more about what's out there than you can find out on your own with six hours time investigating it," said Ludovici.  "We might very well be able to get you more for less and you have the support of a travel agency while you're traveling."

In many cases, using a travel agent won't cost you more than you'd spend booking a trip on your own.  Travel agents have access to special deals and offers you can't get anywhere else -- and they may be able to get you free extras / add-ons that you would have otherwise had to pay for.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:42 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:42:32 GMT
    Thomas Allen WinstonThomas Allen Winston
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
  • March Mugshots

    March Mugshots

    Monday, April 7 2014 12:49 PM EDT2014-04-07 16:49:38 GMT
    Michelle Marie Bussiere was arrested last week and charged with identity theft, forgery, theft under $500, among other charges.  (Source: Sullivan County Sheriff's Office)Michelle Marie Bussiere was arrested last week and charged with identity theft, forgery, theft under $500, among other charges. (Source: Sullivan County Sheriff's Office)
    This photo gallery features mugshots of individuals arrested in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. 
    This photo gallery features mugshots of individuals arrested in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. 
  • Pineda says he'll learn from ejection for pine tar

    Pineda says he'll learn from ejection for pine tar

    Thursday, April 24 2014 3:45 AM EDT2014-04-24 07:45:37 GMT
    The pine tar glistened on Michael Pineda's neck, improving his grip and inviting trouble.
    The pine tar glistened on Michael Pineda's neck, improving his grip and inviting trouble.
  • Fire at saw mill in Bedford County is under investigation

    Fire at saw mill in Bedford County is under investigation

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:38 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:38:21 GMT
    Bedford County's Fire Chief says there were no injuries, but the owner estimates the damages at about $75,000.
    Bedford County's Fire Chief says there were no injuries, but the owner estimates the damages at about $75,000.
  • Red Cross assisting after Carroll Co. fire

    Red Cross assisting after Carroll Co. fire

    Red Cross assisting after Carroll Co. fire

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:21 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:21:18 GMT
    One person is displaced after a fire in Carroll County. It happened Wednesday night around 7:00 p.m. on Gardner Mill Road in Hillsville. The Red Cross is now providing assistance and will continue to coordinate recovery efforts.
    One person is displaced after a fire in Carroll County. It happened Wednesday night around 7:00 p.m. on Gardner Mill Road in Hillsville. The Red Cross is now providing assistance and will continue to coordinate recovery efforts.
  • 29 Virginia High Schools on Personal Finance Top-100 List

    29 Virginia High Schools on Personal Finance Top-100 List

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:32 PM EDT2014-04-23 01:32:06 GMT
    29 schools in the Commonwealth, including many in our area, ranked the the nation's top 100 best high schools for personal finance instruction.
    29 schools in the Commonwealth, including many in our area, ranked the the nation's top 100 best high schools for personal finance instruction.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.