CHICAGO, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- CheapTickets.com (http://www.cheaptickets.com/), a leading online travel agency that knows "the less you pay, the better it feels®," today announced its 2009 Value Travel Forecast, an in-depth analysis of 2008 hotel pricing trends that projects the destinations expected to offer the most value to travelers in the New Year.
According to a recent CheapTickets "Cheaponomy" (http://www.cheaponomy.cheaptickets.com/) survey, travel ranks No. 2 among the leisure activities that consumers are still trying to afford in today's economy.(1) The Value Travel Forecast offers a month-by-month roadmap of where and when consumers can travel in 2009 to get the most bang for their buck.
"For many in the coming year, choosing a destination that fits a tighter budget will be a key factor in deciding where and when to vacation," said Marita Hudson Thomas, a Cheaponomist(SM) from CheapTickets.com. "We created the forecast to help travelers identify the trends that can help them plan in advance and still save."
From exotic international cities to domestic hidden gems, the Value Travel Forecast identifies the best budget-friendly opportunities for 2009 that will keep consumers traveling throughout the year. Noteworthy highlights include:
-- Exotic international destinations reign as the best budget travel destinations in 2009: Hong Kong (59 percent in January), Brazil (58 percent in April) and Greece (58 percent in November).
-- Stateside, hidden gems in the off-season lead: Napa Valley (56 percent in December), Portland, ME (53 percent in March) and Tucson, AZ (52 percent in August).
-- Think a European vacation is out of the question? Think again. Consider an apres holiday trip to Italy or France, which offers 35-42 percent savings in February compared to peak rates.
-- Can't go the year without fun in the sun? Simply bump up your tropical escape to fall instead of winter and save up to 58 percent in Greece, Mexico and Hawaii, among others.
The CheapTickets Value Travel Forecast projects three destinations for each month where travelers will save in 2009, including CheapTickets' top picks for each month*:
CheapTickets.com Value Travel Forecast for 2009(2)
Month Cheapest Destinations Percentage Savings
Compared to Peak Rates
Hong Kong 59%
JANUARY Santa Barbara, CA 38%
New York, NY* 37%
FEBRUARY France 35%
Colorado Springs, CO 29%
Portland, ME* 53%
MARCH Reno, NV 31%
APRIL Santa Fe, NM 36%
Columbus, GA-AL 17%
Lake Tahoe, CA-NV* 38%
MAY Denver, CO 28%
Atlanta, GA 12%
JUNE Columbia, SC 22%
Dallas, TX 15%
West Palm Beach -
Boca Raton, FL* 47%
JULY Baton Rouge, LA 28%
San Bernardino, CA 27%
Tucson, AZ* 52%
AUGUST New Orleans, LA 41%
Las Vegas, NV 25%
Saint Martin 52%
SEPTEMBER Puerto Rico 35%
Orlando, FL* 32%
Hilton Head, SC 41%
OCTOBER Maui 33%
NOVEMBER Ireland 43%
Jacksonville, FL 13%
Napa-Sonoma, CA* 56%
DECEMBER Seattle, WA 35%
Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV 29%
CheapTicket's Top Picks
To further help travelers identify the deals and the destinations right for them in 2009, the CheapTickets' team presents their month-by-month favorites, offering insight on top attractions and activities for the budget-savvy traveler.
JANUARY: New York, NY -- Manhattan is every bargain seeker's dream in January. In addition to a 37 percent savings compared to peak hotel rates, retailers are buzzing with post-holiday sales, and big-city attractions are easily accessible now that the holiday crowds have come and gone. Visitors can also take advantage of New York City's Restaurant Week in January, giving them access to some of the city's best restaurants for a fraction of the price.
FEBRUARY: Italy -- In February, Italy is just starting to come out of its winter cloak, and budget travelers will appreciate the lower airfare and savings of up to 42 percent on hotels when compared to the high season. February visitors can also experience one of Italy's most famous festivals, Carnevale, or celebrate a romantic Valentine's Day getaway in the country where the holiday originated.
MARCH: Portland, ME -- This historic, seacoast town is filled with galleries, one-of-a-kind boutiques and incredible restaurants serving everything from New England clam chowder and lobster rolls to nouvelle cuisine. Enjoy March's first sweet taste of spring by sampling some of Maine's famous maple syrup at a time when savings of 53 percent compared to peak rates are available.
APRIL: Brazil -- Looking to take a break this spring but want to avoid the spring break madness? In April, the summer surge of tourists in Brazil is complete, which means fewer crowds, but the same great tropical weather.
MAY: Lake Tahoe -- For those who love the outdoors, Lake Tahoe is the ideal destination in May. The lake is popular for water sports and beach activities, and with 38 percent savings compared to peak winter rates, going during the off-season means affording activities like a guided cruise or dining at the many lake front restaurants.
JUNE: Egypt -- With 38 percent savings compared to peak rates, June visitors can relax on the wondrous Red Sea or Sinai coasts, take in the high culture of Cairo or even leisurely float down the Egyptian Nile on a river boat.
JULY: West Palm Beach, FL -- Florida in the summer can sometimes feel more like a rain forest than a sanctuary -- but it doesn't have to. Cozy pubs, energetic dance clubs and concert halls abound for the traveler looking to have some summer fun.
AUGUST: Tucson, AZ -- With temperatures averaging 103 degrees in August, Tucson may not seem like a late summer's dream, however with 52 percent savings compared to peak rates travelers can take refuge and save big in the serenity of some of Arizona's finest spas.
SEPTEMBER: Orlando, FL -- Theme Parks report their lowest attendance during the month of September, and with 32 percent savings on hotels compared to peak rates, September is the perfect time for a cheap getaway to this family hot-spot.
OCTOBER: Mexico -- Getting a great deal to Mexico is as simple as knowing when to go. Jet-set to Mexico in October instead of a winter month and save 25 percent compared to high-season rates.
NOVEMBER: Ireland -- Typically known as one of the more expensive European destinations, visiting in November will boast a savings of 43 percent compared to peak hotel rates. This beautiful country also offers travelers a great selection of free tourist attractions, such as the Hill of Tara and Glendalough.
DECEMBER: Napa Valley -- December in Napa is every wine connoisseur's dream. You'll miss the beauty of the ripening vines, but have full access to all the wineries and even the wine train with very little crowds, all the while enjoying a 56 percent savings.
To view CheapTickets' 2009 Value Travel Forecast and more information on budget travel tips, visit http://cheaponomy.cheaptickets.com.
(1) About the Cheaponomy Survey
CheapTickets fielded the study from October 7-10, 2008 to SmartMoney
email registrants. 1,011 U.S. adults aged 18 or older were surveyed.
To find out more about Cheaponomy or for real-life tips on adapting to
the Cheaponomy lifestyle from CheapTickets and SmartMoney.com, log on
(2) 2009 CheapTickets Value Travel Forecast
Percentage savings were calculated 11-07-08 by taking the average
price of three-star hotels by travel month in the listed markets
booked on CheapTickets.com for travel December 2007 through November
2008 and comparing the lowest monthly rate with the highest monthly
CheapTickets (http://www.cheaptickets.com) is a leading seller of discounted leisure travel products online through its Web site, http://www.cheaptickets.com. CheapTickets provides consumers access to its collection of airfares on hundreds of airlines. In addition to airline tickets, CheapTickets' family of discounted travel products also includes hotels, cruises, rental cars, vacation packages, condo rentals and Last Minute Travel. Founded in 1986, CheapTickets is a brand that is owned and operated by Orbitz Worldwide .
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