CHICAGO, IL, Dec. 11, 2007 - In anticipation of the New Year, CheapTickets.com, a leading online travel agency that knows "the less you pay, the better it feelsSM," embarked on a thorough review of the past year's hotel pricing trends, identifying when and where travelers found the best bang for their 2007 buck.
Historical data in-hand, CheapTickets reveals its map to budget travel in 2008, introducing the second annual Value Travel Forecast CheapometerSM. These latest projections offer a month-by-month analysis of where to go and -more importantly- when to travel in the New Year, proving a valuable resource for value-minded destination seekers.
From the romance of Rome to the glitz of Las Vegas, CheapTickets 2008 Value Travel Forecast Cheapometer arms travelers with the information to get them there. Noteworthy report highlights include:
- For a hot Mediterranean love affair, travelers should consider an after holiday rendezvous to Athens, Greece, which offers 68% savings in January compared to peak rates.
- Hawaii on a budget? A savings of 22% can be found during a spring fling to the islands in May compared to peak rates.
- Lake Tahoe was a favorite in 2007, and in November travelers can hit the slopes for a little early season skiing with a savings of 53% compared to peak rates.
"There are no hard-fast rules in the game of travel," said Marita Hudson Thomas of the CheapTickets Cheap SquadSM. "But the cyclical nature of our business allows us to look back for a meaningful look forward. By using the month-by-month pricing averages provided in this report, travelers can identify more budget-friendly opportunities in 2008."
The CheapTickets Cheapometer is a monthly travel pricing guide that analyzes where vacationers can find the best value for their hard-earned dollar. The second-annual Value Travel Cheapometer takes a year-long look at 2007 hotel pricing in hundreds of popular tourist destinations and uses this data to project the best month to experience the highest percentage savings (compared to peak rates) in those destinations in 2008. The report below forecasts three cities for each month where travelers can save in the New Year.
TOP PICKS BY THE CHEAPTICKETS TEAM FOR 2008 VALUE TRAVEL
So many destinations, so little time. CheapTickets' team of travel experts identify their month-by-month favorites for the New Year, offering their insight on top attractions and activities (some available via CheapTickets' Activities page) for the budget-savvy traveler.
Athens, Greece - Athens is best known for such historic sites as the Acropolis and Poseidon's Temple, but January travelers will be pleasantly surprised by the downhill and cross-country skiing accessible during an adventures day-trip outside the city.
Napa-Sonoma, CA - Nothing says romance like a trip to the scenic Northern California wine country. The regions rolling hills are lush and green and the dormant vineyards offer a striking vista. Unlike the busy summer and fall, February travelers will find wine tasting a breeze with fewer crowds and more personal attention from the vintners. For those less wine-enthused, Sonoma's Olive Festival is a perfect alternative, as locals and visitors celebrate the fruit in first-class style.
Montreal, Canada - In this French-speaking city, travelers can indulge their cultural side during Montreal's world-famous celebration of film and art held in March. And with hotels offering significant savings of up to 40% during March compared to peak rates, visitors can feel equally inspired by the money still in their pocket.
Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, NC - Discover the world of science in North Carolina this April. The area's renowned centers of science offer kids and kids at heart unique hands-on experiences that will please all generations. If a trip through history sounds more intriguing, check out the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University for a time-traveling retreat.
Hawaii - April showers bring May flowers. Travel to Hawaii this May and help KAHEA, the Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, protect the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands… and their flowers. Travelers can lend a hand in protecting the sacred summit of Mauna Kea and preventing ocean pollution. These and other volunteer opportunities are available through The United Way of America at volunteer.cheaptickets.com. While on break, travelers can enjoy the ocean they are working to keep clean with a surfing lesson.
Las Vegas, NV - The Strip has never been so cool. Escape the heat this June with a night helicopter ride over the Las Vegas Strip for $82 per person. Sip champagne and then sit back and enjoy the elevated vantage point as the air-conditioned helicopter soars above the lights and the crowds on the street below.
Phoenix, AZ - With an average temperature of 105° in the summertime, Phoenix can feel more like sauna than a sanctuary - but it doesn't have to. Spa your way to bliss on a budget by booking in July, when this off-season locale boasts 57% savings compared to peak rates and travelers can take refuge in the serenity of Phoenix's many world-class spas.
Florida Keys, FL - Key Marathon, Key Largo, Key West: CheapTickets has found the key to Florida - August! For summer fun under the sun, visitors should take advantage of the numerous outdoor activities available in the Florida Keys during the summertime, when savings of 45% compared to peak rates are available. To beat the heat, hit the water for a romantic Champagne Sunset Sail on the Atlantic, available for $39 each on CheapTickets' Activities page.
Cancun, Mexico - Avoid spring break madness and fly south of the border in September. Beyond the white sand beaches and twenty-something's dance clubs, visitors can day-trip to nearby Chichen Itza, one of the world's seven wonders, for a guided excursion that takes travel to new heights.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic - As the air turns a bit cooler, Punta Cana becomes a most desirable Autumn retreat, offering 56% savings in October compared to peak rates. With over 25 all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean hot spot, visitors are guaranteed the best bag for their buck. From snorkeling to wave ridding to drinks on the beach, travelers will be glad to finally vacation without feeling like an open register.
Lake Tahoe, CA/NV - Winter activities can get pricey and when you add the skis, boots and thermal gear, the bill adds up. But in 2008, travelers can kick the ski season off right without spending a fortune. With 53% savings in November, compared to peak rates, Lake Tahoe's 12 alpine ski areas have never looked better for budget-minded ski aficionados!
Rome, Italy - All roads lead to Rome this December with 48% savings compared to peak rates. As vacationers become ever more conscious of the value of the Euro to the US Dollar, Rome-bound travelers will appreciate the hefty holiday savings in 2008. Whether tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain or exploring the architecturally spellbinding Vatican City, Rome is for amore.
To view CheapTickets 2008 Value Travel Forecast visit: http://Pressroom.cheaptickets.com/cheapometer
CheapTickets (www.cheaptickets.com) is a leading seller of discounted leisure travel products online through its Web site, www.cheaptickets.com. CheapTickets provides consumers access to its collection of airfares on hundreds of airlines. In addition to air, CheapTickets' family of discounted travel products also includes hotel accommodations, cruises, rental cars, vacation packages, condo rentals and Last Minute Trips. Founded in 1986, CheapTickets is a brand that is owned and operated by Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW).
Marita Hudson Thomas