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AAA releases tips and trends for 2009 travel  Jan 07, 2009

Sure, the economy is struggling and most Americans are cutting back on their discretionary spending. But it's not all doom and gloom for travelers in 2009. Even though the travel industry is impacted by the economic downturn, the good news is 2009 is the year of the great travel bargain. Your dream vacation may cost a lot less this year because of discounts, extras and upgrades. And some of the most popular travel destinations are seeing smaller crowds, which can make your visit a more enjoyable experience.

Now's the time to pull out the crystal ball and survey the travel landscape for the coming year. Doreen Loofburrow, Director of Travel for AAA Oregon/Idaho, has the top travel trends for 2009, and some practical tips for planning your vacations. Bon voyage!

Value Vacations:

This year more than ever, travelers are looking to get the best vacation they can afford. The travel industry has answered with several value-oriented vacations. Cruises are a popular option. Cruise lines are expanding their offerings and destinations, and lowering their prices. You can cruise for as little as $60 per day, and this includes your accommodations, food, and transportation to ports of call. European river cruising lets you escape the expensive hotel and food rates in Europe by traveling on a river ship. It not only offers an excellent value, but it's a more relaxing way to get from city to city. And new all-inclusive resorts are popping up at the hottest tourist destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, and with food and beverages all included, there's no sticker shock when the final bill arrives.

Exploring the U.S. and Canada:

With airfares still fairly high, another popular trend is to vacation in North America instead of Europe or other far away destinations. Washington D.C. is once again a hot destination. (Wait until after the inauguration of Barrack Obama on January 20!) Plan your trip for sometime after January 21 and then explore this historic city. Weekend hotel rates are usually a great value, and the best part is most major attractions, including the Smithsonian Museums, are free. Vancouver B.C. is hosting the 2010 Olympic games and is busy getting ready. You can beat the crowds by traveling in 2009, and you'll want to visit Whistler, which will host many of the Olympic events. Another popular destination making many of the national “hot lists” is our own Willamette Valley, Oregon featuring many wineries.

Hot Destinations:

Many popular destinations will be “hot spots” in 2009 and you’ll hear people talking about them. Riviera Nayarit just north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is just one of these places. This new resort area features many new hotels, including several all-inclusive resorts. Plus there is something for everyone, whether you want to golf, shop, or soak up the sun. With the unfavorable exchange rate in Europe this past year, South America has proven to be a popular alternative destination. Peru’s Machu Picchu will remain hot, and it is still affordable. With the media focus on the Olympics in China in 2008, that country has seen an even greater number of travelers. Plus one of the hottest destinations is a Yangtze River Cruise which is not only a great value but also provides an easy way to see much of the country.

Plan Your Travel with a reputable travel agency:

Planning a trip today can be confusing and time consuming. And the amount of time it might take you to plan your own trip can be overwhelming. A professional travel agent can save you time and money by arranging all aspects of your trip. Plus booking your air, hotel and car together as a package is typically the best way to save. That’s always important, because getting the most for your money is the one travel trend that’s popular every year.

Have your vacation at Mexico and stay at the best cabo san lucas hotels.

AAA releases tips and trends for 2009 travel

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