Monday, October 06, 2008

Holiday Travel: Cool Destinations and Hot Deals

(ARA) – Whether packing the minivan for Thanksgiving or heading out for a big city holiday shopping trip, finding true deals is a necessity for many travelers this year. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 91 percent of holiday travel is done in a personal vehicle. With gas prices pinching pockets, travelers must find other ways to save on holiday travel.

According to data from, the most popular travel destinations for the holiday season run the gamut from warm beach areas in Florida to urban destinations such as Chicago and New York. Average holiday hotel pricing in a few of these destinations is reason enough to consider the trip -- with plenty to discover for both warm- and cold-weather enthusiasts.

Perfect Tan Destinations
For those looking to escape winter’s chill, the warm Atlantic Ocean off Florida’s coast is a far cry from shoveling snow in the driveway. According to CheapTickets, the sunny beaches of Fort Lauderdale and Miami are where holiday travelers will find reasonable hotel stays at an average daily rate of $87 and $134, respectively.

Another warm-weather option is California’s Pacific Coast. The wine enthusiast will enjoy San Francisco’s world famous wine country -- located just a short drive north. Winter marks the area’s slow season, leaving tasting rooms with plenty of elbow room to sample regional specialties, such as Sonoma Zinfandel. Further south, Los Angeles offers the allure of living like the cast of the television show, Entourage -- even if only for a few days -- while San Diego is home to plenty of family-friendly theme parks.

Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose
Chicago, known as the “Second City,” is a great cool-weather city alternative this holiday season. According to data from CheapTickets, hotel rates average $135 per night in November and December -- more than $100 less than New York City. While in Chicago, travelers will appreciate the breathtaking views from the John Hancock Observatory, home to the world’s highest caffeine buzz at the Espression Cafe.

For a more remote winter wonderland, Vermont offers several great ski resorts that are worth investigating this year. Skiers and snowboarders will enjoy a variety of mountain trails at Mount Snow, Stratton and Killington. Those not prone to the slopes can satisfy a sweet tooth at the Ben & Jerry’s Factory. Guests can take a tour of the famous ice cream makers’ shop and sample the flavor of the day -- not a bad way to savor winter’s chill.

Whether laying on the beach or going sky-high in the big city, holiday travelers concerned about their budget can rest easy. Travel deals are still out there. For great ideas on planning travel on a budget, check out trip tips from real travelers at

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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