5 Tips to Help You Cash in on Summer Travel Savings

Low fuel prices and a strong US dollar are making for a number of great deals for travelers this summer.

Everybody likes a bargain, especially on travel. Travelzoo, a publisher of travel deals, says that “Americans can expect to spend up to 40% less than last year on summer vacations.” The US dollar is strong, and gas and airfares prices have declined. However—and there’s always a “however”—how much you save depends on your willingness to take advantage of low rates in some places that have seen a drop in visitors.

Travelzoo Trends and Good Deals

Lower Airfares: TravelZoo reports that airlines are offering the lowest prices in seven years. The fare cuts are a combination of decreased oil prices and major carriers who slashed fares to compete with budget carriers.

Strong Dollar: It costs less to travel internationally since the US dollar remains strong against foreign currencies. With the Canadian dollar trading at US $0.76, Americans effectively receive a 24% discount on hotels and restaurants. In January 2016, even with cold weather in Canada, American travel to the region rose 19% over January 2015.

European Deals: After terrorists attacks in Paris, Travelzoo reports that hotel occupancy rates for April 2016 and down 11% compared with April 2015. To fill rooms, some properties offer discounts of up to 30%.

Caribbean and Mexican Deals: Because of fears of the Zika virus in Caribbean destinations, a February 2016 survey found that 30% of those considering vacation in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America were changing their plans. In addition to the typical summer bargains, Travelzoo notes “this year, we are seeing especially strong offers, especially in more posh islands like Anguilla, where we don’t typically find deals.”

Asia, Australia, and China Savings: Lower airfares have translated into savings of more than 35% in Asia and Australia. Travelzoo cites an eight-night escorted vacation to China, including breakfast and air, for under $850 a person. “That was unheard of until recently,” says Travelzoo.