Fareologists at Bing Travel today issued a forecast for the 2011 summer travel season, predicting airfare and hotel costs will continue to swell. According to the forecast, "airfare is expected to be up 15%, with tickets averaging $561, up from $485 last summer. Summer hotel costs will rise by more than 7%, with average costs at $242, versus $227 last year."
Traveling internationally continues to be the most expensive summer travel choice, with overseas airfare costing about $1,250 per ticket, compared with $1,100 last year. Hotel rates in London are up 23%, but travelers who can afford to make their way to Rome, a city among travel experts' top recommended destinations, will find affordable three-star hotel options at an average of $209 per night.
For those who're willing to let deals lead them to new travel destinations, there're still some cheaper options for exploring new places:
- Off-peak dates save travelers money - May 30 to June 5, with domestic airfare averaging $518 for a round-trip ticket, and the most expensive week is June 27 to July 3, averaging about $595.
- Travel away from the crowds. Among the cheapest destinations is Orlando, Fla., with average airfare coming in at $300 and average hotel prices at $107. There're also deals to be had on flights to Boston, which average $307, and Denver, which average $316.
- Follow the heat to save. Travelers mightn't make any money at the casinos, but Las Vegas has some of the lowest rates on three-star accommodations, with an average hotel price of less than $100. There're even deals on flights to Las Vegas, including flights from Dallas, which've decreased by 39%, and flights from Los Angeles, which can be found for $132.
"Bing Travel has the tools and tips -- such as Bing travel alerts -- that travelers need to save time and money. Bing Travel helps online travel shoppers make smart travel decisions with Price Predictor, an airfare prediction tool that shows whether the lowest fares appear to be rising or dropping and provides recommendations on whether to buy immediately or wait.
Bing Travel Hotel Rate Indicator helps consumers know at a glance if the offered rate for a hotel is a good deal, based on historical rates. Rate Indicator is available for more than 5,000 hotels in 30 major cities across the country, for reservations up to 90 days in the future.
Travelers can also use Bing Travel Wish List Facebook app to help fuel their travel dreams and start the planning process. The app allows people to track, share and compare travel ideas with friends through their personal Wish List on Facebook and simultaneously get information and images through Bing Travel."
[Source: Microsoft Press]