They’re not necessarily dirt cheap, but the website Travelzoo’s annual roster of Wow Deal Destinations, out today, highlights five spots that are almost certain to offer values beyond the ordinary in 2014.
I talked with Travelzoo’s senior editor, Gabe Saglie, about where bargain-seekers should go next year — and why.
The nation’s currency has lost 20% of its value over the past year, boosting the buying power of a dollar.
A number of major international hotel chains are building (Intercontinental will open 16; Hyatt will add 24 in the next couple of years; Hilton has plans for nine). But because business travel has slowed, somewhat, leisure travelers may find savings opportunities, Saglie says.
Flights aren’t cheap (about $1,000 from the East Coast), so shop for air-inclusive vacation packages, he advises.
The Jersey Shore
Travelzoo, which tracks and evaluates travel deals, has recently seen 45% year-over-year savings at Jersey Shore lodgings as the region struggles to bounce back from the hit delivered last fall by super storm Sandy.
A somewhat lackluster summer sparked aggressive deals that lasted later into the season, Saglie says. And as businesses continue to recover in the new year, he expects they’ll try to recapture loyal visitors and woo new ones (who may be newly aware of the region, thanks to the not-so-great publicity) with continuing deals.
A spate of new hotels and major renovations will bring lower rates sparked by greater competition, Saglie predicts.
Plus, the amount of air lift into the city (including Virgin America’s nonstop service from New York’s JFK resuming later this year) bodes well for airfare deals.
“Palm Springs is in the midst of reinventing itself and I think it’ll reach a climax in 2014, ” he says. “There’s a desire to maintain the classic aspects but with a younger, hipper crowd.”
With 20 (!) new ships coming on board in the 2014 season, competition is certain to heat up. Saglie estimates there’s enough new inventory on these small river-going ships to accommodate 200,000 additional passengers next year. The desire to fill those cabins could “be an opportunity for people who have been priced out of this type of cruise,” he says.
Moreover, “there is this core group of travelers looking for a return to a more intimate cruise experience,” he adds.
This South American country wants you. So much so, that it’s reportedly boosting its 2014 advertising budget by 73%.
That may be an attempt to divert attention from Brazil, which has been hogging the spotlight with the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games.
Recent airfares from Miami to Quito have been around $399, Saglie says. But for even better value, he suggests shopping package deals that combine airfare, lodging, meals and excursions.