When planning your spring and summer vacations, consider Travelzoo’s Wow destinations, places where the global travel site says Americans will find the best value. Travelzoo based its picks on three trends that the site believes will influence travelers the most in 2017.
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“Increased choice for flights to New Zealand will likely spur air sales,” said Michael Stitt, Travelzoo’s president in North America. “A strong U.S. dollar will make destinations, including Peru, Paris and the United Kingdom more affordable than ever for Americans. And hotel openings, particularly in D.C. and on Florida’s Gulf Coast will result in increased supply and more hotel deals.”
Travelzoo’s 2017 Wow Deal Destinations
Because visitors can fly into the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport or the nearby Tampa airport, airlines often offer sales to attract passengers. In addition the opening of seven new hotels in 2016 in the Clearwater area plus Clearwater Beach’s Wyndham Grand Resort slated to debut in 2017 creates competition that’s likely to result in good rates.
In 2016 the number of passenger seats to New Zealand doubled. American Airlines, United Airlines and Air New Zealand launched direct flights from the U.S. The result is a reduction in packages. Travelzoo says that a hotel and air package that formerly cost $2000 per person, sells for about $1,300 per person.
Paris costs should be lower than typical in 2017 because of: a loss to hotels of 1.8 million visitors for the first 10 months in 2016 compared to 2015; favorable exchange rates with the dollar; and an increase of low-cost airline options. A new high-speed train between Paris and Bordeaux opens in summer 2017, making access to the noted wine region more convenient and affordable.
Seven airlines fly nonstop from the U.S. to Lima, creating competition and the U.S. dollar is at a 10-year high compared to the Peruvian sol.
The British pound, which was at a 31-year low in June 2016, continues to be relatively weak compared with the U.S. dollar. According to Travelzoo experts, a luxury 5-star hotel in Central London now costs 24 percent less than it did two years ago.
Room rates in D.C. will likely be lowered because of the area’s many new hotels – 14 properties opened in 2016 and 16 should debut in 2017. In addition, many of the District’s museums, including the new National Museum of African-American History & Culture, are free. To visit that museum, it’s best to obtain a free, timed-entry pass months in advance.
Follow Candyce H. Stapen on Twitter: @FamilyiTrips