Good news for people in need of a little rest and relaxation after the long winter — this years's spring break will cost a lot less in 2016 than it did last year!
Airline tickets, hotels see drop in price
The average airline ticket prices to big spring break destinations are down year over year, according to a new analysis by Expedia. That applies to all five of the most popular spring break domestic destinations:
- Orlando, Florida (down 14%)
- Miami (down 14%)
- Phoenix (down 2%)
- Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (down 17%)
- Tampa, Florida (down 9%)
Four of the five most popular international destinations also show significant year-over-year decreases as well:
- Cancun, Mexico (down 14%)
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (down 6%)
- San Juan, Puerto Rico (down 15%)
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (down 10%)
Prices were up by 1% in the outlier — San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.
Read more: Going to Las Vegas on the cheap
There’s a good chance you could get a good price on your hotel stay this year, too. The average daily rates of Puerto Rico, Panama City and Aruba hotels are down more than 5%, 15% and 10%, respectively, year over year. New Orleans, Riviera Maya, Mexico and Miami also show lower average daily rates year over year, though their decreases are in the single-digits, according to the study.
The findings are based on Expedia.com bookings made for March 11-April 10, 2016 and March 1-April 12, 2015. Expedia did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why the dates were slightly different. Popular spring break destinations are defined as markets that show higher demand in the spring vs. the rest of the year.
Prices could be down for a variety of reasons — including “the price of oil, demand, weather, you name it,” Sarah Gavin, an Expedia travel expert, said in a news release.
Experts say that lower airfare and hotel rates don’t necessarily mean that you should book a last-minute trip. You’ll need to be sure your budget can handle a vacation first. And you may want to check your credit. High credit card balances caused by a sudden influx of travel expenses could drive your credit utilization up and hurt your credit score. (You can see where you currently stand by viewing your free credit report summary each month on Credit.com.)
Read more: A plan to raise your credit score in 2016
If you do decide to travel, you can keep the cost of your trip down by comparison shopping for deals, avoiding tourist traps and traveling to less traditional locations. Hotel prices in Lake Tahoe, for instance, are down 110% this year, Expedia said.
You may also want to use a travel rewards credit card to earn points, miles or cash back on your vacation purchases. The cards also have other benefits, like a free checked bag or no foreign transaction fees that can help control expenses. Go here to learn more about the best travel credit cards in America.)