The travel industry is one of the sectors hit hardest by the economic downturn. Airlines and hotels worldwide are struggling. Since fewer people are traveling, airlines are forced to reduce capacity and hotels have a number of unsold rooms. Does this mean that we can travel for less? Not necessarily, especially if you are heading to Europe. Here is why:
Transatlantic travel is hit by capacity cuts; some European carriers like Malev and CSA closed their North-American routes completely, others like Delta offer fewer flights. One would assume, that as airlines compete for a reduced number of travelers fares will drop. This might be valid for US domestic travel, however not for transatlantic journeys. Europe remains a popular destination with limited seats, a long and costly route for the airlines, allowing them to charge more. As the summer season approaches fares will certainly go up. If you’re planning to visit Europe in 2010, booking when you find an airfare that’s right for your budget is essential for saving money. Shopping in advance is usually the right way to go. Compare your fare options and when you find a price you like, take it.
You will likely find more deals however when looking for a hotel room. Hotels are stuck with a number of unsold rooms and they can’t adjust their capacity. When looking for a hotel, keep in mind, that high-end properties have generally seen larger price drops than others. Check out the vacation packages too, as hotels tend to offer great deals on their unsold hotel inventory bundled in packages.