Vacationers will have to pay big bucks to get away

As the price of oil goes up, so will the cost of an airline ticket. (March 29, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

As the price of oil goes up, so will the cost of an airline ticket. (March 29, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 This Morning at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, March 29, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- As the Masters Tournament approaches and schools empty out for spring break, some travelers are looking to the air for a spring getaway.

Although, sky high fuel prices will make finding a bargain hard for travelers. Jet fuel prices increased over 30% in the past year to more than $3.00 a gallon.

"People that may have put off vacation in the past because of the economy are going maybe, 'hey we're ready to go now' this season," said Margaret Centers, of Center's Travel.

Centers has been busy all week booking flights and cruises for her clients. She says to expect to shell out more for a vacation this summer as fuel surcharges will drive up your airfare.

"If you go to Europe and find anything under $1000 dollars that's a bargain, because I've been looking at prices for Paris this summer and it's $1700," Center explained.

She recommends traveling mid-week, checking out discount airlines instead of sticking to major carriers like Delta or U.S. Airways, and she recommends looking at packaged deals which could save you on airfare. That's what Melissa Briley did for her upcoming trip.

"Normally we don't spend a lot of money on trips, but it's a once in a life time trip," said Briley.

She booked her trip for her family of five to Belize this summer for more than $10,000. "That's airfare, where we're staying and excursion all combined," Briley added. "I think it'll be well worth it. It's Belize and we plan to take full advantage of it."

Check for additional fees when you are booking online. Some websites will charge you a fee depending on where you choose to sit, and lightning your load while traveling doesn't hurt. "Really re-think what you are carrying. Usually don't need as much luggage as you think. You can cut back on that."

Flying in May or early June may lower prices for you. When it comes to hotel prices you can a opt for non-refundable hotel deals. Agents say sometimes those prices are 30% lower, but the only catch is you are locked in for those dates.

Vacationers traveling abroad are also encouraged to take safety precautions. Make sure you register with the U.S. Embassy. You can sign up at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ for their Smart Traveler Program. Give your family and friends back home the contact information of where you'll be staying abroad as well.


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