With the U.S. economy in the proverbial toilet, popular vacation destinations such as Florida and Nevada are stepping up efforts to attract business from its best customers. Cheap, shorter-length vacations are now being offered in hopes of attracting budget minded travelers. Packages that include free shuttle to popular venues (i.e. Disney parks; Las Vegas off-the-strip attractions), and low-cost meal plans (or even all-inclusive food and beverage) are now among the most popular criteria for U.S. vacationers.
As the vacation season fast approaches, there is yet another option for those people who do not want to travel too far from home. Vacation rentals are fast becoming a great alternative to rising airline ticket costs, food prices, and of course gasoline. Americans with second homes, in states like Michigan and Maine, who find themselves in their own economic indifference, are renting out these properties in record numbers, to help subsidize mortgage and maintenance costs. This especially appeals to American suburbanites looking to stay in-state with their hard-earned money.
However, competition is stiff for those of us looking to book a low cost vacation. With online travel services quickly monopolizing, people find that shopping for that great getaway can be time-sensitive. For example, you find what might be a great deal on one web-site, navigate away to do some comparison shopping, and come back only to find the deal has been taken. Remember, you’re not just competing with fellow Americans, but also with countries whose currency has strengthened against an ailing U.S. dollar (like the Canadian Dollar and British Pound). Web-aware consumers are becoming increasingly shrewd in competing for vacations. If you are not on top of the latest online techniques used for securing travel destinations, the experience may leave you very frustrated.
Enter a new way for booking vacations; the online travel portal. These web-sites offer a variety of travel deals, displayed as mini-ads under categorized web pages. Each ad is directly linked back to a hosting site, and can be shown side-by-side with an ad from another competing web-site. This allows online consumers to compare a variety of deals on a single page, based on time ending (if it is an auction), by price, or by company. Valuable minutes, even seconds, can be saved by using online travel portals as the method for comparing vacation deals.
Online travel portals have also benefitted the ever-disappearing small business travel company. They now can compete directly with the juggernauts of the vacation booking industry, and at a cost for advertising that is very affordable. The owners of these companies can even monitor price changes of competing ads and dynamically adjust their offers as required. The winner in the end will be the traveler, getting the best deal in price, with a lot less effort.
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