SAN FRANCISCO, May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The deal experts at Travel-Ticker.com (www.travel-ticker.com), a leading inspirational travel website, today revealed its Summer 2012 Where To Go Now & How Guide. Each season, the Travel-Ticker team uses its years of experience traveling the globe and hunting for great bargains to provide travelers with the inside scoop, identifying the destinations that offer the best overall experience and value. To create the guide, the experts at Travel-Ticker.com examine local trends including weather, tourist traffic, entertainment options, cultural experiences and the available deals in each locale. This summer, the expert's analysis guides us to Catalina, Riviera Maya, San Francisco, South Africa and Washington, DC.
"Summer is peak season for many destinations because it's the time when many of us take our big vacation for the year. This uptick in demand can quickly drive prices up," said L. Jasmine Kim, general manager of Travel-Ticker.com. "So, knowing which destinations offer the best experience without the high price tag is even more crucial. Luckily, creating a memorable and affordable summer getaway is completely in reach with a few insider tips on where to look."
From white sandy beaches to urban locales or exotic outdoor destinations, Travel-Ticker.com's Summer 2012 Where To Go Now & How Guide features five destinations that fit a variety of travelers' budgets and personalities:
1. San Francisco – Mild temperatures meet great summer savings
- Why Now: San Francisco, known for its temperate weather during the summer months, is ideal for travelers looking to escape the heat that the season brings to so many other cities. Late summer is the best time to visit the City by the Bay as it tends to provide a bit more warmth and sunshine, but never scorching temperatures. Summer 2013 is expected to be quite expensive as The America's Cup will be hosted by the city, so take advantage of the lower prices that are available this year.
- Value: The hotel rates in the peak season only average $10 higher than in the off-season, so for those seeking a city steeped in history that offers a family-friendly cultural experience, it's definitely worth the splurge for your summer vacation. Hotel rates average from $112 per night, but travel Tuesday through Thursday for even greater savings.
- How: Up to 25% off 4-star San Francisco hotel in Union Square -- $165+: Downtown luxury meets discounted rates. Centrally located in Union Square, the 4-star Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco has renovated rooms for as little as $165, May 10-August 20.
2. Catalina Island – Sail into summer savings
- Why Now: Southern California's beautiful Catalina Island is a unique summer destination for many, especially families and couples. Even better, during the summer it's also the perfect combo of great weather and savings. It is the island's peak season, but with so many travelers also visiting other nearby popular cities, deals tend to be plentiful. Once you arrive to the island, plan to relax and enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities, including sailing, hiking and for the more adventurous souls, scuba diving.
- Value: Catalina Island is generally more affordable in the summer and travelers can save anywhere from 20-55 percent off their hotel stay as compared to fall. Hotel rates average from $90 per person, per night, including roundtrip ferries to/from Long Beach.
- How: Top-rated Catalina Island hotel w/breakfast and more, $140+: Just discounted and top-rated on TripAdvisor. Midweek stays at Pavilion Hotel on Catalina Island start at $140 per person, per night. Weekends are $20 more. Breakfast, tours, and more are included. Travel May 4-October 21.
3. Washington, DC – Peak season, but hot summer deals
- Why Now: As the city is gearing up for election season in the fall, the time to visit DC to score a deal is actually during the peak summer season. Fall is typically the season when DC see's lower prices, but this year many people will plan to visit to be part of the activities circling the election, and that will undoubtedly drive prices up. If you don't mind the heat, DC offers a rich cultural experience for all types of travelers and is expected to be quite the bargain over the summer, especially on weekends. The city also provides plenty of free entertainment, including shows and live concerts. Some museums also offer free entrance on a dedicated day of the week (i.e. Tuesdays are free at the National Museum of Natural History's Butterfly Pavilion).
- Value: Rates in the summer will get as low as $69. In fall, rates for similar hotels will run you at least $129 – that's a 45% savings. Travelers will find the best value at luxury properties as they tend to price quite competitively this time of year.
- How: Washington, DC: 20% off downtown hotel with WiFi -- $109+: Major savings in the heart of DC. Stay at Washington Plaza for as little as $109 per night, plus get complimentary WiFi. We found the lowest rates on select dates, July-September. Stay now-June for as little as $119.
4. Riviera Maya – Soak up sun and stellar deals in the Mexican Riviera
- Why Now: Travelers seeking warm summer sunshine, white sandy beaches and clear blue waters should travel to the Rivera Maya. The summer months are shoulder season for this beach paradise, resulting in stellar deals and less crowds. And, with many resorts recently popping up in the area, prices this year should be even lower. Be sure to plan a trip earlier in summer to beat the storms that tend to roll in as we get closer to fall.
- Value: Hotel rates in Cancun average $93 per person, per night, which are the lowest prices all year long. By traveling during summer, you'll not only score a savings up to 50 percent, but you'll also miss hurricane season.
- How: Riviera Maya: 35% off upscale all-inclusive resort -- from $69: Eat, sleep, swim, or do nothing all day -- for 35% less. The beachfront, all-inclusive Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort & Spa starts at just $69 per person, per night. Upgrade your stay for as little as $10 more. Travel now-October 31.
5. South Africa – Bask in a tropics of great savings
- Why Now: Being a subtropical location in the southern hemisphere, South Africa sees its winter and off-season run from April through September, but that does not mean cold temperatures. What it does mean is great deals coupled with sunny, dry days and pleasantly crisp nights. The KwaZulu-Natal coast and Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces offer especially beautiful weather with warm, sunny days and virtually no wind or rain. For the more adventuresome, these months are also perfect to observe South Africa's prosperous wildlife as vegetation is sparse during this time of year making it a great time for safaris.
- Value: Travelers can save hundreds on packages to South Africa when they go in late summer, saving about $970 per person or $1,970 per couple, when compared to winter months. That savings, combined with the best safari game viewing, makes the decision to visit South Africa this summer an easy one.
- How: South Africa tour with air, hotels, safaris, and meals -- $2,949+: Get traveling, get wild, get saving. Gate 1 Travel has a 10-night trip to South Africa that includes flights, hotels, safaris, a cruise, 15 meals, and tours from $2,949 in August and September.
*Prices are per person or per night, based on availability, and do not include additional taxes and fees. Other restrictions may apply. Please see website for more details.
Travel-Ticker is an online inspirational travel website that is home to some of the best handpicked, insider deals at many of the world's favorite destinations. With an ear to the ground and an eye for the unique, Travel-Ticker's experts provide users with a geo-targeted platform and a weekly newsletter to browse for researched travel bargains, the latest travel trends, and editorial insight. Travel-Ticker is an independent business unit of The Hotwire Group. For more information, visit us at www.travel-ticker.com and join us on Twitter (@travel_ticker) and Facebook. In addition to Travel-Ticker, The Hotwire Group of websites includes: www.hotwire.com, www.travel-ticker.com and www.carrentals.com.
Travel Ticker and the Travel-Ticker logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotwire, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. © 2012 Hotwire, Inc. All rights reserved. CST# 2053390-40