CHICAGO, March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Even with the relatively mild winter, Americans are still craving the sun and warm weather for spring break, according to the Orbitz Insider Index released today, which reveals the top 10 destinations for spring break and provides a look at five alternative trips for families this travel season.
Thanks to budget-friendly deals and warm spring weather, Florida once again dominates the list of spring destinations this year but Las Vegas comes in at a close second. The data uncovers the 10 most popular spring break travel destinations based on air bookings made on Orbitz.com for travel between March 1 and April 22, 2012. Among the highlights:
Florida Fever: For the second year in a row, not only does Orlando rank as this year's number-one destination, but four of 2012's most popular locales are in the Sunshine State: Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers and Tampa.
Sin City is this year's bargain capital: Las Vegas offers this year's best deals, including some of the lowest average airfares in the country as well as hotel rooms averaging just $96 a night. The endless choices of top entertainers and shows plus the rise in daytime pool parties make Las Vegas a go-to spot for letting loose this spring break.
Hotels on sale: Though average airfares and average daily rates (ADRs) are up in a majority of markets, hotel rooms can be had for under $150 per night in eight of the top destinations: Orlando, Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Fort Myers, Tampa and Denver.
Orbitz.com Top 10 Spring Break Destinations for 2012¹
"Families itching for a different kind of getaway are in luck. This spring there are a number of options that will suit any lifestyle—from sports enthusiasts to the spontaneous traveler," said Orbitz.com Senior Travel Editor Jeanenne Tornatore.
5 Out-of-the-box Family Spring Break Ideas:
2012 Olympic Trials: For those that may not be able to make the trek to the 2012 London Games this summer, a number of Olympic trial games will take place across the country this spring. The April 7th Nike Hoop Summit, for instance, will be held in Portland, Ore. and is the only U.S.-based men's basketball qualifying event. In this premier annual basketball game for high-school age boys, America's top high school seniors take to the court to play against a World Select Team that's comprised of top international players 19 years old or younger. Tickets are just $5 in advance or $10 on game day.
Spring Training: Baseball fans across the country are gearing up to celebrate America's favorite pastime at spring training events in Arizona and Florida, where the Cactus League and Grapefruit League have just kicked off the 2012 spring training season. "With hotel rates in Orlando and Phoenix averaging around $115 and $126 per night respectively, these spring training hot spots offer a number of warm-weather activities for people of all ages to enjoy," said Tornatore.
Hit the Road, Jack: The widespread use of GPS-enabled mobile devices makes it easy for travelers to take a road trip and book a hotel along the way. "Families don't need to plan every last-minute detail before setting off on their spring break adventures anymore," said Tornatore. "From plotting turn-by-turn directions to finding hotel deals and your favorite restaurants along the way, today's mobile devices give travelers the freedom to hop in the car and plan as they drive." The Orbitz Hotels App for iPad and iPhone, for example, lets users find great deals along the way via 'Mobile Steals,' a free service that provides exclusive mobile-only discounts of up to 50 percent on hotels worldwide.
Spring Skiing: While 2012 has experienced one of the warmest and driest winters in recent memory, several popular resorts across the country have received plenty of snow and will make for an excellent ski getaway. "Family-friendly ski resorts in Vail and Beaver Creek are offering discounts of up to 70% off normal rates in April, and even 50-60% off in March," said Tornatore. "These are amazing deals—especially as the region has just recently seen some significant snowfalls as we head into spring."
A-Cruising We Will Go: Cruises are always a great option for families with children of all ages, with activities for everyone both on and off the ship. A trip aboard a Disney cruise ship creates lasting memories for kids especially when hanging out with their favorite Disney characters. There are still some cruise lines with last minute availability in March and April. Orbitz has four-night cruises departing from Florida in March for as low as $299 per person (plus applicable taxes and fees).
Tips for Saving On Spring Break Travel
Similar to last summer, gas prices are once again approaching record levels, so it's more important than ever to lock plans—and prices—in now.
"Orbitz conducted a poll last summer that revealed 81% of consumers were still planning to take a summer vacation even with rising gas prices," said Tornatore. "We expect this sentiment to continue for spring travel as people need a break and want to spend quality time with their families. With a little advanced planning and preparation, travelers can take a great trip that doesn't break the bank."
Among the money-saving tips:
Look for programs like Orbitz Price Assurance which rewards Orbitz customers with an automatic cash refund if another Orbitz customer later books the same flight or prepaid hotel room for less. Packages, which combine air/car/hotel together, save money versus booking everything separately.
Look for "value-adds" when choosing a hotel. Complimentary meals and services such as free daily breakfast, free wi-fi or discounted parking can easily save a family up to $50 - $70 a day.
Pack lightly, as airline luggage fees can quickly add up and put an unexpected dent into the budget.
Terms and Conditions
¹Top 10 Spring Break destinations are based on flight bookings made on Orbitz.com for travel from March 1, 2012 - April 22, 2012, for bookings made as of Feb 23, 2012.
Orbitz.com is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and book an array of travel products and services, including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages. Since launching its website in June 2001, Orbitz.com has become one of the largest online travel sites in the world and has led the industry with innovations including the Orbitz Matrix Display and Orbitz Price Assurance. The Matrix Display revolutionized the way the travel industry displayed fares and makes it quick and easy for consumers to compare flights, rental cars and vacation packages. The Price Assurance program gives travelers confidence that they have the lowest Orbitz price on their flight or hotel. With Price Assurance, if another Orbitz customer books the same flight or prepaid hotel for less, we'll send you a check for the difference -- automatically. Orbitz.com also offers "Insider Steals" a weekly, members-only flash sale that provides exclusive deals of 50% or more off of handpicked hotels in top destinations around the world. On Orbitz.com consumers can search a broad range of suppliers worldwide. Orbitz.com is owned by Orbitz Worldwide. Stay connected to Orbitz.com with sale alerts, exclusive promotions and engaging conversations by following Orbitz on Facebook, Twitter and the Orbitz Travel Blog.
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