Track down fall travel bargains

PHILADELPHIA - September 14, 2010

Teachers and students are back in class. The weather's still pretty nice. And, if you time it right, your vacation could cost a lot less.

Travel agents say Europe is always popular in fall, but when you go is critical. Wait until mid-October and prices generally go down. If you can wait until November 1st, they usually go down even more. But note that in late November, some destinations go back up as students start travelling for the holidays.

Domestically, you can save big on trips to the Atlantic Coast, but be aware that hurricane season lasts through the end of November. In all probability, your trip will not be interrupted. Many travelers buy insurance just in case.

Costa Rica is popular this time of year. Mexican and Caribbean resorts are always in vogue, and Las Vegas never goes out of season.

Action News visited "Travel Anywhere" in Center City, Philadelphia. President Sally Sells books individual and group ventures all over the world. Before consulting an agent, she recommends that you ask yourself some basic questions:
"How long can I be away?"
"How much can I spend?"
"Do I want to drive, fly or take a train?"
"Is there a particular place I want to go?"
Perhaps even more important: "Is there some place I don't want to go?"
"What do I want to see, or don't?"

Paying with frequent flier miles and credit card points may save you money, but note that travel agents might charge you a fee for using them. They involve extra work, and, unlike most transactions, the agent is not compensated by the travel facility. Any fee is usually far less than the money you save, however.

You can go online and find many travel bargains, but agents are more likely to know about special last-minute or limited-opportunity deals that can save you the most.

Tour operators send travel agencies daily lists when they have space to fill, and these vacations are often at the best prices you're likely to find anywhere.

If you're not certain what you want to do, a cruise might be your best choice. Most get you multiple destinations. Almost all give you an array of dining options. You only pack and unpack once. And the price is all-inclusive.

You can reach Travel Anywhere by phone at (215) 923-4300.

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