More summer travelers are expected to take to the skies and the roads for a vacation this year, according to recent flight and hotel booking data.
About 88 percent of Americans are planning leisure travel this summer, between May 23 and Sept. 1, according to travel booking site Orbitz.com. That's an 11-percent increase from a year ago.
"This year we’re seeing more Americans traveling and, in fact, taking advantage of smart tactics to save costs and upgrade vacations,” said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor at Orbitz.com. "The majority of consumers said that they would redeem credit card points on their summer vacations so if they have been using a card with good travel rewards it could be a big help in offsetting summer vacation costs."
And those costs have been rising. On average, airfares are up 6 percent and hotel prices are up 12 percent among top summer vacation destinations, according Orbitz.com data.
The average round-trip ticket to New York in particular is up 18 percent year over year, to about $345 this summer. The cost of a hotel stay in New York is up 10 percent, to $303 per night, according to Orbitz.com.
Flights to Orlando are up 12 percent, to $330 on average, and hotel stays there are up 7 percent, to $119 per night, based on Orbitz.com booking data.
For those who still need to book tickets, the key to getting the best deals--and avoiding flights that aren't packed--is having a flexible schedule, according to Tornatore.
"Most people are leaving and traveling for their vacations on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so if you can avoid those, have some flexibility, that will help."