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Spring break on despite recession

Amanda Gray | Friday, February 13, 2009

This spring break, the economy has had an effect on travel and prices, according to Anthony Travel’s Leisure Manager Kayleen Carr. But it’s an effect that benefits the traveler.

“Prices are cheaper,” Carr said. “Similar packages are cheaper this year than last year.”

There isn’t a noticeable change in the amount of people vacationing, Carr said.

Vacation destination trends are slightly different. Cruises and cruise packages were the popular item last year, Carr said, while this year land packages, including airfare, hotel rooms, and in some cases, food and drinks, are the most popular choice.

“Compared to last year, students are getting a better deal because the packages are all-inclusive,” Carr said.

The average cost of these all-inclusive packages is $850, she said.

Prices for flights are also down because of lower fuel costs, Carr said.

“People are paying $500 for hotel and airfare this year, what last year would have gotten them just airfare,” she said.

Carr said companies are also advertising plenty of last-minute deals to bring in more customers.

All of these cheap prices have been good for Anthony Travel.

“We’ve had more spring break business than last year,” Carr said.

This year’s most popular Spring Break destination for students is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Carr said. Other popular destinations are Riviera Maya, which is south of Cancún, and Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic.

Notre Dame senior Katie Begerow will be one of the many students traveling this Spring Break.

“We’re going to Utah, and staying with my boyfriend’s family,” Begerow said.

Price affected their Spring Break destination choice.

“It was between a cruise over spring break or a trip to Europe this summer, and we wanted to go to Europe more,” she said.

Lower fuel prices also affecting her normal routine of buying tickets in advance, Begerow said. Her normal routine of buying plane tickets months in advance was changed to just a few weeks.

Another benefit to her trip is staying with a family, Begerow said. This removes the added costs of a hotel.

“I only had to pay for the plane ticket, which is nice,” she said.

Begerow doesn’t see that big of a difference in Spring Break travel due to the economy.

“Friends who normally go places are going places, and friends who normally go home are going home,” she said.