Fall is a good time for frugal travellers, says BCAA Travel

    Travel advice on how to bag a bargain break

    BURNABY, BC, Sept. 3 /CNW/ - Good news for holidaymakers who can afford
to take a long-haul break within the next few months: falling demand for
travel means there are plenty of bargains around. Overseas costs have tumbled,
with hundreds of airline seats, apartments and hotel rooms yet to be booked.
    The rock-bottom deals come after a slump in foreign holiday bookings this
summer as families hit by the credit crunch decided to take "staycations" at
home. Statistics Canada says the number of Canadian trips abroad decreased 7.4
per cent from May to June with just over 3.6 million trips.
    Now travel operators hope to claw back business by tempting
vacation-starved Canadians with cheap offers.
    BCAA Travel Director, Dale Urquhart says customers are booking much later
due to low consumer confidence and a need to ensure they have cash available
to take a holiday.
    "This has resulted in a lot more holidays left in the late-deals market
than this time last year," she says. But travellers beware: holding out for
the best deals may not be the best plan. The deals that are out there may be
fleeting, Urquhart warns. "Airlines with significant losses may need to
further reduce capacity in the Fall. That means fares could head north again.
Translation: if you see a great deal, snag it or it might disappear."

    Countries to see in a recession

    More than ever, the holiday destination you choose will make a big
difference to your pocket book. Below are BCAA's best-value destination picks
that will currently provide more bang for your buck:

    1.  Australia - Down Under continues to shake up the market with the
        introduction of super cheap flights between Los Angeles - Sydney and
        Brisbane with V Australia, offering one-way tickets from just $359
        U.S., approximately 76 per cent lower than the lowest one-way fare
        currently offered by competitor airlines.

    2.  Turkey - Some of Europe's best-value beaches can be found on Turkey's
        beautiful Lycian Coast, which is revving up in the popularity stakes.
        To get the best deals across the Atlantic, try to book your land and
        flights together. Also cater for yourself, or book an all-inclusive
        holiday. While food and groceries are comparatively cheap, the cost
        of eating out is becoming more expensive and the price of alcoholic
        drinks has also risen over the past year.

    3.  South America - Yes it's a long haul and as yet there are no budget
        airlines offering flights. But once there, you can live like a lord
        for a fraction of what it costs in Canada.

    4.  Thailand - There's no need to chase the myth of a deserted paradise
        like Leonardo di Caprio in "The Beach"; Thailand's stuffed full of
        awesome and affordable stretches of sand. From 15-cent train rides to
        excellent $1 meals, Bangkok is teeming with budget options for the
        penny-pinching traveller.

    5.  Las Vegas - Las Vegas hoteliers are raking in $5.8 million per day
        less than they were a year ago, according to the latest figures from
        the Convention and Visitors Authority. To lift business, vacationers
        stand to receive more incentives and freebies than ever before.

    6.  Mexico - While the outbreak of the H1N1 virus, also known as swine
        flu, hurt early summer travel to Mexico, those fears seem to have
        worn off. Visitor numbers are recovering and visitors are enjoying
        the discounted rates on accommodation.

    7.  Egypt - While this destination has been welcoming travellers for
        years, a trip here won't break the bank, and offers some great value
        packages. How much you pay for a camel ride or felucca ride down the
        Nile depends on your haggling skills. Aim to knock off half the price
        and remember, bartering is half the fun.

    8.  South Africa - This is a destination that offers great value for what
        you see. With world-class wildlife-watching, cosmopolitan cities,
        stunning natural panoramas and vibrant cultures, South Africa appeals
        to almost every taste and budget.

    9.  Orlando, Florida - The hotel price structure in and near Orlando at
        non-Disney properties has virtually collapsed. Such rates enable a
        cost-conscious family to enjoy a near-week in Orlando for
        considerably less than ever before.

    10. Iceland - Of all industrialized nations, Iceland has been perhaps the
        hardest-hit by the global recession. That's bad news for Iceland, but
        great news for Canadian travellers, whose dollars are worth
        significantly more than a year ago. It's not exactly cheap, but the
        dollar goes twice as far in Reykjavik as it does in Europe's
        cosmopolitan capitals like London and Moscow.

    For more BCAA travel advice and deals, sign up for weekly travel specials
at bcaa.com/email or follow @BCAA Travel on twitter.

    BCAA Travel is one of the largest travel agencies in B.C. and one of the
first in Canada to introduce a fully-disclosed pricing policy. All advertised
prices under BCAA's "What You See Is What You Pay" prices include all fees,
surcharges and taxes. BCAA is there for its customers before, during, and
after their vacations with its Travel Guarantee and 24-Hour Travellers'
Helpline. BCAA also offers travel planning tools such as TripTik(R) routing
maps & TourBook(R) guides.

For further information:

For further information: Editors note: For further information, contact:
Dale Urquhart, BCAA Director, Travel Services, Tel: (604) 268-5073, E-mail:

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