If you want to stretch your vacation dollars in 2015, be strategic about your destination. There are certain spots around the world where your money will go further, Gabe Saglie, senior editor of travel deals site Travelzoo.com, said. Saglie and his team put together the top five such destinations for 2015. And Saglie knows of what he speaks: In 2013, he predicted that European river cruises would offer great values in 2014. According to Travelzoo, there was a 40 percent increase in the number or river cruise deals in 2014.
"[Our] prediction offers an eclectic mix of travel destinations, but all have a common theme: increased infrastructure and competition, which means deals, deals, deals for the American traveler," Saglie said.
Here's where you can sightsee and save next year:
It's no secret: Brazil is hot. The 2014 World Cup drew thousands of fans from around the world, and the 2016 Summer Olympics will bring even more. As a result, the country is opening 400 new hotels by 2016. All this investment in infrastructure will pressure the local tourism economy to entice international travelers during the "gap year," Saglie said. Expect big discounts on hotels, and new airline routes from Florida are driving down the cost of airfare: American Airlines has added a Miami to São Paulo route, while Azul Brazilian Airlines is adding flights out of Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando.
2. Asia Cruises
If you've never considered Asia as a cruise destination, now is the time to reconsider. The region is adding tons of new itineraries, and as a result, the deals abound. Shanghai, for example, is putting tons of money into building cruising infrastructure, such as the Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, which can handle the world's largest ships. As a result, the major cruise lines are adding new ships and itineraries throughout Asia. Case in point: Royal Caribbean International is moving its newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, to Shanghai. But you're not limited to China -- you'll also find itineraries through Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and other destinations.
This desert city-cum-urban oasis has made international tourism a priority. Its two airports -- one that just began accepting passengers in October -- attract 71 million passengers a year, and in ramping up for the World Expo in 2020, hotel expansion abounds. But Dubai experienced its lowest occupancy rate in 18 years this summer. That means you can expect lots of discounts at the city's swanky hotels.
4. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico, an unincorporated U.S. territory, is always a favorite with American travelers: You don't need a passport or a visa to visit, everyone speaks English and the U.S. dollar is king. And now it's one of the cheapest destinations in the Caribbean. JetBlue, Southwest and United have all added routes and increased flights from airports around the U.S. to Puerto Rico. As a result, competition is fierce, which means plenty of deals to be had.
5. Texas Hill Country (Austin and San Antonio)
Everything is bigger in Texas -- and now the deals are, too. Austin and San Antonio are two cities on the rise, as more businesses, residents and visitors flock there. The cities are adding several hotels, including properties from JW Marriott, Kimpton and Westin. And two airports allow easy access to these growing cities, which offer lots of festivals like South by Southwest and Fiesta San Antonio for visitors.