If you’re looking for a good travel deal in 2014, the experts at Travelzoo have a few ideas. “Thanks to a series of one-time events such as the 2014 World Cup and long-term growth trends in the global travel industry, travelers can expect some incredible deals in 2014,” said Shirley Tafoya, president for Travelzoo North America. “Of the hundreds of destinations that our Deal Experts reviewed, we predict that Ecuador, Europe’s rivers, India, the Jersey Shore and Palm Springs will offer the greatest wow-factor.”
Travelzoo based its predictions on an extensive evaluation of travel and tourism trends, currency fluctuations and national events that might impact the price of travel. Scroll down for an in-depth look at each destination and why you should go in 2014.
The Jersey Shore
It’s an all-too-common scenario after a natural disaster scares tourists away: Marketing teams rush in to assure visitors the destination is indeed “open for businesses,” but ultimately, visitors will not be lured back unless individual hoteliers, restaurants and attractions offer steep discounts. According to Travezoo, that’s exactly what has happened to the post-Sandy Jersey Shore as businesses continue to recover from an estimated $11.7 billion in damages by offering savings of up to 45 percent.
Once a rather closed market, a bevy of new hotels and multimillion-dollar renovations have sparked increased competition and better rates in Palm Springs, according to Travelzoo. Moreover, 10 airlines now offer flights into its international airport, increasing competition and lowering prices in the skies, too. With a revitalized music scene (thanks to Coachella) and funky new restaurants and bars, Palm Springs is no longer the dated, 1950s throwback it used to be. As the old adage goes, what’s old is new again.
If you’re craving the tropics without the price tag of the Caribbean, Travelzoo suggests Ecuador, where recent return airfare from the U.S. has hovered around $400 (less than some domestic flights). The Ecuadorian government is expected to make a major push in 2014 by increasing its tourism budget by 73 percent and luring travelers headed to the World Cup in Brazil. This, Travelzoo believes, will create a deal-driven environment for travelers destined for this diverse nation of towering Andean peaks, misty Amazonian rainforests and mysterious Galapagos Islands.
Behold the rise of European river cruising. An expected 20 new vessels will trawl the waters of Europe in 2014, adding hundreds of new cabins, increasing competition and driving down prices, according to Travelzoo. From tulip tours to Christmas markets and historical journeys, the itineraries are varied, but each of these often all-inclusive adventures provides a great way to see Europe on the cheap.
There are two very good reasons to travel across the globe to “Incredible India” in 2014. Firstly, the rupee has plummeted in value against the U.S. dollar by more than 20 percent over the past year, making it one of the cheapest countries in the world for American travelers. Secondly, India is in the midst of a hotel boom, with major chains like Accor, Hilton, Hyatt and InterContinental preparing to open upwards of 50 hotels combined in the coming year. To recap: Already low prices + increased competition = big savings.
Mark Johanson is the travel editor at the International Business Times. He has traveled to and written about more than 30 nations and territories on every continent except...