New Jack City: Get Outta Town, Leave the Storms Behind & Save

The+Great+Escape+Wallpaper+www.gameswallpapersatoz.blogspot.com3It’s the middle of winter…

When should I book my summer vacation? That’s one of the more frequently asked questions I always get.

I’ve been an independent travel agent for over 20 years now. First with Abbey Road Travel and for the past dozen years or so with Shelton Travel Service.
And the standard questions from travelers haven’t changed much.

In this column I’ll try to address what’s on most people’s minds. You know, and try and keep it clean.

***Q: When is the best time to purchase a summer vacation? (i.e. air, hotels, cruises, rental cars and vacation packages.)

***A: With airline consolidation, rising oil prices and hotel rate increases, the answer is—YESTERDAY.

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***Q: What are the best times of the year for low air, hotel, rental car, cruise and vacation packages prices?
A: When everyone else is NOT. It’s all about supply and demand. In general the best pricing is usually found AFTER Labor Day. Also the period immediately following Thanksgiving but before Christmas. The three weeks after New Years can be dirt cheap as well. And February through April—excluding Spring Break weeks—is reasonable.

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***Q: During what days of the week do the airlines usually have the best availability and most reasonable prices?

***A: If you can schedule your trips on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday, you’ll most likely be money ahead. That’s in each direction. The highest pricing usually is Friday afternoon and evening, Sunday afternoon and evening and Monday mornings.

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***Q: When is the best day of the week to save money on airline tickets?

***A: Airlines usually announce their sales and specials on Tuesdays. And since such discounted fares are often limited to a small number of seats, don’t wait! Book right away when you find a good Tuesday posted deal.

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***Q: What’s the hottest new travel product on the scene?

***A: European river cruising. For example your seven day Rhine river cruise may start in Amsterdam and end in Vienna. In between there are some great daily stops, sights, food, beer and wine—all along the Rhine. And, of course, you’re always close to land.

There are currently about five major river cruise lines operating throughout Europe. Most of their ships carry between 250 and 500 passengers.

But 2013 is almost sold out anf they’re booking 2014 now.

I’ll have some more travel tips for you guys in future columns.
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12 Responses to New Jack City: Get Outta Town, Leave the Storms Behind & Save

  1. chuck says:

    So Jack, Viking River Cruises are the sh*t?

    By the way–

    Steve McQueen didn’t do that jump.

    Read the last paragraph, pretty cool.

    • jack p. says:

      Hey Chuck, it’s just like the ocean bound cruise lines. You get what you pay for. Like Carnival sure doesn’t measure up to Celebrity Cruises. And Holland-American is right inbetween.
      Same holds true for the river cruises. Tauck World Discovery’s Danube cruises are as good as they get. AMA Waterways, Uniworld Boutique Cruises and Avalon Waterways are inbetween.
      Guess that would make Viking the Southwest Airlines of river cruising.

  2. chuck says:

    The Sand Pebbles, great book, even better flick.

    Just sayin…

  3. Orphan of the Road says:

    McQueen was one-of-a-kind. When Mert Lawwill broke his hand racing, it was Steve who stepped in and payed all his medical bills. And Mert being the person he was, payed back the kindness by developing a revolutionary artificial hand.

    Son David will begin his ride from Berks County, PA to Bike Week in Daytona in a couple of weeks. Cracker don’t fall far from the box…

  4. smartman says:


    Do any cruise lines have ships registered in the US or do they all go the Third World route to avoid detail and scrutiny of the ship preparedness and seaworthiness?

    • jack p. says:

      A cross section of registration for ships doing European river cruising include the countries of Switzerland, Russia, Netherlands and Germany.

      Keep in mind though that so called third world registration of vessels (i.e. Disney, Carnival Royal Caribbean, etc.) primarily effects the pay scale of their international crews. If a cruise ship touches an American port they’ve got to meet ALL American safety standards.

      • harley says:

        glad to see mark went untouched…
        tell him harley says hello…
        go to online vacation center…they got the best deals…
        love princess/norwegian (always look ofr a norwegian
        cruise ship captian…they always get it right!)
        we’re doing alaska this summer (booorrrrrrinnnnngggggg)…
        maybe see some whales (booorrrrrrringggg)…and probably
        a repositioning cruise which are long but they are
        for those considering carnival (especially after last one)
        they’ve cut back on crew and saefty….when they merged
        debt was huge….and their ships are getting so big you can’t
        control the crowds or the possibilities of problems…

        • the dude says:

          Hey, proximity to the shore has its advantages if the power goes out. An Alaskan cruise is the only type besides a river cruise that I would ever care to do. Too mant horror stories for me to get stuck on one of those disease cans.

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