ABC6 Summer Kickoff: Last-minute travel deals

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Memorial Day Weekend may start Friday, but it’s not too late to plan a summer escape! 

“There are so many opportunities left for summer travel,” said Allison Villasenor of AAA.

Villasenor says cruises are hotter than ever this summer, and living in Southern New England–making booking one even easier. 

“We’ve got great home port cruise ports right in our backyard, either Boston or New York, just a short drive away, where you don’t have to fly,” said Villasenor.

Many of those trips are cheaper than you might think. 

“Nice five-night packages to Bermuda for $549 starting at rates, so really great and affordable,” said Villasenor.

If air travel is more your style, Europe is a great place to fly, without breaking the bank.

“Aer Lingus is running airfare for $579 to Dublin, which is incredible for hotel packages or guided tours. Norwegian Air out of Boston to Rome is only $660, starting through the summer months,” said Villasenor.

But for some of us, nothing beats just getting in the car and driving–with plenty to see right here in the Northeast. 

“Philadelphia, a great family getaway, excellent food, great shopping, beautiful gardens. And DC, the DC-Williamsburg area is really close to us as well, and only about 4 and a half hours north you’ve got Montreal and Quebec City. So you can transform into a European atmosphere without actually leaving North America,” said Villasenor.

If you already know where you want to go, Johnson & Wales University professor Katie Davin has some advice on landing the best hotel deal.

“I’d say if you’re brand-loyal, go right to the company website. that’s where you’re going to find weekend discounts, more flexibility on cancellations, and as long as you’re going to do that, sign up for their loyalty program,” said Davin.

That can earn you some members-only perks. If you don’t care about brand, third-party websites like Expedia or apps like Hotel Tonight can have the best price. 

“Both Priceline and Hotwire have those blind booking options. so if you don’t care the name of the hotel, you just book the hotel room not knowing the name of it, but you get the best rate,” said Davin.

But when it comes to maximizing value and minimizing hassle, Villasenor says don’t rule out getting a little extra help. 

“I have to shamelessly plug, use a travel agent. We know where we’re looking, we know where to find those great deals and nonstop flights,” said Villasenor.

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