A sluggish economy may be a sign of trouble in economic circles, but it can be a benefit for travelers. Hotels, airlines, and activities are often discounted to lure tourists in. To get the most of your holiday, try some of these captivating destinations in 2012:
Portugal’s Azores Islands
Located 930 miles off the coast of Lisbon, the Azores archipelago consists of nine volcanic islands featuring a diverse landscape of black sand beaches, tall mountains, and lush green landscape. This place is nothing like the holiday destinations that most travel agents usually offer their clients, which is a real pity, considering that not only is this place perfect for fun and relaxation seekers alike, it is also quite affordable. There are five cities in the Azores on three of the islands.
Each island offers its own distinct culture, so visit more than one island if possible. State-owned SATA Airlines (sata.pt) increased inter-island flights last year making island-hopping more manageable. The weather is mild year round, but the slow season starts in October and last through the end of May, so more deals may be found then.
Mark a historic moment by visiting Canada’s eastern seaboard and visiting Halifax which is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic off the Newfoundland coast. The city has many events scheduled for April, but is also expanding the permanent Titanic exhibit in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
This is an event that you can not miss if you have seen the film and got moved by Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet’s tragic story. For the outdoor lover, there are activities galore including whale watching tours in the Bay of Fundy to scenic ocean kayak rides. Halifax, Charlottetown and Fredericton have the added bonus of again making Hotel.com’s list of cheapest Canadian cities. Skip this area from July through November, which is hurricane season and could bring more of an adventure than expected.
While wrestling with a massive debt crisis, travel deals are abundant in this Mediterranean hotspot. Costs have fallen across the board in food, transport, lodging and entertainment. Athens, the country’s capital, is expanding its subway system (www.oasa.gr) which will allow for visitors to move around the city easily at a small cost. Don’t let protests put you off: as you know, newspapers tend to big everything up just to catch people’s attention, but the truth is that Greece is still a great place to be in. There are many museums and historic sites in Athens including the Acropolis which overlooks the city. Mild temperatures reign in the spring and most Greek citizens take their summer holiday in August due to the extreme heat and tourist filled streets. Visit sites like TripAdvisor (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/) or Frommers ) to find current deals as well as recommendations on lodging and activities. Also make sure to check travel alerts for a country before booking your trip. With a little research and a daring attitude, your 2012 vacation can mean saving money without settling.