South Africa, Ecuador and Australia Top the List with more than 25
Percent Hotel Savings Combined
SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 31, 2007–With Memorial Day now behind us, many vacationers are kicking off their summer travel plans by packing up their bathing suits, flip flops and beach towels and preparing to soak up some rays. For those who aren’t sun worshipers, traveling south of the equator to experience winter during the hot North American summer season can be a great budget-friendly option.
Winter in the southern hemisphere is from June to August and is therefore an off-peak travel period for many destinations in South and Central America, Australia and Africa. Based on Travelocity’s latest data, hotel pricing to these popular regions is down; 15 percent in South Africa, 10 percent in Ecuador, and 2 percent in Australia compared to their summer and fall seasons during the months of December through April.
“Many destinations still offer spring-like weather conditions, with cooler temperatures at night and slightly warmer temperatures during the day,” said Jennifer Gaines, Travelocity editor. “With pricing for international travel on the rise, many travelers will be surprised that they can take advantage of cheaper hotel options, shorter lines at popular activities, and even indulge in some winter fun all during the northern hemisphere’s warm summer months.”
With activities ranging from snorkeling to winter ‘bushwalking’; last minute availability to these top destinations’ biggest attractions is reason enough to book a summer trip south of the equator. Travelocity’s editors recommend the following as top off-season destinations:
The Land Down Under – Australia
Known for the world’s largest barrier reef, the outback and its stunning beaches, Australia’s winter season (June-August) means it’s prime time to hit some of the region’s top attractions without fighting crowds or breaking the bank. Visit Australia’s tropical region, where travelers can enjoy temperatures in the upper 60s and clear skies. Hit the Red Center in Sydney and explore the gorgeous rock known as Uluru, which is listed on the World Heritage Site and is found in one of Australia’s famed national parks. Aside from being able to enjoy lighter crowds and cheaper accommodations, visitors can make their attempts to experience life in Australia as the locals do.
Travelers can still enjoy long hikes in the moderate temperatures during the day, and are welcome to call hiking “bushwalking” if they want to sound like an Aussie. Visit Travelocity to obtain deals on hotel room rates. Average nightly hotel rates for Australia are $132 (off-peak).
From Cape Town to Johannesburg – South Africa
Considered a dream vacation to many intrepid travelers (mostly because of the steep cost in trekking across the globe for a safari), South Africa is most affordable during the northern hemisphere’s spring and summer months. Many perceive Africa as dry and hot, but it can still get chilly. Cape Town temps can drop to the low 40s during dead winter, so make sure to throw on some layers before heading out.
Enjoy a desert safari without sweating bullets, and get a glimpse of regions that are unreachable during the hottest summer months. Extreme summer heat closes certain hiking trails in parts of the Imfolozi National Park, a region that comprises Africa’s two oldest game reserves, making June-August (winter) prime months to take advantage of this scenery. Visit Travelocity to obtain deals on hotel room rates. Average nightly hotel rates for South Africa are $176 (off-peak).
Scuba Diving in the Winter – The Galapagos Islands
Scattered around the equator, “winter” for most of the islands feels more like a mild summer day than coat and scarf weather. In fact, the Galapagos Islands really only experience two distinct seasons – a dry season and a warm season – both with picture perfect weather. Travel to the Galapagos Islands any time of year to enjoy the tempered climate. Pack shorts and sandals when visiting the southernmost islands from June to August, even though it’s considered their cooler months. Average temperatures hover in the mid 70s, making this the perfect time of year to hike and view the wildlife, the premier attraction to the islands. Visit Travelocity to obtain deals on hotel room rates. Average nightly hotel rates for Ecuador are $89 (off-peak).
Travelocity(R) is committed to being the traveler’s champion — before, during and after the trip – and is the only online travel company that guarantees not just the price, but the entire travel experience – see www.travelocity.com/guarantee for details. This customer-driven focus, backed by 24/7 live phone support, great prices and powerful shopping technology has made Travelocity the sixth largest travel agency — booking $10.1 billion in travel worldwide in 2006. Based in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also owns and operates Travelocity Business(R) for corporate travelers, lastminute.com, a leader in European online travel and ZUJI, a leader in Asia-Pacific online travel. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation, a world leader in travel commerce. The Roaming Gnome is a trademark of Travelocity.com LP.
Andrea Collins, 212-715-2222
Alyson Briggs, 972-488-4790