If you are thinking about making your holiday travel plans now, you may already be too late to get the best deal. Higher prices on fuel are making it difficult for anyone to travel these days, especially if you have not planned ahead. Anyway you look at it, traveling this holiday season will be expensive. The U.S. dollar is not going as far as it used to, and people are under tighter budgets. So how can you still afford to travel? "Just like anything else the economy dictates what you can do and what you can't do, so you just sacrifice and plan a little ahead,” said Wilmington resident Bob Macaluso. AAA Travel Manager Vicki Sewell said to get the best deal during the holidays planning ahead is ideal. “After summer has passed, you know the prices are definitely going to increase. They will get some availability but it's not going to be at the price they could have gotten it," said Sewell. Sewell added that flying is not what it used to be, and gas prices are also making it difficult for people to save by choosing to drive. This year we saw new costs being added to air travel with airlines charging additional fees for baggage that could add up to $25 on departure and arrival. “With the fuel increase for the flights and the flight availability and the increase in baggage fees, it still maybe more economical and feasible to get in that car and take that road trip this holiday season,” Sewell said. Vicki said that booking travel plans at least six months in advance of your trip would have been perfect timing for landing a deal. She said your best bet now is to avoid peak travel days like the day before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after, which is considered the heaviest travel day of the year. Make a budget of what you can afford and map out your trip from beginning to end to know where your money will go. "As long as folks are flexible there are still there is still availability out there," said Sewell. It has been a tough time for travel agents as well to find the best deal for their customers. But Sewell said things are looking up for next year. This month alone, there has been an increase in customers already calling to book next year's plans, which is an encouraging sign for business.
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