Best Domestic Travel Destinations for 2014

What are the hottest domestic U.S. destinations already being booked for 2014?

Hawaii Golf

In their never ending battle to reign supreme, it’s Las Vegas vs. Orlando. But this year, the destination where what happens there stays there very narrowly edges out the perennial family favorite. Travel Leaders recently asked its front-line agents throughout North America to share the domestic destinations they’re booking most often for the New Year. The top responses are:

1. Las Vegas, Nevada. High rollers, take note. Caesars Entertainment is building a new open-air retail, dining and entertainment district called the LINQ that includes what’s billed as the world’s tallest observation wheel named in your honor: the High Roller, standing at 550 feet and featuring 28 glass-enclosed cabins offering great views of the famed Las Vegas Strip.

If you’re seeking live entertainment, the biggest news on the Strip is the new resident artist at Planet Hollywood, Britney Spears, and her show, Britney: Piece of Me. Headliners will pop up in Vegas throughout 2014, from The Eagles and Elton John to Lady Antebellum and David Guetta.

Later in the year, the glamorous SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino will open in the space previously occupied by the legendary “Rat Pack” era Sahara Hotel.

2. Orlando, Fla. Walt Disney World Resort – the idyllic collection of family friendly theme parks, water parks, golf courses, hotels and restaurants – always offers something new.

Disney is completing its expansion of the Fantasyland themed area, by more than doubling its size. As part of the expansion, the exciting new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride is expected to make its long-awaited formal debut in early 2014. There are also new rides featuring Disney favorites Dumbo, Belle and Ariel.

3. Maui, Hawaii. Maui’s beautiful beaches, mountains and valleys beckon, but if you’re looking for a change of pace, spend a day touring the Maui Ocean Center at Ma’alaea Harbor Village. The three-acre marine park is starting 2014 with a “Crazy for Koholā” event that celebrates the annual return of humpback whales to the waters around the island.

4. Alaska Cruises. Some of Alaska’s most stunning scenery is best enjoyed from a cruise ship sailing along the state’s southeastern coast, including areas that are simply not accessible any other way.

The breathtaking views can often include calving glaciers, misty rainforests, majestic mountains and glorious wildlife. More than 20 ships from major cruise lines will offer Alaska cruises from May through September – talk with your travel professional to choose the right one for you.

5. New York City, N.Y. All eyes will be on the Big Apple this February as festivities surrounding this year’s Super Bowl XLVIII make the “City that Never Sleeps” more alive than ever.

Sure, the big game itself might be played across the Hudson River in New Jersey, but with Broadway (between 34th and 47th Streets) transformed into Super Bowl Boulevard, football fans can meet and greet their favorite NFL stars, enjoy concerts and even experience a special 60 foot tall, 180 foot long Toboggan Run.

Beyond sports, there are always new shops, restaurants, attractions and nightlife venues cropping up in the diverse neighborhoods of New York, making every visit a new experience.

Savvy travelers are booking their 2014 vacations early to make sure they get the flights and accommodations they want at the best prices. To visit these or other popular U.S. destinations during 2014, talk with your travel professional soon.

Hotel and Car Rental April Update

Hotel Prices Fall 12 Percent Worldwide
 Hotel prices are falling, according to Hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index. Rates for hotels in December 2008 were more than one tenth lower than they had been a year earlier and just one percent above their level in January 2004.

 Empress Hotel
North American rates fell the most, down 12 percent in the fourth quarter of  2008.
(Source: HPI, STR Global press releases).

Omni Hotels Offers Triple Miles with American, United
 Omni Hotels is offering members of its Select Guest program the opportunity to earn unlimited triple miles in the American AAdvantage and United Mileage Plus programs.

Guest Select members also get complimentary Wifi, morning beverages, pressing,  newspapers and online check-in and express checkout. To take advantage of the triple miles offer, visit SelectGuestProgram/ .
(Source: Omni Hotels).

Car Rental

Hertz Offers Summer Specials
 Hertz is offering 50 percent off weekend rentals through June 30 at participating airports in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. It’s also offering a Weekender, that includes an attractive rate, free child’s seat, no drop-off fee for one-way rentals and up to three days of Hertz NeverLost service. (Source: Hertz).

Travel Back Lash

Concerned by public perception of meetings and events as frivolous, some corporations are opting to meet in places that may look like a bargain but actually cost more.

An Association of Corporate Travel Executives survey of business managers found companies are factoring political correctness into their calculations.

  1. Sixty percent would avoid a “resort” destination like Las Vegas even if the resort city were a better deal than a non-leisure destination.
  2. Thirty-eight percent said public perception is now a key factor in choosing a meeting site.
  3. Sixty-two percent said it would take a dramatic increase in their own business or an increase in projects that required meetings for them to increase the number of meetings and conferences they attend.

Source: Association of Corporate Travel Executives press release.