The Mayans purportedly predicted that the world, as mankind knows it, will end in 2012. So as you ring in the New Year and contemplate your resolutions to lose weight, save more money, and eat healthy, you may consider asking yourself, “If the world ended this year, what would I want to personally accomplish?”
Rather than accumulate material wealth and nip, tuck, and sweat your body into anachronistic youth for another year, your personal experiences may reign supreme on the bucket list. 2012 resolutions should include time with family, cultural immersion, and trips to see earth’s wonders before the ice caps melt; or worse, a solar flare from earth’s greatest energy source results in the Apocalypse. It, therefore, seems like the perfect time to book those travel plans with your spouse, parents and kids and spend some quality time together.
Traveling broadens the mind and strengthens the appreciation for life. Take advantage of the cheaper post-holiday travel season in January and February and visit someplace you’ve never been before. TripAdvisor can help you find a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii from John Wayne Airport for $529 roundtrip, if you fly in January. Visit New York City for $303 roundtrip from Orange County. Travelocity boasts reduced prices on international vacations packages. Save 35 percent on a flight and four nights in Rome, Italy. Save 20 percent or more on a trip to Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. Have you resolved to rekindle the sparks in your relationship this coming year? Expedia is offering a stay at an all-inclusive, adults-only resort near Cancun for $547 per night.
Even turn a business trip into pleasure by staying an extra night and exploring the nearby towns and cities. Check out the local cuisine by dining out or visit the retail boutiques unique to the area after your work obligations are met. Southwest offers non-stop flights from Orange County to San Francisco for as low as $59 one way. The same price stands for airfare to Phoenix, Arizona. For the exclusive, online price of $129, fly from SNA all the way to Washington Dulles International Airport.
You just have to know where to look for the best deals. The best advice for booking travel this new year is to be flexible with your dates, do your research, and be patient. Some Internet travel sites allow you to subscribe to email alerts that notify you when prices for airfare to your desired destination drop. Some websites such as TripAdvisor.com and Kayak.com allow you to aggregate and compare prices between websites and airlines. You can also modify your search by price, travel times, travel dates, and number of stops. If you’re flexible on your departure and return dates, consider flying mid-week rather than the busy travel weekends. A little extra effort can allow you to afford that dream family vacation you always wanted to take with the wife and kids.
If the Mayans end up being right…and that’s a very big “if”, you’ll at least have the peace of mind of knowing you fulfilled a couple of resolutions in 2012: spending some precious time with the family and saving money while doing so.