As a travel agent, Bob Gani of Cary has the world at his fingertips.
Playing a game of Let's Pretend, Gani was asked to find a flight to New York on Dec. 30.
New York. New Year's Eve. Times Square!
Well, the good news is that the cheapest airfare available was $200. But note the past tense: was. Those cheap seats are long gone.
What's left? Ah, one for $886.
All right, another "pretend" game. How about coming back to the Triangle on Jan. 2 from Orlando.
Orlando. Mickey. New Year's at Disney!
The screen shows zeroes. That means, Gani said, no seats available...in any class...at any price.
Ah, but further searching did bring up a seat. From Orlando, but on Jan.1 at noon. And in first class.
And a traveler with deep pockets can book the seat for the princely sum of $900.
For that price, it might be better to stay in Orlando. Visit with Mickey and Minnie a bit longer.
How about hotels? A Holiday Inn, in Orlando. Available for $75 or $80 per night. Not fancy, but a room.
So it is still possible to find accommodations or a flight even at this late date -- if you are prepared to bend a little, and possibly to pay more as well.
Gani will bend backward to find the best deal.
"We can make it happen," he declares.
Gani is staying home for New Year's. But his mind will be wandering.
"Who doesn't want to talk about sunshine and cruises and exotic destinations?" he asks. "It beats selling life insurance, I can tell you that!"
Gani at Crossroads Travel says, surprisingly, more people are on the go this New Year's than last.
Last year, he says, many people opted to avoid the hype and inflated prices.
Cruises are especially popular this year.
But no matter where you go, if you go, getting back may be a problem. Flights returning to RDU on January 1 and 2 are, for the most part, jam-packed.
Happy New Year!