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Travel Bargains Abound After Attacks

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RALEIGH — Traveling may be the last thing most people are thinking about right now. But you might want to pack the bags and take off from work anyway, because right now, there are some great deals.

Harry Holladay loves sightseeing in exotic countries. But with the current world climate, he feels safer on a cruise.

"They give you a card that has your ID on it. They take a picture of you. When you get off the ship, on the ship, you use your card. They look in a monitor to see if that's you," Holladay said.

Travel agents say now is a perfect time for a cruise, and not just for the security.

"We get faxes on a regular basis -- Disney cruise vacations, three nights, four nights, clearly reductions of 15, 18, 20 percent from the previous rates," said travel agent Bob Gani.

Travel agents say cruise lines are dropping their rates to attract travelers in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Hotels and resorts are lowering their prices, too.

"A hotel -- if it's empty tonight, how do you recover that? You can't put that room on sale tomorrow, so it's a perishable product," Gani said.

Wayne Edwards was thinking about driving to Gatlinburg for his 10th-anniversary weekend. Now, he might go to Las Vegas.

"He said all the hotels are pretty much half-empty and this is the time to go and see it up," Edwards said.

"I haven't priced it yet, but I am confident that less than $500 will get him airfare, accomodations, and we're talking super resort here," Gani said.

Gani says the best bargains are on package deals -- since surprisingly, many airlines haven't lowered straight airfares.

Gani believes airlines are "missing the boat on this one."

But you do not have to, if you're willing to hop on now.

Travel experts tell us the reason many airlines resumed regular fares is because most of the people who are flying right now have to, and the airlines are trying to take advantage of that. But the experts believe carriers will be forced to lower fares again within a few weeks.


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