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Travelers cut costs

Jun 17, 2002 10:49 PM

Americans are planning trips to summer destinations, but not exactly where they normally visit.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, travelers are choosing unlikely alternative vacation spots with less flair in order to save money and stay closer to home.

In the South, Atlanta, Miami and Orlando are losing visitors to Myrtle Beach, S.C., the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Savannah, Ga. In the Midwest, resorts in Minnesota and the Mount Rushmore region of South Dakota are seeing hotel rooms filling up fast.

Out West, bargains are available for people looking for local vacations to spots such as Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) and Reno, Nevada instead of pricier island getaways like Hawaii and Las Vegas.

"If you can stay within your region, you’ll get the best bang for your buck," said Tom Parsons, president of Bestfares.com.

Reno and Lake Tahoe, which offers cooler temperatures compared to the Las Vegas heat and the Mohave Desert, has lowered their hotel rates to just $19 a night. That’s about $80 less than the Las Vegas hotel prices.

"Looks like it is going to be an unusual summer," aid Terry Trippler, who runs a fare-watching Web site.

Americans have been able to find bargains in Canadian cities. A four-day package to Toronto lists at $269 roundtrip.

"There won’t be stressed-out families trying to have a vacation," said Sarah Horning of St. Peters, Mo., who decided to skip the Miami beaches for the mountains and white water river rafting in Portland, Ore.