Summer is on the horizon, and travel plans are up in the air. Can’t decide where to go, how to plan and how to travel with the kids? L&L Travel agent Bill Mault answers questions about Lodi’s travel trends and destinations you may be overlooking.
Q: With gas prices on the rise, what are some good ways to still afford travel this summer?
A: That is a hard question, because fuel surcharges on airfares have gone up as have gasoline for cars. One of the best ways to take an affordable vacation is to take a cruise from San Francisco or Los Angeles, Take and all inclusive vacation with companies like Club Med, take an all inclusive vacation to Playa Del Carmen, Cabo San Luca or Puerto Vallarta. Hawaii can be affordable if you don’t travel at peak times around holidays.
Q: Where are Lodi’s favorite vacation destination?
A: Europe, especially Italy and Ireland; Hawaii, New York City, Disneyland and cruises.
Q: What are you personal favorite day trips?
A: Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Mendocino and San Francisco.
Q: What would you recommend someone do if they want the ultimate relaxation vacation?
A: Go to Tahiti or take a cruise.
Q: What travel trends do you see with your Lodi customers?
A: People are avoiding Mexico, North Africa and the Middle East, but travelers have expressed interest in cruises that sail through these areas. Travelers always want to go to Hawaii and Europe.
Q: What should people know when traveling with children?
A: Always travel with proper documentation and medications. Make travel fun for the kids with games, like how many red cars can you count. Take snacks with you when traveling by train, plane and car. Take kids to kid-friendly resorts like Club Med or take a cruise on a kid friendly cruise line like Disney Cruises or Carnival. Keep a sense of humor and don’t stress.
Q: What’s a good deal/spot that is often overlooked?
A: Old Town Sacramento, Costa Rica and French Canada.
Q: When should you seek the help of a travel as opposed to using an online site like Expedia or one of the others?
A: Always! If you book online, you take business away from the local community. Your local travel agent is extremely knowledgeable and can get the traveler the lowest fares and best deals. Expedia is simply an online agency. If you have a problem with your travel and you have to try and contact a nameless 800 number or wait for a customer service agent, you may find they are not available or cannot help you.
If a traveler is booking airline tickets only with South West, then go to the South West site. If you don’t have computer access, the travel agency can always book the web fares for a low service fee. If you need hotels and cars, the travel agency can always find the best fares and rates for your travel.
Bill Mault is a travel agent at L&L Travel, 11 S. School St. For information, call 339-4444.