Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club members say that the travel business is very brisk this year, with consumers ready to travel after foregoing vacations for too long. Our busy season usually starts in mid-January, but we were inundated in mid-December, which is very unusual. We liken it to a ground swell of pent up travel frustration.

Travelers are planning big vacations, with a small but growing percentage of them planning their “dream” vacation. People are booking grand European land tours, river cruises, and multigenerational family cruises. We’ve even seen clients planning to retire permanently onto cruise ships to live out the rest of their lives.

A hot travel spot for travelers is Europe and the Mediterranean, on both river cruises and blue ocean cruises for Summer and early Fall travel. The Caribbean and Mexico are always big sellers in the winter, for both cruises and all-inclusives. An emerging trend we see is travel to Eastern Europe and the Baltics, including stops in Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Germany on cruises that have overnight stops in some of these destinations.

Travelers are looking for a mix of both relaxing and experiential vacations, with interests in art, history, museums, castles, and an increased interest in food and wine cruises.

We’re seeing travelers looking for more exotic vacations starting to plan their trips far in advance. There are still those looking for last minute travel deals, but they aren’t as abundant as they were last year.

Pricing this year is heading up as the economy slowly recovers. Cruise lines have already raised their prices, as have tour operators. There are still some good travel deals to be found, but usually involving 2-3 day sales.

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