Despite Tough Economy, 'Tis Still the Season for Holiday Travel

Economic Uncertainty Won't Keep Holiday Travelers Grounded, According to Latest Expedia Travel Trendwatch

BELLEVUE, Wash., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Expedia®, the world's leading online travel company, today released the new issue of the quarterly Expedia Travel Trendwatch®, focused on the holiday travel season. Most notably, this issue of the Trendwatch predicts that the upcoming holiday and winter travel season will not differ greatly from previous years, and with fuel prices declining in recent months, many airfares are the same or even lower than the 2007 season. The report also highlights the "peaks and valleys" of holiday travel prices this year, as well as suggestions for making holiday travel budgets stretch.

"The holidays are always the busiest and most expensive time of year for travel," said Chris McGinnis, editor, Expedia Travel Trendwatch. "Initially, it looked as though holiday travel prices would be significantly higher this year, but we are finding that rates are, in fact, on par or in some cases, even less than last year."

The complete Expedia Travel Trendwatch can be found at http://www.expedia.com/tips. Key highlights from this issue include:

1. Holiday Prices: Up, Down and Everything Between

-- While average airfares have been trending up over the last year, fares on some routes are actually declining. During November and December, fares between New York and Atlanta are down six percent, and down three percent between Seattle and Los Angeles, compared to last year.

-- Hotel rates are down in many popular destinations. For example rates in Las Vegas and Maui are down significantly -- 16 percent and 15 percent respectively -- compared to last year.

-- For customized snapshots of price trends in markets around the country, check out Expedia's Trend Tracker™: http://www.expedia.com/daily/trend_tracker

2. Playing Dead: Traveling During Holiday Dead Weeks

-- Good news for bargain hunters: Many of the least expensive travel weeks of the year are sandwiched in between the most expensive. Those with flexible schedules can reap deep discounts by traveling during what are known as "dead weeks" when travel demand plummets.

-- This year, dead weeks run roughly December 3-18 -- where deals on cruises, Caribbean resorts and even ski resort are best bets -- and January 3-15 -- where there are great values on Hawaii, Mexico and Europe.

3. Tips: Navigating the Best Holiday Values

-- Falling oil prices could mean compelling last-minute airfare deals this season; however, holiday flights tend to be full, so the safest bet is always to book early. On the other hand, if travel plans are flexible, travelers may find extraordinary bargains by letting the deal determine their destination.

-- One-stop flights are increasingly less expensive than nonstop flights, so try to route through a fair weather hub like Dallas, Atlanta or Phoenix to decrease the likelihood of encountering a weather-related delay.

-- Because most airlines now charge fees for checked baggage, re-consider any plans to bring along holiday gifts or winter sports equipment (e.g. skis, snowboards and boots). Many resort destinations are offering baggage fee rebates of $25 to $50, so be sure to research whether you qualify.

Another reason to deck the halls this year -- Expedia just launched Holiday Kickback, which awards travelers who book their holiday flight on Expedia with a $200 coupon toward a vacation in 2009. The Expedia Holiday Kickback is available to travelers booking and traveling prior to January 3, 2009, and includes a $200 coupon to use on a flight and hotel stay of five or more nights between January 3 and March 20, 2009. For more information about Expedia's $200 Holiday Kickback, or to book a holiday trip, visit http://www.expedia.com/holidaykickback.

About Expedia Travel Trendwatch

Expedia Travel Trendwatch is a quarterly report on consumer travel trends, plus insight and tips from Expedia, the world's leading online travel service, and Chris McGinnis, a 20-year travel industry veteran who is the editor of the report. McGinnis' travel industry insight and expertise, coupled with unparalleled travel intelligence from Expedia, can be found throughout each report, providing a treasure trove of data, trends, and tips designed to help empower and inform travelers.

About Chris McGinnis:

Chris McGinnis is the editor of the Expedia Travel Trendwatch. Prior to teaming up with Expedia in early 2006, McGinnis covered the travel beat in a variety of roles, from travel correspondent on CNN Headline News and travel columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Entrepreneur magazine, to producer of special travel sections for Fortune magazine. Based in San Francisco, his is also a speaker, consultant and the author of two books on travel: The Unofficial Business Traveler's Pocket Guide and 202 Tips Even the Best Business Travelers May Not Know (McGraw-Hill).

About Expedia

Expedia ® is the world's leading online travel provider, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia (http://www.expedia.com/) aims to provide personalized service, the latest technology and the widest selection of vacation packages, flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and in-destination activities, attractions, and services. With the Expedia® Best Price Guarantee, Expedia promises to offer to its customers the best rates available online for all types of travel, making it the most comprehensive customer guarantee in online travel. Expedia.com is an operating company of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE).

Expedia, Trendwatch, Travel Trendwatch, Trend Tracker and the Airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.

© 2008 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-40

SOURCE: Expedia, Inc.

CONTACT: Ian Jeffries of Edelman, +1-206-268-2291,
ian.jeffries@edelman.com, for Expedia, Inc.; or Expedia Press Hotline,
+1-425-679-4317, press@expedia.com

Web site: http://www.expedia.com/