Several factors are coming together in 2017 to make this one of the busiest summers ever for vacation travel: tough fare competition among airlines, low fuel prices, and an improving economy. But don’t make the mistake of waiting too long before you firm up your plans.
Airlines are adding more flights and destinations from the Bay Area’s airports – especially Mineta San Jose International (now the nation’s fastest growing airport)– giving travelers a better selection of non-stop vacation possibilities. (Check its rapidly expanding destination roster here)
But increased demand means those flights will fill up fast, and so will the most desirable hotel rooms and rental cars. So as soon as you’ve settled on a destination and approximate dates (flexibility in your days of travel can work to your advantage), get on your mobile phone or laptop and start investigating options for all the elements of your trip. A delay in planning and booking could mean settling for a connection instead of a non-stop flight, a room facing the parking lot instead of the ocean, and a rental car that’s bigger or smaller than you really need.
Keep in mind, too, that prices for the various elements of your vacation are likely to increase the longer you wait. Airfares, hotel rates and rental car prices are not fixed; they change every day based on fluctuations in supply and demand. So as more air seats, rooms and cars are booked up for the summer, the cost of the remaining ones tends to go up.
The peak time for summer vacations is July through mid-August, so you might save some money and find greater availability if you schedule your trip before or after those times – before June 15, say, or after August 15.
Got a big international trip in mind? There are several new non-stop destinations from Mineta San Jose in 2017. Last year, British Airways started flights from SJC to London, Lufthansa began flying to Frankfurt, and Air China added non-stop service to Shanghai. If you want to head south of the border, look for new Aeromexico daily flights to Guadalajara beginning July 1- the city’s high altitude makes for a cool summer destination. To the north, Air Canada’s service from SJC to one of Canada’s hottest destinations – Vancouver – will be increased with a third daily roundtrip starting May 2.
Closer to home, there are lots of new options. If the Big Apple is on your wish list, both United and Alaska Airlines started daily flights to Newark in March. United also added daily SJC-Chicago O’Hare service. If southern California’s your preference, JetBlue recently started four flights a day from SJC to Long Beach, and Alaska last month introduced three flights a day to Burbank (both of them nice alternatives to overcrowded and under construction LAX).
Southwest will add San Jose-Reno to its network on June 4, with one daily roundtrip. And American Airlines will kick off seasonal daily flights from SJC to its Charlotte hub on May 5.
So get off the fence, check your calendar, and nail down your summer vacation plans before it’s too late.
Have you flown in or out of San Jose lately? Why or why not? Are you more likely to give SJC a try now that it’s added this slew of new flights? Please leave your comments below.
This post is sponsored by Mineta San Jose International Airport
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