MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Ready to pack your bags for your next getaway? Whether you want to hike the mountains or sail the seas, the Deal Diva explores how to make sure you're getting the best deal.
Some of the best deals and bargains for your next vacation really depend on timing.
Ashley Jackson, a travel agent at Thomas Hogan Travel Agency in Myrtle Beach, stays busy booking vacations. With more than 30 years' experience, she's seen many vacation trends come and go.
"Cruising continues to be popular and it always will be," Jackson said. "No. 1, it is very affordable. It is very convenient, especially for families."
According to Jackson, the bulk of vacation expenses is food and accommodations. That means a cruise is considered to be a bargain, as most are inclusive.
"You can cruise as low as $699 per person to up to $1,599 a person just depending on what type of accommodations you are looking for," said Jackson.
When you plan to take that vacation matters too.
"Timing is everything, whether you are going on a cruise or you're traveling to Europe or Alaska," she said. "Wherever you want to go, you want to book your trip as early as possible."
Jackson said when shopping for airfares, it can get tricky.
"The fares are determined by the seats that are available," she said. "So they start off at one price; once all those seats are gone, it goes to the next price."
As far as the popular destinations, Jackson said family vacation means world travel.
"Europe is extremely popular for families," she said. "Iceland is really hot now because it offers a unique experience."
Jackson said planning a vacation can be overwhelming, which is why using a travel professional has its perks.
"We (have) access to vacations and bundle packages, we have block space on several cruise lines and things that are available to us that the general public doesn't see," she said.