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Travel Trends 2011

2010 brought the year of the “deal” and budget conscious travel.  “Staycation” was a buzz word and hotel rates in major cities were at an all time low.  Airline travel became increasingly difficult and gas prices “stabilized” somewhat.  That being said, what do we have to look forward to in 2011?  Here are just a few predictions….

1. Escapism: People want to escape the stress of their everyday lives.  Although peoplehave always wanted to “escape”, from day to day pressures today, escape means “unplugged” to many.  Don’t be surprised if guests arrive armed with smart phones, laptops or iPads, but then check technology at the door.  Many travelers want to adopt a slower pace.  They will use modern technology to find you, but many will power down and switch off and simply unwind.

2.  Higher Hotel Prices: In 2010 great deals in major cities across the U.S. were common.  Last year it was simply about putting heads in beds.  Major hotels in cities like New York, Boston and Miami are already increasing rates.  Although there will still be deals, they will be very last minute and specific…expect rates to raise about 5% this year.

3.  Celebration Vacations: When the budget is tight, people need a reason for travel. Weddings, anniversaries, graduations and birthdays are a great excuse for people to take a few extra days away.  Many will choose to add a few days to their trip to explore once they have “celebrated” with family.

4.  Business travelers are looking for value: Companies are still limiting corporate travel and today’s “road warriors” are looking for a deal.  Free WiFi, complimentary parking, free breakfast and mulitple stay discounts are important to them in 2011.

5.  The Resurgence of Travel Experts: Although the internet has led to a deluge of information on travel…much of it can be misleading and downright wrong.  Travelers are more discerning in what they read and see and many are turning to experts.  For the first time in a decade, the use of travel agents is on the rise.  Hotel concierge services and small boutique hotels or inns that “know” the area will be valuable to travelers in 2011.


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Resolve to do something for yourself this year.     Resolve to do something for your neighbor.
Six reasons why you should stay in a bed and breakfast in 2010

1. Have you always wanted to stay in a home on the water? How about on the islands? Maybe you want to wake up and take a walk in the snow or a stroll thru downtown Seattle. Staying in a bed and breakfast gives you the chance to live like a local and wake up with views you have only dreamed about.
2. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Wake up to steaming hot coffee, fluffy pancakes, omelets made from fresh eggs. Do you prefer all organic? How about vegetarian? Innkeepers DO think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so sit back, relax and let them create the perfect morning meal. Yes, that is why it is called a bed and breakfast!
3. Be pampered. Many inns and bed and breakfasts include spa services, breakfast in your room, romantic candlelight dinners. Call and let the innkeeper help you plan the perfect getaway.
4. Support your local economy. Innkeepers are your neighbors….small businessman. They live local, buy local and support the local economy. They choose products grown in Washington. Get tips from them on where to buy fresh local cheeses, the best organic produce or soaps, chocolates….any number of things made just down the street!
5. Have your own personal concierge. No need to stay in a pricey, impersonal downtown hotel to receive help with reservations or tips on what to see and do. Ask your innkeeper. They will be happy to help you plan the perfect afternoon drive, direct you to the very best shopping or suggest their favorite restaurant. They live local and know local. You can’t find a better concierge.

6. Everyone deserves a vacation, even while watching their budget. There is no need to purchase expensive plane tickets, book rental cars or waste precious time in airports. Take a long weekend and hop in your car. The water, the mountains, wine country or Pike Place market are all just a short drive away.

2010 is the year to resolve to stay within your budget, take a vacation and support your local economy. 2010 is the year to travel through Washington State, one inn at a time!

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