Now that you've heard the bad news about airline travel this summer -- higher fares, long lines and jam-packed planes, according to this L.A. Times story -- what's in store for Fourth of July travel on the hotel front?
Well, let's just say it's a good time to hone your deal-hunting skills.
AAA's Leisure Travel Index found Fourth of July rates nationwide rose this year. Room prices at three-diamond lodgings increased 4% over last year to an average $164 per night, and two-diamond hotels shot up 9% over last year to $120 a night.
But discount travel company Hotwire has this advice for holiday travelers: Party where hotel prices are dropping. The company calculated the best deal destinations by looking at average rates for four-star and above hotels where prices had dropped at least 5% over the holiday period.
For the week leading into the holiday (June 29 to July 5), average nightly prices for top hotels were $79 in Orlando, $91 in Las Vegas, $154 in New York City, $89 in Fort Lauderdale and $135 in Seattle.