With Mardi Gras (February 16) coming right on the heels of Valentine’s Day (February 14) and Presidents’ Day (February 15), it was no surprise to see New Orleans move to the top of priceline.com’s (Nasdaq: PCLN) Top 50 Destinations list for the upcoming long weekend. In addition to being more popular this year than Las Vegas, which was last year’s winner, this was the highest ranking that New Orleans has received in a post-Katrina priceline.com Top 50 survey.
To compile its Top 50 list, priceline.com looked at a sampling of more than 30,000 Name Your Own Price(R) hotel room booking requests made by priceline.com customers for the long weekend. Since the priceline.com study is based on actual booking requests, and not on consumer preference polls or votes, priceline.com believes the study is one of the more accurate predictors of future travel trends.
“The convenient juxtaposition of Sunday’s Valentine’s Day and Monday’s national holiday makes an excellent excuse to get away for a few days,” said Brian Ek, editor of The Travel Ekspert www.priceline.com/travelblog, priceline.com’s travel blog.
Ek offered some tips for bargain-hunting Valentine’s Day/Presidents’ Day travelers. “Lower-priced airfares for Saturday morning and Friday evening are selling fast, but there are still great fares available earlier in the day on Friday. Travelers who take the whole week off may find cheaper airfares than going away for the long weekend. This might be the trip to spoil yourself with a 4- or even 5-star hotel. We’re seeing plenty of availability and Name Your Own Price(R) customers are succeeding with bids up to 50% below the published prices, even in the big cities.”