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Briefs: Florida's season in the sun has begun

Get ready for visitors at your house and more crowds at Florida's top vacation spots. The folks at Expedia report that people are looking for sun and Florida's got it.

The top 10 destination searches through March 31 are:

1. Orlando

2. Miami

3. Fort Lauderdale

4. Fort Myers

5. Los Angeles

6. Denver

7. Las Vegas

8. New York

9. Phoenix

10. Honolulu

The Super Bowl is in Miami on Feb. 7, so that may be playing a part in search spikes.

Expedia's top 10 destinations for the holiday season were:

1. New York

2. Los Angeles

3. Las Vegas

4. Orlando

5. Denver

6. San Francisco

7. Chicago

8. Phoenix

9. Washington

10. Seattle

To cater to the change in preferences, Expedia is now offering a Sun & Ski promotion, which includes, for up to 30 percent off, cruise deals, nearly 1,000 hotels around the world in sunny destinations, and more than 100 top hotels in ski destinations in the United States and Canada. Travel must be booked by Feb. 28 and completed by March 31.

Happy campers can rev up RVs

If you like camping, you're in luck: There are plenty of great places out there to park your RV, even some where you can easily hop onto the Internet. Of the 8,000 privately owned parks listed in Woodall's 2010 North America Campground Directory, 307 have earned the directory's highest designation. So who has most of the best campgrounds in the United States? That would be Arizona, Florida, California and Texas.

Ann Emerson, a Woodall's vice president and the publisher of the directory, said 30 husband-and-wife teams traveled across North America in their RVs from February to August inspecting the parks. Among other things, they looked at restrooms, laundry rooms and Internet capability; they also took landscaping into consideration.

More trends for 2010

The travel gurus are reading their crystal balls for the new year, and here are some of their predictions.

Travelocity.com's Genevieve Shaw Brown:

• Airfares are going up, but hotel rates are going down.

• Resorts in popular destinations dependent on air travelers — the Caribbean, Hawaii — will be particularly good values.

• Vacation packages will be the best overall value. Hotels are not keen to lower their standalone rates, but will do so as part of a package. Travelers who bundle flight and hotel will save the most.

Hotwire.com's Clem Bason:

• Hotel prices will continue to drop. Deal hunters should watch markets such as Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco, where Hotwire expects unsold inventory could be offered at up to 55 percent off.

• Car rental prices will be high, with few deals and some sold-out locations. Use less expensive brands such as Payless or Advantage and rent from off-airport locations to save money.

• Price differences between five- and four-star hotels will get smaller.

From JWT (J. Walter Thompson):

• Travel marketers may target folks who have lost their jobs but have some money tucked away by pitching adventures that will help them re-evaluate their lives.

• Airlines will move closer to using plant-based biofuels in commercial jets.

Times wires

Briefs: Florida's season in the sun has begun 01/09/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 9, 2010 3:30am]

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