Consumers are all looking for that perfect travel vacation but in uncertain and tough economic times, they want something that’s affordable but still want to enjoy high-quality travel accommodations. This is possible and the recent rise in independent travel websites can make it happen.

Peter Diaz, President & CEO of VoyageMonkey Online Travel comments: In recent years the travel industry has been massively influenced by the economy and the recent problems we’ve all been suffering. The economic downturn of 2009 completely changed the way that we travel; we’ve become more ruthless and determined to find cheap flights, cheap cruises and cheap hotels, and the best part is: we’re succeeding. The days of using a brick and mortar travel agency to book travel has gone by the wayside. Many of these storefronts did not survive. There are some fantastic deals out there on independent travel websites and they can be found. You can have the luxurious vacation you want that suits your budget. Wherever you want to go and however you want to get there, it can be done, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve and how far your budget can stretch.

Technology has influence the way people travel greatly, the introduction of online bookings and websites designed especially for people looking for a cheap vacation has meant that more and more people are turning to the internet to find a vacation destination that meets their budget. Smaller travel websites are designed especially to find the deal you’ve been searching for, regardless of the economic climate. These independent travel websites act as the marketing arm for large host travel agencies and consolidators who rely on the independents (Reps) to market and sell their product. Because the host companies who rely on independent Reps can avoid huge advertising budgets, like those of direct selling competitors such as Expedia and Travelocity, these cost savings are often passed on to the end consumer through lower pricing.

In recent years, one of the main factors that have affected the travel industry is the volatility and increases in crude oil prices. Crude oil is widely used amongst airlines and cruise lines. A strong increase in the price of oil results in fares shooting up which causes travelers to neglect flying or cruising and turn to other ways to reach their destinations, or not travel at all. However, when crude oil prices come back down, allowing airlines and cruise lines to once again reduce their prices, a lot of people are unaware of the drop in fares and continue to believe travel is still unaffordable. It’s because of this drop in oil prices and low travel demand that prices are on a low and go lower, making a vacation to anywhere in the world a lot more affordable than before.

Last minute flights, cruises and hotels have become all the rage. Last-minute-travel deals involve securing a place on a flight or a cruise that has not sold out. When a cruise line has an empty cabin on a ship the absent passenger is not spending money on drinks, gambling, on-board shopping and shore excursions. This is where the profit comes from. Because vacancies need to be filled for these companies to stay profitable, last-minute-travel is deeply discounted. Airlines will often work with hotels and cruise lines to put together combination travel packages that are even more attractive. Smaller independent websites regularly offer deals to fantastic vacation destinations at prices that you may not expect. Regularly visiting these websites is the key to finding great deals as they appear. The Savvy traveler makes sure to get on these websites emailing lists and get alerted to deals on a regular basis. Eventually you will see a deal that is too good to pass up.