It’s no secret that high gas prices are affecting the way people live, work, and travel. Last week, the Boston Globe ran a front-page article on a software executive who decided to trade in his newly renovated condominium for a place that’s closer to work. The reason? He simply couldn’t afford the $500 it cost him each month to keep his tank full for his 34-mile drive from home to the office. With these sorts of drastic compromises taking place, the travel industry finds itself forced to make some compromises of its own.
One of the more recent trends we’ve seen is lodging establishments enticing guests with vacation packages that aim to offset their transportation costs with gas cards and coupons. From state tourism offices to family-run B&Bs, people from all corners of the travel industry are working together to ensure that people will still indulge in a weekend vacation or two. Here are some of the deals available this summer:
From now until Labor Day, VisitPittsburgh, GetGo Gas, and Giant Eagle have teamed up to offer travelers a $10 GetGo gift card for every hotel night booked through www.VisitPittsburgh.com. Keep in mind that only certain hotels come with the $10 GetGo card, so if you’re interested in booking this package, make sure to ask for participating establishments.
For those interested in seeing another side of Pennsylvania, the French Manor—a stone chateau set on Huckleberry Mountain—is offering guests a package called “Tanks-A-Lot” that includes a $50 gift card (intended to cover the cost of gas) if they book two or more nights mid-week through 2008.
Over in Mt. Pleasant Mills, PA, the Buckwheat Valley Guesthouse is giving guests who book a two-night stay a $25 gas card when they visit. (Valid through October.)
While the Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association doesn’t directly pay for your gas, it essentially helps pay for your visit to the Washington, D.C., suburb from now through Labor Day. If you book a two-night stay on their website, you receive a $25 Visa gift card and coupons that amount to more than $600 to spend at local stores and attractions.
According to the Travel Industry Association, the Traveler Price Index (TPI), which measures the unadjusted rate of the cost of travel, has seen a 6.7 percent increase since May of last year. So expect a lot more of these deals to be thrown your way throughout 2008.
Photo: Simple Pleasure via the Intelligent Travel Flickr pool