Summer travel heats up again

FRESNO, California It's definitely looking a lot better for the travel industry. People seem to be ready to hit the road or take to the skies again ... but some of those travel bargains we saw in the past could be harder to come by.

It was a busy Friday afternoon at the Fresno Yosemite Airport. Angelica Aguilar and her friends were excited to board their flight for a last minute trip to Las Vegas.

"At work there's cutbacks -- all the stress, and you're like, you know what? I need to go somewhere, do something," said Aguilar.

That's the attitude among many will-be travelers this summer.

Denise Martin-Donathan said, "They need a break from the reality of what's happened in the economy, in the world."

Travel agent Denise Martin-Donathan says business is definitely picking up from last year ... when the economy forced many to stay home for vacation. But when it comes to flying, this year people will have a harder time finding a deal. "I have clients that went to Walt Disney World last week, and the flight was packed, every single seat on the plane was full."

Many airlines -- domestic flights in particular are increasing their fares because they're flying fewer planes. For those choosing to drive, the recession also forced car rental companies to reduce their fleets, which means a hike in rental rates.

On the plus side -- Martin-Donathan says there are still good deals to be had in hotel accommodations. "The hotels themselves even for the summer are offering amenities. Maybe a free upgrade or a free breakfast."

She recommends booking early as you can, and being flexible with your dates when planning your vacation this summer.

As for Angelica, this mini-vacation is a splurge, but a well-deserved one. "Okay, I really don't have that much money but I can you know, do some little turns. Finagle it somehow? There you go, yeah. Where there is a will, there is a way ... ha, ha"

If your vacation plans include theme parks, most are still recovering from the down economy and offering fewer discounts. Gas prices though -- they are expected decrease this summer.

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