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Travel Prices Set To Increase In 2012 [AUDIO]

Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images

If you’re planning a vacation next year, you better start saving now. More demand and a reduced number of seats will lead to higher airline ticket prices in 2012.

The bad new is it will cost you more wherever you fly starting in January. American Express predicts prices for shorter North American flights in coach will increase by about 2 to 5 percent, while prices for longer economy flights will rise by 0.5 to 3.5 percent.

Christine Hommel, a travel agent at Cherry Travel Agency in Matawan says airfare prices just keep going up. “Airline tickets have jumped dramatically, and they really started going up with the price of oil but they have increased significantly since last year.”

Hommel says the good news for travelers is that hotel and car rental prices should remain flat or with a slight increase. “In many cases the price for hotels has shrunk a little bit and car rentals are also low because there are so many companies out there.”

If you want to take a cruise, though, the deals are great. “There are so many ships out there and most of them are offering pretty good seven night stays right now.”

Hommel says a big obstacle is the increase in competition from the internet. “People are going online and booking cheap deals which definitely slows our business as a travel agency.”

The economy is still holding people back from taking that vacation. “Business has remained fairly steady, but I have noticed a decrease in clients since the recession hit.”

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