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A 360 Degree Perspective: Summer Travel

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This past weekend was Memorial Day, which means two things: 1) It’s officially OK to bust out your white shoes and 2) It’s time to start thinking about summer vacation. Whether you’re debating where to go, where you can afford to go or what everyone else’s travel plans are, there’s a lot of information out there. Today, we’re helping you get a lay of the land by sharing some of the travel articles we found most interesting.

With the unemployment rate down from 10 percent at the height of the recession to (a still substantial) 7.5 percent, the AP calls the forecast for summer travel “partly sunny.” Many Americans who had no room for travel in the budget are now planning longer and fancier vacations. While Americans can expect gas prices to be the same, hotel rooms will be bit pricier. But trains and planes will be full, meaning that Americans are ready to be on the move.

Of course, the travel industry hasn’t completely bounced back. If you’re one the people who still feel cautious about spending money to travel this summer, fear not. Ben Baldanza, the CEO of Spirit Airlines, says that cheaper air travel is on the horizon.

That said, it may not be strictly budgetary concerns that prevent you from traveling this summer. A report from the Center for Economic Policy and Research revealed that the United States is the only economically advanced nation where vacation days are not required by law. It should be no surprise that even when American companies offer vacation, they give fewer days than their European counterparts. (In France, 30 days of vacation is standard.)

If you are lucky enough to get vacation days and have the budget to travel, make the most of your time by visiting one of these 10 unusual places to travel. Stay in an underwater hotel in the Florida Keys or one that’s modeled after a jail in Germany. Other suggestions include the Superman festival in Metropolis, Illinois or a walk through Puritan history in Salem, Massachusetts.