The rising cost of gas, hotel rooms and rental cars makes it hard to plan a summer vacation on a budget. If these factors are putting a strain on planning a destination getaway, then a cruise might be the best alternative.
"Actually it's less expensive than renting a condo because your room is taken care of, your meals are taken care of, your entertainment, you get to go to Mexico. Key West,” said Odyssey Travel Agent Myra Ishler.
Cruise ships in Jacksonville, Mobile, and New Orleans are close by and offer affordable summer trips.
"Carnival even has a pack and go special, so if you're able to go very soon and you have your needed documentation, like a birth certificate and a driver's license, you can go within the week,” said Odyssey Travel Agent Carmen Valley.
Planning a summer vacation during peak months are even more expensive.
Right now, the average cost for a three-day weekend at a local hotel is around 600 dollars; many cruise ships offer all inclusive week long packages for the same cost.
"This is what the price is, this is how many days, so if they want to drop the price, they can drop a day, so it varies depending on how many days," said Ishler. "So, those, to me, for the distance and the time, and the money are going to be a better value and getaway."
A passport is not required for a cruise if you're leaving from an American port and returning to that same port.