Cruises, Galveston See Summer Business Boom
School is now officially out for summer across the Houston area, and that means the start of family vacation season. "A lot of people travel in the beginning of the season because otherwise there's summer camps and that type of thing, so a lot of people like to leave now," says Linda de Sosa, Vice President of Woodlake Travel in Houston. She tells KTRH she is booking "a ton" of cruises right now for families, because they offer fixed costs and something for everyone. "Parents can go do their thing in the evening, kids or teens or tweens can go do their thing in the evening, so everyone has time apart as well as time together," she says.
Cruises continue to be a popular travel option for Houstonians, but those not wanting to spend days on the water just head to the beach instead. That is where Galveston comes in. It is always a frequent destination for locals wanting a quick getaway, and this summer is no different. "We see at least a 50% increase in our hotel occupancy each year in June, July and August," says Leah Cast with the Galveston Convention and Visitors Bureau. She says last summer was the best on record for tourism on the island, and they are hoping to top that this year. To that end, officials have taken steps to alleviate traffic to Galveston by opening up HOV lanes on the I-45 during the weekends. "So now, even though you typically see more traffic coming into Galveston on weekends, you have a way of escape (with the extra lanes)," says Cast.
Not all Houstonians want to stay close to home, though. De Sosa says she is currently booking cruises to places like Europe and Alaska, and she expects that type of business to increase as the summer months advance. "Some people go away to escape the Houston weather, but that usually happens more in August," she says. June, on the other hand, is prime time for family trips. "Now, people are going because they've got free time and they want to go make memories together."
Check out Trip Advisor's best family vacation ideas here.