Plan ahead for winter travel


By Beth Taylor

Beating the Midwest winter blues often requires a warm-weather getaway. Whether an exotic tropical location or a restful, all-inclusive cruise, venturing beyond the Indiana cold rejuvenates mind and body.

“We see a lot of people cruising to the Panama Canal and Caribbean at this time of year for family Spring Break,” said Kristin Knott, a travel agent at AAA Hoosier Motor Club.

Knott suggests planning Spring Break trips as soon as school calendars are published.

“We always get those wanting to go on a Disney Cruise, Disney World and Disney Land for Spring Break. We can get better deals on hotels and airfare the earlier we start planning,” said Knott.

Destin, Florida is a popular Spring Break destination. “The weather can be iffy, but it’s an easy drive from here. We get a lot of requests for that area,” she said.

Costa Rica has become a popular destination. “I went a few years ago, and I recommend if you go to get out and see what the country has to offer,” she said.

Although all-inclusive resorts are becoming more popular, much of Costa Rica is still untouched. Central America touches both the Pacific and Caribbean oceans. You can see wildlife and jungle areas on the Caribbean side, swim and surf on the Pacific side and visit the volcano and hot springs areas,” Knott said. “You can relax or you can be constantly busy.”

Knott has seen an uptick in Australia travel plans recently. “I’ve seen this vacation destination increase for retirees, more than usual.” she said.

Knott can accommodate most travelers’ needs. “Some people come in knowing what they want, some people have an idea and some want suggestions based on what they like to do. We have tons of resources and can give suggestions for destinations,” she said. “Using a travel agency can reduce costs for travelers, and we can often find upgrades.”

On Feb. 7, AAA is hosting a travel expo at the Indiana Convention Center. For more information, go to