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CONTACT: Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331,

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As gas prices rise, Americans look to B&Bs for value-filled summer getaways

Austin, TX --, the leading B&B directory and reservation network, recently polled more than 5,200 U.S. innkeepers about advanced bookings for the July 4th weekend. The 1,346 respondents reported that July 4th weekend reservations are even with or have increased over last year at more than 70 percent of B&Bs. Over Memorial Day, a similar survey showed that 66 percent of B&Bs were even or up in bookings over the previous year. Clearly, as Americans tighten their wallets and stay closer to home to avoid high gas costs, they are discovering the value that B&Bs offer. Complimentary breakfasts, afternoon refreshments, free parking, free Wi-Fi, and tip-free bellhop and concierge services like restaurant reservations and sightseeing advice at most B&Bs add up to money in travelers' pockets. Add in a $50 Vacation Bonus from for a two-night online reservation, and high gas prices lose their punch as a reason to stay home. In another recent survey,, a large travel search engine, found that while the economic downturn has caused a whopping 79 percent of travelers to alter their vacation plans, Americans still intend to get away this summer.

In's July 4, 2008, survey, nearly 28 percent of respondents reported that July 4 bookings have increased year over year, while nearly 42 percent noted that they are even with last year's reservations -- a notable achievement in an unstable economy. Innkeepers' comments explaining the reasons for increased reservations ranged from an increase in return guests to proximity to scenic attractions to more couples looking for shorter, one-tank getaways. In fact, one in three innkeepers cited the increase in shorter getaways as the reason for strong July 4 bookings. This year, the July 4 holiday falls on a Friday, giving vacation-deprived Americans a three-day weekend, perfect for travel.

Interestingly, in's May survey, 37 percent of survey respondents stated that bookings were down for Memorial Day travel year over year. Yet less than 30 percent (29.3%) said that July 4 bookings were behind this year, showing that Americans are turning to B&Bs for value-filled summer vacations. Among those responding, 80 percent attributed the decrease in bookings to the price of gas, and nearly 78 percent claimed that the unstable economy was affecting travel (respondents could select more than one reason).

While travelers lament high gas and airline prices, is pumping out vacation relief. B&B travelers who book a two-night stay online at through September 1 will receive a $50 bonus rebate check. An economic stimulus for B&B travel, thinks travelers should spend a couple of nights -- not a fortune -- on travel. Knowing that travelers are looking for shorter stays, reservations need only be two nights or longer to receive the vacation bonus; there are no hidden booking fees. Here's how it works: Go to and enter the destination and travel dates into the blue search box, or look for the green Book It button for nearly 1,300 bookable B&Bs worldwide, listed on Book a two-night stay (or longer) by September 1, 2008, complete your travel by December 31, 2008, then fill in the simple online bonus rebate form after your stay. will mail your $50 check in about a month. Go to for details. is the leading online bed and breakfast directory and reservation network worldwide, listing nearly 7,000 B&Bs and inns. A variety of search functions and extensive maps enable inngoers to find the perfect B&B. Travelers can make reservations online, purchase The Getaway Gift Card from, welcomed at nearly 4,000 B&Bs in the U.S. and Canada, subscribe to free newsletters, read and write independent reviews, and post questions on expert-hosted message boards.

Additionally, for information on a range of independently owned distinctive lodging, visit's sister site,

This press release was prepared for, 700 Brazos Street, Suite B-700, Austin, TX 78701

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