Time to start planning for New Year's 2000 trips
January 1, 1999
Web posted at: 1:11 p.m. EST (1811 GMT)
(CNN) -- Granted, the old year just ended. But unless you want to spend New Year's Eve 2000 in your Y2K bunker, it's best to start making millennium travel plans soon. Be advised that celebrating in style will cost you plenty.
Some of the more glamorous trips? Begin with a $40,000 flight on the Concorde, allowing you to ring in the new year in Paris and New York. Or you could take a $10,000 cruise across the International Date Line, being among the first and last to celebrate the transition to 2000.
Eighty-five percent of travel agents have already started booking trips for the millennium, and they come at premiums of 20 to 100 percent.
"Even people who have a fair amount of resources are saying, 'Well, I am not sure I want to pay twice the price that I normally would for something like that,'" said Richard Nigosian, president of Bond Street Travel.
Airlines and hotels, many of which book 11 months ahead of time, are bracing for a crush at the end of January.
"We expect that as the capacity for the airlines and hotels comes on line that there will be a mad rush, so it's very important that if you haven't already begun to plan your trip for the millennium, over the course of the next month, it's absolutely imperative that you do so," said Steve Loucks, director of communications for the American Society of Travel Agents.
Disney World is already sold out. Some cruises also are booked solid, but most lines have 20 to 50 percent of capacity remaining.
The highest level of demand for year-end travel is expected to be to places like Australia and New Zealand, which will be among the first to usher in 2000. Other destinations of high demand are the Holy Land, Vienna and Tokyo.
In New York City, although the ball will drop only once, there will be 24 celebrations for each time zone. Some of New York's hotels are sold out but many still have space available.
"Probably around 56 percent, by our survey ... have not even begun to book for New Year's Eve," said Fran Reiter, president of the New York Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
Travel planners suggest those who fear Y2K computer glitches should plan accordingly.
"I myself am planning on being somewhere where if I can't get back home, I wouldn't mind staying," Loucks said.
Based on a report from CNN Financial News Correspondent Susan Lisovicz