Kiss those little bottles of lotion goodbye.

But don’t despair. You stand to gain better things, thanks to the ailing economy. That includes free Wi-Fi in more places, better customer service and of course, many unbelievable bargains.

“The advantages may exceed the losses,” said James Chung, president of market research firm Reach Advisors. The soft economy has already forced travel companies to “focus on what really matters for their customers: value and service,” he said.

We could use a little good news. Travelers are in a dark mood these days, with nearly one in every four Americans canceling a planned vacation, according to a recent Sun Life Financial survey. Older Americans are likelier, by a few percentage points, to call off their planned getaway.

Are we missing out?

Lauren Goldenberg thinks so. She’s a travel agent who specializes in family vacations, and from her perspective, these are the best of times to travel. “I haven’t had any clients return from trips in the past few months complaining about any noticeable decrease in services or amenities,” she told me. On the contrary, they’re raving about the experience, maybe because the crowds have dispersed and the prices are at historic lows.

“I’m sure that the resorts, cruise lines and tour operators are finding ways to lower costs in a variety of ways,” she said. “We shall see what the future may bring.”

Possible losses:

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here’s what we’re likely to lose in the recession:

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  • Elliott

    Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts. But his focus isn’t on the destination, or ev…

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