How to Find a Cheap Winter Vacation in Four Easy Steps

The holidays can be a killer: All that shopping, cooking and family visits not to mention the cleanup. So maybe you deserve a vacation (or maybe you don’t but we won’t tell). Fortunately winter is the perfect time for a cheap getaway and here’s how to create one in four easy steps but you must act now.

Tip: Click any destinations that intrigue you and we’ll help you find cheap flights there.

Listen: Travel expert Rick Seaney has even more tips.

Step One: Choose the Right Destination

Airfare analyst Rick Seaney provided us with the following destination ideas that won’t break the bank:

  • The Caribbean will be pricy but there are still a few bargains including Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and even deals to Bermuda (especially from New York).
  • Flights to Florida are usually much cheaper and best destinations include Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando and Tampa.
  • Skiers should look at two generally cheap cities: Boston, which offers easy access to New England resorts or Denver, gateway to all that excellent skiing in the Rockies.

Find more cheap cities on the Deals Blog

Step Two: Fly When it’s Cheap

January and early February offer some of the best domestic deals of the year. Make it even cheaper by flying midweek (Tuesdays and Wednesdays). Saturdays can be cheap, too. Tip: Avoid flights on Fridays and Sunday when you’ll typically pay top dollar.

Step Three: Look at Package Deals

Several airlines offer packages providing flight + hotels (and sometimes even rental cars). Look at these options carefully; the hotels offered may be more than you’d be willing to pay normally but the overall discounting may put the total package within your budget. Maybe you’re better off making separate reservations. Only you can say for sure.

Step Four: Book Now

Some airfare deals require an advance purchase of from 7 to 21 days before departure. Fly sooner rather than later because once the President’s Day weekend comes along, fares start shooting up in anticipation of Spring Break.


Published: January 7, 2014