Have you ever considered a non-Holiday holiday? With November, December, and January stuffed with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s, sometimes it doesn’t occur to people to take a break around this time.
But in the travel industry, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the week after New Year’s, are considered “dead weeks,” with a big drop in demand. And in the travel market, a drop in demand = a great time to grab a fantastic deal on a trip. So I you have some flexibility in your holiday plans — or better yet, if you have adventurous family members who would love an unusual way to spend this time together — get on the hunt for some fabulous last-minute bargains and pack your bags.
Go off-peak for bigger savings
The days right before and right after major holidays tend to be the busiest (and most expensive), so opt for off-peak and you can save considerably, sometimes 25-50% off.
Off-peak savings also apply to destinations, not just travel times
Consider this advice from Tim Leffel, author of The World’s Cheapest Destinations:
“Cities that regularly host conventions can be good places to find last-minute hotel deals over the holidays. Sometimes you can find a last-minute deal in cities like Orlando or Las Vegas just because there are so many hotels to fill and no conventions going on (at this time of year).
And for beachside lounging, don’t limit yourself to Florida. Consider sandy (and cheaper) spots in other warm destinations along the Georgia and Texas coastlines, including towns like Tybee Island near Savannah and Galveston. Many hotel rooms in Galveston sell at or below $100 per night in November and December.”
Don’t be afraid to get creative with ticketing
Search for two one-way tickets instead of just round-trip. Take advantage of savings by flying into alternative airports. See if you can use cash and miles in combination with deals for deeper savings.
Tip: Early morning is the best time to check for deals. Airlines update their itineraries and availability overnight, so checking in early will give you the most options because that’s when there’s the most competition.
Consider a vacation rental
Especially at resorts, prices can be as steep as the slopes. If you’re willing to drive a few extra minutes, you can often rent a larger space for much cheaper. There are hot deals available on luxury apartments, homes, condos, and cottages. Other advantages: your own space, more room for larger families or groups, no noisy hotel patrons to keep you up, and access to your own kitchen that can help you save money on eating out. (For help scouting out the perfect space for your family or group, schedule a phone chat with me here.)
Don’t rule out Europe for a pre- or post-holiday escape
TravelChannel.com author Valerie Connors says, “During the winter, roundtrip flights to Europe can be as much as 20% cheaper than during summer months, when hordes of travelers descend on popular European cities like Paris, London and Rome. In winter these same cities can be blissfully quiet, with short or no lines to enter major attractions like the Louvre or St. Peter’s Basilica.” Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?
Don’t be afraid of traveling during the Holiday season — when you know where the deals are, the holidays can be better than ever!
Working with a Travel Professional is one of the best ways to get the most value on your dream vacation! I would love to help you plan your perfect getaway this Holiday season. Click here to schedule a “Let’s Get Acquainted Session” with me today.