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 if 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 — then put me 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.
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. (For help scouting out the perfect space for your family or group, schedule a phone chat with me by replying to this email.)
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 may be able to get more value for your money. The holidays can be better than ever!