How to find the best deals for end-of-winter travel

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It’s been a rough winter across much of the United States. The Polar Vortex. Mounds of snow in places that usually only see a light dusting (or none at all). Wind. Rain. Floods.

If you need a break from it all, we don’t blame you. But unless you’re one of the lucky few who manages to sock away a vacation fund, getting away can be financially challenging. So how can you find some of the best late-winter getaways without spending a fortune? We’re here to help.

Here are seven ways to get the best deals on end-of-winter travel so you don’t have to go into debt or scale back your summer vacation later in the year.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Go (or stay) north

How to find the best deals for end-of-winter travel

If a cold-weather holiday doesn’t sound like the very definition of the Dante’s ninth circle of hell at this point in the season, you may be able to swing some great deals. Destinations like Montreal or Quebec, Canada, are beautiful in winter as are places like Burlington, Vermont and Niagara Falls, New York. 

Washington, D.C., can also be a great option at this time of year. The cherry blossoms haven’t begun to bloom so the crowds are still minimal, but there are plenty of cultural and sightseeing activities to be had.

Check out these six budget-friendly domestic travel destinations for more ideas.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Sign up for airfare alerts

How to find the best deals for end-of-winter travel

One of the most expensive aspects of travel – especially international – can be the airfare. There are great deals to be had, though, and if you sign up for alerts from sites like AirfareWatchdog.com, you’ll actually know about them and can act on them.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Consider driving

How to find the best deals for end-of-winter travel

If your preferred destination is close enough (or if you can settle for one that is), driving is almost always cheaper than flying, especially if you’re not traveling alone. Hit the road with plenty of snacks so you don’t have to pay more at restaurants along your route and fill up the tank using a cash back rewards credit card, and your vacation is already helping to pay for itself.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Skip the hotels & motels

How to find the best deals for end-of-winter travel

Not only are private rentals like those you can find on VRBO.com or Airbnb.com usually cheaper, you can also save money by cooking your own meals and often have the added perk of being able to do some laundry as well.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Look for off-season deals

How to find the best deals for end-of-winter travel

This year is a bit of an anomaly in a lot of ski areas. There’s plenty of snow still, so unless the weather warms up quickly over the next several weeks, chances are ski vacations aren’t going to be deeply discounted. 

In most warm beach destinations, it’s nearing the end of peak season, but you’re still going to pay peak-season prices. Instead, opt for places where the tourists aren’t going yet, like Bermuda, which is far enough north to still be a bit chilly (though it’s still beautiful). It can be a great option if you don’t mind jacket weather on the beach.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Ask for the specials

How to find the best deals for end-of-winter travel

There are a lot of freebies out there, but sometimes you have to ask for them. If you’re headed to a resort or hotel, ask if there are any specials available (like free activities for kids or packages that offer discounts), and definitely reach out to the local tourism board or chamber of commerce to see what kinds of offers local businesses may have.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Be flexible with dates

How to find the best deals for end-of-winter travel

If you’re flying to your destination, having flexible travel dates can wind up saving you a considerable amount. Be sure to click the “dates flexible” box available on many sites like Travelocity or Kayak to see if the savings is worth flying on a Wednesday instead of a Friday.

Want more tips for saving money while traveling? Check out these easy ways to save when you’re on vacation.

This article originally appeared on MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

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How to find the best deals for end-of-winter travel

Constance Brinkley-Badgett

Constance Brinkley-Badgett is MediaFeed’s executive editor. She has more than 20 years of experience in digital, broadcast and print journalism, as well as several years of agency experience in content marketing. She has served as a digital producer at NBC Nightly News, Senior Producer at CNBC, Managing Editor at ICF Next, and as a tax reporter at Bloomberg BNA.

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