Off-peak vacations can save you money
By Phil Hornshaw
One secret to a great vacation that won’t empty your wallet is to go during the “off-peak” season, like visiting winter resorts in the summer, or great summer locations in the winter. Often, you can visit for much less money than you’d pay during peak time, and many resorts offer different experiences off season. The trick is to pick the right locations at the right times.
Find the right destination
Try Hawaii in April for great weather and some pretty big discounts, or San Diego in January when temperatures are lower than usual but still great if you’re from somewhere that gets cold in the winter. There are lots of travel sties that make finding deals easier, and if you know where you want to go and when the off-season begins, you can track down some lower prices. Start with Vacation Rentals and Travelation, which can help find somewhere to stay, and the big travel sites like Travelocity for potential deals.
Pick the right flight
Of course, a big chunk of every vacation is the actual travel cost, and the sites mentioned above can help find a reduced-cost flight. Traveling to destinations during times when fewer people are headed to them should keep costs down, but it definitely helps to shop around. You can nab deals on flights, as well as cash back, from travel sites like Expedia and Priceline.
Check for resort deals
While resorts and travel destinations make a lot of money from their most popular seasons, they often offer big discounts during the off-season to make up for the reduction in visitors. Try doing a little research on your destination to see if there’s anything special you can get out of taking your vacation during less-popular times. Some of the big travel sites mentioned above can plug you into special deals, and even airlines can be a conduit to your off-peak vacation. The Southwest Airlines’ Vacations portal, for example, provides a little cash back and can get you a deal on both the flight for your vacation, and where you’ll stay when you arrive.