Affordable Winter Vacations That Won’t Break The Bank
Well it hasn’t been much of a winter here in Southern Ontario or for much of Canada this year. With very little snow and mild temperatures many may not be thinking about a winter escape. But for those of you who are and are looking for some cheap travel deals then here are a few tips for planning an affordable winter vacation.
Sun, Sand and Relaxation – You want a cheap beach vacation?
If you are looking to fly south for the winter then some Caribbean hot spots might just be the right price and option for you. Obviously the most popular locations among travelers happen to be the most affordable options. So if you want a cheap vacation deal you will want to investigate Cuba, Mexico and Dominican Republic. These are the usual candidates for quick-fix beach vacations at an unbelievably affordable price.
Always affordable and easy to access if you are Canadian. This has been one of the most affordable destinations in the Caribbean. However, be careful what you are buying. A package valued at $500 all-in is probably a very low-rated hotel and could be affordable but not very enjoyable. Do your research and find deals amongst the popular Cuban spots.
The country’s travel tax is much higher so trips may start out affordable but then you will have to add $380 in taxes. There are lots of deals to be had in it’s main attractions, the older Puerto Plata, the now popular Punta Cana and La Romana. Find an off week here, and try choosing a weekday to weekday trip instead of weekend to weekend and you may score a great bargain.
Mexico – Cheap but is it safe?
I hesitate to recommend Mexico these days. Yes it has always been affordable and great value for travellers but these days with continued crime at the cost of several tourists lives, I would pass and go with Cuba or Dominican Republic.
You may not be able to guarantee scorching hot temperatures here, but there are some great deals in booking Florida vacations. Disney World always has specials and packages for families and this year there are some great flight/hotel combinations to choose from as well.
Like Florida you may not be able to guarantee the hottest weather in the Caribbean, but there are some great deals on 3-4 day breaks, 4-5 day breaks and 7 day stays.
There are some pretty great deals on Cruise vacations right now. Choosing an inside cabin on a Caribbean cruise can be unbelievably affordable, even when you add in the flight to the departure port and the fact that drinks are not included. This might become many mini vacations in one depending on how you plan it and what cruise you choose. With the recent Concordia Cruise Ship Disaster many cruise lines are dropping prices to deter people from asking the question are cruise ships safe? So some great deals to be had here.
Dream Travel Quick Tips – Making All Inclusive Caribbean Vacations Cheaper
Search Multiple Dates - when planning your trip be flexible on the dates, as one week may have higher volumes than other. Obviously if you plan a trip during March break the prices will be higher, but the week before or after which may be lower peaks at the hotels may hide a great bargain. Last year we chose a trip to Jolly Beach Resort in Antigua that normally sells for $1800 – $2200 CAD and we got it taxes included for $1200. It was all about choosing the right date.
Book Start Date during the week - flying Wednesday to Wednesday instead of flying out on the weekend can also cut the cost of the trip by a few hunder dollars per person. Again be flexible with your dates and search +/- a few days and see how the price varies.
Book early vs. Last Minute? – the question on whether or not to book your trip earlier or opt for a last minute deal will never go away. I have always sworn to book last minute but this winter chose to book early (very early over 6 months early). We booked a trip in October 2011 for a trip we are taking this year and we watched the price for the entire period. There were very little fluxuations and in the end saw the price rise not fall. We also got a tonne of extras included which include a $100 duty free voucher and complimentary upgrade to the Option+ seating option which is basically economy seats with benefits. Had we waited we would have paid the same price got a reduced room package at the hotel and no airline perks like priority check-in, priotiry baggage handling, extra 10kg baggage allowance and complimentary alcholic drinks on the plane. A nice bonus for booking early. So the jury is still out on this one. If you are flexible with hotel options and flight options last minute can score you some incredible deals if your like everything planned out then opt for booking early.