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TravelWhere to Find Great Deals on Winter Vacations

02:05  12 january  2019
02:05  12 january  2019 Source:   consumerreports.org

Book Worldwide and Save with United Vacations

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Best Winter Vacations . Some travelers are enchanted by winter 's first snowfall, while others are itching to escape the season's cold weather. To help you find the locale that best suits your winter vacation wants and needs, U.S. News compiled a list of the best winter destinations based on expert

Hawaii Vacations are a great experience and with the right package you won't break the bank. You can visit Hawaii every year.

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While beach vacations in the Caribbean and ski trips to the Rockies are costly this time of year, there are plenty of good deals available to less sought-after destinations such as big cities in the U.S., some colder regions of the country, and out-of-the way locales.

Jared Kamrowski, who runs the website ThriftyTraveler.com, says he and his wife have a number of trips planned over the next few months, including visits to Chicago and Fargo, North Dakota.

"Airfares and hotel prices can be much more expensive during the summer than in the winter, so we're going now," says Kamrowski.

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Hotel Deals Vacations Cruises Car Rentals. ( Winter can also be a great time to snag bargains on hotels, restaurants No matter what side you fall on, you’re bound to find some travel inspiration in this roundup of 20 great places in the U.S. for winter vacations —because hibernation is for the bears.

18 Amazing and Affordable Winter Vacation Destinations. No matter where you stay in Montego Bay, in addition to relaxing on the sand, you’ll find plenty of water sports and other activities to keep you busy. This town situated in the foothills of the Andes is surrounded by lakes that provide a great

January is actually the cheapest month to fly as domestic airfare prices are 31 percent lower on average than peak prices during the summer, according to the airfare-tracking app Hipmunk. Some of those deals could spill over into February and early March.

Hotels and vacation rentals also offer big discounts in the winter, with prices in some markets dropping by as much as 42 percent compared to the fall, according to TripAdvisor Rentals.

If you're looking for an affordable midwinter getaway, here are four ideas.

Off-Season Resorts

While the peak season to go to Myrtle Beach, S.C., is from March to September, you'll find lower prices in January and February. Temperatures during the early winter months are still comfortable—they reach into the 50s and 60s—so you can still play golf. Another benefit: You’ll probably be able to grab a tee time, and get a discount.

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Winter Vacations . The Best Places to Travel in December. With nearly everyone absorbed in getting ready for the holidays instead of traveling, airlines and hotels are offering great deals . Others might want a change of scenery or a chance to celebrate the holidays in a new faraway place.

Scoring vacation deals is possible—you just need to do a little research. Find deals and discounts that make hopping on a plane and exploring a new You have two options when you want to save: you can choose to fly a budget-friendly airline, or you can scour third-party sites to find deals on most major

Airfares to Myrtle Beach are 17 percent lower on average than during high season, according to airfare-tracker Hopper. While there, you can visit the shops, boardwalk, aquarium, and SkyWheel, which are all open year-round. Even if it’s too chilly for a dip, you still have beautiful views of the ocean.

Another big upside: In winter, lodging prices take a dive. Rates on vacation rentals cost half of what they do during the summer, according to TripAdvisor Rentals.

It might take a little more ingenuity to enjoy a more northern beach resort in winter, says Pauline Frommer, editorial director of Frommer’s guidebooks. She recommends the Massachusetts shore, including Nantucket, for walks on the beach, sightseeing in quaint towns, and great dining. (On Nantucket, The Sea Grille and Bartlett’s Farms are among the spots open year-round.) Rental houses on the island are also half-price.

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We’ve uncovered the best winter vacations in America for everyone in pursuit of powder this To sweeten the deal , we’ve included destinations in every US region—so no matter where you live The best winter vacations start with great accommodations, and TripAdvisor Rentals has those in spades.

We rank the 15 Best Affordable Winter Vacations . See which places our readers like the best, and vote for your favorites. Some destinations see prices skyrocket in the winter , but U.S. News ensures that your dollars will go far with this list of winter 's best affordable vacations .

Many historic sites and museums are seasonal, but others are open in the winter. Nantucket's Whaling Museum, for example, opens in February.

Classic Beach Vacations

If warmer weather is a must, there are still some good options.

Winter flights to Florida cities such as Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and Fort Meyers can be surprisingly reasonable. According to Hopper, ticket prices are up to 20 percent cheaper on average than during the summer.

Kamrowski says there are also good deals to places that travelers have shunned due to negative news. He recommends considering San Juan, Puerto Rico—prices are lower because many people stopped traveling there after Hurricane Maria hit in 2017.

Another option: the beaches of Mexico. Kamrowski says that while many are safe, prices are low partly because travelers are concerned about violence from drug gangs. A bomb that detonated last February on a ferry that travels between Playa del Carmen and the island of Cozumel didn't help.

For the best lodging deals, look off the beaten path. Vacation houses in Destin, on the Gulf Coast in Florida’s panhandle, rent for up to 60 percent less than they do during the high season, which begins in April, according to the vacation rental site HomeAway.

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Craving some sunshine? It's not too late to schedule a winter vacation , and the trip doesn't have to be pricey. Here are some of the best places to find top bargains ranging from states like Georgia, Florida, and California to Caribbean islands and Central American countries like Colombia.

For most people, the best way to find cheap flight deals is twofold: 1) cross-check a bunch of flight price aggregators and 2) sign up for newsletters. The first involves checking aggregators like Kayak and Google Flights to compare prices across several airlines. Note that Southwest is not included in these

But there's a crucial caveat: Get in and out of Florida before spring break kicks into high gear around the second week of March.

For West Coasters, San Diego is a great nearby winter destination. The hotels there have some big discounts now, with rates 20 percent lower than during summer, according to Travelocity data.

Winter is also prime whale-watching season in San Diego, when gray whales migrate past Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument. While the water may be too cold for swimming, it’s a beautiful time of year to explore Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and the historic Gaslamp Quarter with a fraction of the crowds.

Big Cities

Heading to a major city in the winter can often be less expensive than during the summer, says Patrick Surry, chief data scientist at Hopper.

Flights to Chicago (shown at top) this winter cost almost 30 percent less on average than they did in high summer, according to Hopper data, and flights to New York City are discounted almost 20 percent.

There are also good winter deals on lodging in many cities. According to the booking site Travelocity, hotels are offering discounts of 20 percent to 30 percent from their summer rates in destinations such as Boston; Chicago; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; and Seattle.

Of course, it’s never difficult to find plenty to do in these great American cities, though winter does bring some seasonal  opportunities, like outdoor ice skating with skyline views on Frog Pond in Boston and in Millennium Park in Chicago.

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You're likely to find great deals on accommodations , too. You can even find lower prices on services like Airbnb and other hotel alternatives where Families, for example, tend to travel in sync with the school calendar. Of course, this means that if you have kids, off season vacations mean they'll miss

There are often many great cheap winter vacation deals to be had in inland cities like Dallas or Albuquerque or Santa Fe that are not typical “tourist destinations” in With a bit of creativity, advance planning and flexibility, finding cheap winter vacations is more possible than you might expect.

If New York is a city you'd like to visit, you can be among the first to see new Broadway plays that open during the winter months. This year, the list of winter openings includes revivals of "Kiss Me, Kate" and "True West."

For nature lovers, the Standow-Camano & Birding Festival takes place in late February an hour north of Seattle, with tours of the wintering grounds of birds that come from as far away as Alaska and Russia.

Our Neighbor to the North

Canada may not be a top-of-mind destination in the winter months, but with the strong U.S. dollar, Canada is essentially 30 percent off, Frommer says. That makes it a pretty good winter destination.

While there’s no way around the cold, Montreal offers plenty of indoor diversions like its world-class Museum of Fine Arts, which opened a new wing in late 2016, and has a special exhibit called Thierry Mugler: Couturissime beginning March 2. The exhibit covers the work of the French couturier, director, photographer, and perfumer.

If you don't mind venturing outside, you could attend Montréal en Lumière, a festival that runs from Feb. 21 to March 3 with concerts, food, and must-see art installations.

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2019, Consumer Reports, Inc.

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