Can You Afford a Winter Getaway?

You certainly can if you hit the road in the next three weeks.

From popular newspapers to morning news shows, travel experts are popping up just about everywhere today hammering home the latest and greatest industry catchphrase:  “dead zone.”

A travel “dead zone” is defined as the weekend after Thanksgiving until roughly the week prior to Christmas.  It’s a time when most people have little incentive to travel far from home.  Consequently, hotels, rental car companies, cruise operators and commercial airlines offer a slew of travel bargains in order to remain profitable between the two busiest holidays of the season.

In other words, if you are looking for an affordable winter getaway, now is the time to act.

Some of the best bargains can be found at the following destinations:

Las Vegas:  Sin City is eerily quiet post-Thanksgiving and pre-New Year’s Eve.  During the first two weeks in December you can score significant savings on flights from the East Coast to Las Vegas.  In addition, if you don’t procrastinate you can look to save a ton of money on hotel rooms.  Some of the most luxurious properties in Sin City slash room prices during the first week in December.  For example, the extravagant Bellagio resort has rooms listed for just $149 per night until December 25th.  However, those same rooms are selling for $599 per night from December 26-January 1st.

Orlando:  If you are looking to escape Old Man Winter’s harsh chill and save some cash in the process, consider heading down to the House of Mouse.  You can beat the crowds and still salvage your budget by taking a pre-Christmas visit to Disney’s Magic Kingdom.  The Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek, which is located less than five minutes from EPCOT, offers complimentary park-shuttle service and low rates starting at just $139 per night between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  You can also snag sensationally cheap airfare to Orlando from places like Dallas ($75 roundtrip) and Chicago ($115 roundtrip).

Washington, D.C.:  While lawmakers deal with the fiscal cliff fiasco, you can save some cash by traveling to Washington, D.C. for a winter getaway you won’t soon forget.  Travel highlights include viewing the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse at the White House, visiting the popular Seasons of Light show at the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater, and taking in a performance of The Nutcracker by the Washington Ballet.  The Savory Suites Hotel is featuring rooms for just $140 per night from December 9th through Christmas.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.