Time for Vacation!

11325057-travel--winter-vacation-world-monuments-and-mountainsVacation? You may be thinking, but we just ended holiday season? Why would I take more holidays now? For the budget-minded though, and for those who are not completely chained to the school year calendar, January can represent one of the more frugally friendly windows for travel and holiday.

Holiday Season not Really a “Holiday”

While it is directly in the title (holiday season) the weeks surrounding Christmas and other holidays have very little to do with actual holidays when you really think about it.

There is usually much running around, frantic errands and either hosting family and friends or going to visit them.

Although you may have been lucky enough to grab a few stolen moments here and there to unwind and enjoy some down time or participate in family activities, the rest and relaxation portion of a holiday tends to fall by the wayside.

Think Ahead to Next Year

You may still be paying off the holiday bills from the holiday season, so this is an excellent time to start laying the groundwork for the following January. Rather than racking up credit card debt to go on a holiday, start socking some money away to take a trip next January- and here’s why:

Less Crowded

No matter what your desired location is- whether the sunny south, skiing or a little urban exploring, the weeks immediately following the holiday season mean inevitably mean less crowds- reason being that most folks are doing what you are doing- staying home, recovering from the holiday season rush.

However, given that there are less potential customers during this time period, businesses need to get more creative and proactive in trying to lure customers to their vacation spot- which translates into numerous incentives and saving opportunities for consumers.

Sun Seekers

I’m sure by now you’ve had it with winter, and the lure of the sunshine and warmer climes has great pull.

Sunny vacation spot accommodations take a serious dip in prices between the busy Christmas/New Year’s week, and then prepare to swing upward again for the high seasons of February and March, when hotels and beaches are packed accommodating Spring Breakers.

The sales start shortly after Christmas and January is a great time to take advantage of last-minute deals, because there tend to be more unfilled spots at hotels at this time of year.

Take some time now to research travel sites (expedia.ca, hotwire.com, booking.com, hotels.com, travelzoo.ca) and get to know the ins- and outs. Travel providers usually have specific days of the week that they release their last-minute savings (usually mid-week). You will be well –served to spend some time in advance to know about different companies, fine print and extra charges (i.e. are there booking fees? Is the rate advertised only good for certain days of the week, etc?)  to make sure that your vacation spending gets more mileage.

This also gives you the opportunity to start padding your bank account now and get ready to click that mouse for some last-minute savings when the season rolls around again.

Bundle up

Fancy a vacation in the great outdoors- maybe skiing, tubing or skating? Grab your winter woollies and start seeking out your holiday spot.

You should bundle up not only your clothing, but your hotel experiences as well. Many ski resorts or resorts that offer outdoor activities offer special savings bundles during this time of year in order to lure customers.

Even if not advertised, call hotels directly and see what they would be willing to throw in (lift tickets, snowshoe/skate rental, meals etc.). The consumer really has the power during this season, because truthfully- there is a bit of a risk travelling during in January in terms of the weather. Even the most stalwart skier may flinch when it is -30 outside!

January is fickle and not always frigid- meaning that there is an excellent opportunity to enjoy some outdoor fun when nature is particularly beautiful.