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Frugal Winter Vacation Ideas

By Cary Anderson

Grappling with a constricted budget and a need for a winter vacation is no easy task. And unless youíre the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, flying the family to Vail for a weekend ski trip is probably off the table. With a little creativity though, itís possible to have your cake and eat it too. Consider the following tips for enjoying a great winter vacation on the cheap.

Go During the Week

If your schedule permits you to vacation during the week, you can find some dirt-cheap deals. Itís a simple supply and demand function. Vacationing on the weekend is more expensive since more people are trying to do it.

Consider a Cruise

Going on a cruise during the winter, especially if you can book one during the week, can be unbelievably cheap. Many Caribbean cruises are more affordable this time of the year since it can be chilly even in the tropics. The great thing about cruises is that everything except for alcohol and shore excursions is included in the price of the cruise. So if you can come up with money to book the cruise, you really donít need to budget a lot more.

Stay Flexible, Do Research

The cheapest way to vacation is to stay flexible about where youíll go and when. By keeping an open mind about possible dates and destinations, you can expose yourself to the greatest amount of bargains possible. Donít pigeon-hole yourself into a Fiji pipe dream when even Birmingham, Alabama can make a fun winter vacation spot. After all, the goal is just to get away and enjoy life for a few days, isnít it?

Vegas is Cheap in the Winter

Vegas is a very affordable vacation destination during certain points in the winter. When there are no conventions or major events in town, you can find airfare to Vegas for a bargain. And thanks to the city over-building hotel rooms in the last decade, a room can be had for next to nothing during off-peak times. Thereís plenty to see in Vegas that costs nothing, too!

Closing Tips

Save even more money by planning a trip with friends. You can cut transportation and lodging costs in half by teaming up with some fellow penny pinchers. Take advantage of the great resource that is the Internet to find things for cheap or free to do at your destination. Save even more money by bringing your own food for a couple of meals. It might not be glamorous, but itís better than being stuck at home! Finally, wherever you end up, pick the brain of a few locals for fun, cheap hidden gems. Almost every tourist destination has a few affordable gold mines hidden just outside of the mainstream tourist trafficís reach. Go off the beaten path for more adventure and savings!

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