Check out these cheaper trips for 2013
Act fast to score some winter travel deals, and some extending for months to come.
Travelers booking trips in January — whether for last-minute getaways or a trip later in the year — may be able to score deals. Some of the lower-priced offers are for early-winter travel; others extend well into the fall.
Some suggestions on how to find deals:
The so-called Wave Season — when many lines offer their best deals — kicked in Jan. 1. “For anybody who’s looking to cruise last-minute in January 2013 — or booking six, even 12, months out — January is the time to start scoping the deals,” said Gabe Saglie, a senior editor for deal site Travelzoo.com. Alaska especially is seeing more competitive deals this year with both Princess and Celebrity adding ships there, he says. (Look for a May or September shoulder-season sailing from Seattle or Vancouver, B.C., to maximize savings.) Norwegian has rates as low as $449 per person on select May and June cruises from Whittier to Vancouver, a savings of 40 percent.
New York City
Prices fall off dramatically in January, when attractions like the Times Square ball drop and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree are past. Typical December rates run $300 to $500, with peak weekends sold out; in January, it’s easy to spend less than $100, Saglie says. Even higher-end properties come in at under $200 per night. The four-star St. Giles Hotel, for example, has had January rates as low as $152, a 25 percent discount. Four-star Hotel Mela in Times Square is up to 40 percent off, with starting rates of $129.
It’s another destination that sees traffic drop off between the December holidays and March Spring Break traffic, said Kari Dilloo, a spokeswoman for Bing Travel. Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club on Kauai has two-bedroom villas for $480 per night, a 40 percent discount, through the end of February. On Maui, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa offers $389 per night on select dates through June, 25 percent off regular rates. Some deals require booking by mid-January to claim, but Waiohai also has last-minute rates.
Irish tourism groups have dubbed 2013 “The Gathering,” and a main focus of the yearlong celebration is enticing travelers of Irish heritage to visit, says Saglie. “We’re seeing already some very aggressive packages, even from tour companies that don’t usually specialize in Irish travel,” he says. That helps undercut rising airfares, even during the peak summer season. Great Value Vacations has 7-night hotel, air and car rental packages starting at $1,199 per person for June through August. Travelzoo estimates the savings at $900 over booking components separately.