Subscribe

Tired of blizzards? Try these frugal ways to escape the winter cold.

Make the best of budget air carriers and cheap hotel deals to escape winter and claim your spot on a sandy beach. 

  • close
    A man kiteboarding in Aruba.
    Kenny Theysen/Timeless-Pixx via AP Images/File
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

After last weekend's record-setting blizzard, you're probably dreaming of a nice beach. I don't blame you, and I'm here to help. Here are my best tips and tricks for finding cheap ways to escape winter and claim your spot on the sand.

Choose Your Airline Carefully

Using a budget airline can save you big time, but you have to be smart about it. Photo via Flickr/woodysaeroimages

The "Big Three" airlines (Delta, American and United) are currently in a battle for customers with the new brand of ultra low budget carriers like Spirit and Frontier. These budget airlines are often derided in the media as unfair, because they charge extra for things that are usually bundled in the price of a plane ticket. But I know how to keep money in my wallet, so these kinds of airlines have become my best friends.

In order to save with a budget airlines, you need to know their fee structure inside and out. They WILL charge you for a carry-on and checked bag, but they WON'T charge you for a bag that fits underneath the seat in front of you. So if you take advantage of their fares, (which are often less than $200 for a round trip to the Caribbean or Florida), remember to pack light with a few swimsuits and t-shirts to get you through the weekend. Spirit flies all over the Caribbean,and even down to Colombia and Peru, and Frontier flies to a few destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Choose Your Hotel Carefully

If you can handle sitting through a timeshare pitch, you can save a nice chunk of change!

Many resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico are actually timeshares, so before you book anything, check and see if your package requires a timeshare presentation. In my experience, if it looks too cheap, it is probably a timeshare gimmick. Vendors like BookVIP.com run trips like this. If you can play by the rules and don't mind taking a few hours out of your trip to hear their pitch, this is a pretty good way to save money. I've done them in Las Vegas and had a very cheap trip as a result.

If you're more of an all-in-one person, consider a package deal. Southwest Vacations offers many packages to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Belize, with their route map now expanded south.

If you're antsy to escape winter now, check out our latest deals on our travel page. I personally vet each one to make sure that they are in fact great deals! I'll be posting fare sales, package deals, and hotel discounts all through the winter until the thaw!

This article first appeared in Brad's Deals. 

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK