Combine time of year and destination, and you'll go a long way in determining the costs of your trip. Choose an expensive place at peak season and you'll face a much different budget challenge than visiting your chosen place at an economical time. Here are some destinations that can have special value during the winter.
December is the most popular month for a visit to Bangkok, and prices rise to greet all the visitors. But at other times of the winter, you will find lower prices and milder weather. The rainy season subsides in late October, so you'll have better opportunities to enjoy the region's beaches and open-air markets.
Summer in Cairo is the busiest season and the peak for air pollution. But that's the season many people set aside to make their trips. Those who can visit Cairo in winter will find lower rates, somewhat cleaner air and smaller crowds. An exception is during the Christmas and New Year's holidays, when rates can rise temporarily.
Many people plan Colorado trips for ski season. Sometimes, it's cheaper to be there early in the season, before the serious ski rush begins. It might also be good to wait until late winter, when many nearby resorts still offer plenty of snow and reduced prices. Even non-skiers can enjoy a great deal of beauty in the winter months. Just be certain to plan ahead to allow for weather and road conditions.
Art experts and novices alike cannot help but marvel at the array of exquisite works in Florence. From the famous Uffizi Gallery to the stunning Cathedral, Florence presents a memorable series of images and experiences. Outstanding weather is not necessarily the most important thing needed for enjoying these things, so a visit in winter can often be just as rewarding as at other times of year. Airfares and hotel rates are generally much lower than the teeming summer months.
Las Vegas is one of those destinations that never seems to be out of season, but there are certain benefits to visiting in winter. One is the absence of searing heat as you walk The Strip. In fact, many visitors are surprised to find that Las Vegas can be quite chilly in winter. No matter. Most of what attracts them to the city is indoor activity. Look for some excellent rates designed to draw those shivering elsewhere to the bright lights.
If skiing the Alps for a few days is in your winter travel plans, Munich can be an economical base for your visit. With the Oktoberfest crowds long gone, Munich settles in for a long, cold winter respite and offers some good deals to travelers. The city's huge student population enjoys discount restaurants and accommodations, why shouldn't you?
New York's notorious shopping-season hotel costs drop soon after the ball descends at Times Square to mark a new year. The weeks following can be some of the most economical of the year to visit the Big Apple. You'll still pay more than in many other American cities, but flights can be cheap because there is so much air traffic; there are levels of budget accommodations that can be booked; and you'll find deals on dining, getting around town and things to do.
It is among the most beautiful cities on earth, and it is a favorite of both tourists and business travelers. But as with many world-class cities, San Francisco and the surrounding bay area can be very expensive to visit. Unlike many other expensive cities, this one does not suffer through a long, harsh winter. In fact, you might find some very good days in winter to explore the Golden Gate, Chinatown, Alcatraz and the many other places that make the City by the Bay so special.
You'll need rain gear and a couple of warm garments for a trip to Rome in winter, but don't expect lots of snow or huge crowds. Although some attractions and services are curtailed in the winter months (to retool for the busy summer ahead), there are still things to see and sometimes some great rates, too. It's worthwhile to consider a winter trip to Roma.
European treasures like Venice are not just for your rich uncle. You should experience the grandeur without the blizzard of expensive bills. Visiting in the "off season" can really make it affordable. Another bonus: far fewer huge crowds on the narrow, sidewalk-like Venetian streets. Carnevale is the obvious exception here, but if you book your trip for early January or even March, you'll find some very reasonable rates and shorter lines at the attractions.