Return to The Money Mentor Blog

Find cheap travel deals on winter getaways

Northern Lights Iceland winter vacation
February 14, 2017

By Maggie Tomasek

Who’s ready for a winter getaway?

Travel this time of year is a perfect way to unwind after the rush of the holiday season. Plus, it’s not the most popular vacation time so it can be easier to take days off from work. Need another reason? Airfare prices are falling again this year.

One of the best ways to save money? Take advantage of offseason prices to get the most bang for your buck in these terrific travel destinations.

  • Bright Lights, Big Cities: With holiday travel in the rearview mirror, rates are much cheaper in big U.S. cities like New York and Chicago. Sure, winter in NYC or the Windy City might be less than ideal, but you can Airbnb it in one of city’s vibrant neighborhoods, ice skate at Rockefeller Center or Maggie Daley Park and still eat, drink and live-performance your way through these incredible cities on the cheap.
  • Across the Pond: Winter weather also can be unpredictable and cold in Europe, which is why it’s significantly cheaper to travel there from November through March. I had a marvelously frugal trip to Ireland a couple years ago (thanks, in part, to Groupon Getaways). Yes, winter on the Emerald Isle was chilly, but I saved a ton of money, and the lack of tourists made sight-seeing much more enjoyable. Plus, my favorite things to see were all free: massive cliffs, historic churches and gorgeous countryside.
  • Iceland: Iceland’s high travel season is June through August – but February and March are the best time to see the Northern Lights, and that’s also when Orcas visit the coast. Free nature stuff? Can’t beat that! Icelandair even offers Iceland “stopovers” on flights between the U.S. and Europe at no additional cost. Best. Layover. Ever.
  • Orlando: Want a warmer option while still staying on a budget? Look to Orlando, the theme park capital of the U.S. After the holiday season rush, prices drop, crowds shrink, and the weather is perfect for taking advantage of those short rollercoaster lines before spring breakers take the town by storm. Buy your theme park tickets online before you go to save big bucks.
  • Las Vegas: You can snatch up reasonably priced airfare, rooms and tickets to shows like Cirque de Soleil during the winter months. Keep an eye on the calendar for big sports events, though. Vegas during March Madness is, well, madness.

Remember that some attractions might be closed or have limited hours during the offseason. And of course, before you go anywhere, check the weather report so you know what to pack for your time in the Big Apple or the Magic Kingdom.

Want more ideas? Check out these 30 bargain vacation destinations for 2017 from Forbes.


Maggie Tomasek is the PR and Social Media Specialist at Alliant. She began her career as a sports journalist for newspapers in Utica, N.Y., Des Moines and Cincinnati before moving to Chicago in 2009. Maggie is a eight-time Chicago Marathon finisher and a lifelong creative writer with a passion for comedy. Her mom instilled in her a great sense of fiscal responsibility, and her big sister told her to throw that responsibility out the window every once in a while in the name of life experience. So far, that combination of financial advice has worked out pretty well for her.