Planning Your Winter/Spring Travel

As the economy moves out of the ICU, travel consultants warn that current bargains may be gone soon. If you're planning a getaway, it may be best to start planning and booking now.

The global economic collapse created some outstanding bargains for travelers, including deals on airfares, lodging, cruises, and a host of other amenities. As the economy moves out of the ICU, however, some travel consultants warn that those bargains may be gone soon. If you’re planning a getaway this winter or come Spring, they say, it may be best to start planning and booking now to get the best deals. It’s very likely that prices will stay level over the next few months and may even go up by next summer.

A big early snowfall in the west has made ski resorts optimistic about the upcoming season, with early bookings way out ahead of last year. Still, there are bargains to be had for those who hunt for them, including discounts on rooms and free lift tickets. In Mexico, where travel is in a major slump because of lingering swine flu fears, resorts may be especially eager to offer discounts. Another option is a trip with a tour company that has locked in last year’s rates. Some tours may be discounted as much as 25%, since many tour operators negotiated rates back when airline and lodging costs were hitting rock bottom.

A good place to start looking for bargains is at Budget Travel, where you’ll find a wealth of material on all kinds of winter/spring travel, including cruises, airlines, hotels, and more.

Tip: Even if you’ve locked in a good deal, it’s never a bad idea to check back as your vacation time nears, to see if there’s an even better rate available. If there is, you may be able to cancel your original plans and take advantage of the bigger discount.