Where are all of the hot holiday travel deals in the cold weather? Try some of these holiday travel tips from Tourism Professor Matthew Stone. As featured on WBAL-TV.
Popular tourist destinations empty leading up to Christmas. Vegas and Orlando are great destinations for small crowds and great values in the days leading up to Christmas. But the day after Christmas, expect them to be packed.
City getaways are a great value between Christmas & New Year’s because there are no business travelers. 4-star hotels in cities like Philadelphia are over 40% off the summer weekend rate. Raleigh is another one of my favorites as a kid-friendly destination. The science museum and art museum are always free. They have a great kid’s museum, and the Crabtree Valley Mall is a great place to spend all those gift cards.
Staycation to take advantage of cheap hotel rates. Hotels in downtown Baltimore and Washington are half of the summer rate. Pick a hotel with an indoor pool for the kids, and stay downtown or near a Metro to minimize your time outdoors. The Smithsonian and the National Aquarium are open every day of the year except Christmas. This also works to get stir-crazy kids out of the house.
Think summer—nearby resorts are quiet and romantic in cold weather, and the perfect place for a weekend getaway. For Christmas weekend and the week after, Rocky Gap Resort in Western Maryland is $99 per night. Enjoy the spa, the indoor pool, bottles of wine, and romantic dinners.
New Year’s Eve (except in NYC) is affordable again. For example, a night at the Hilton Arlington, right on the Metro, is only $95 on New Year’s Eve, the perfect place for access into DC. Rooms in the city aren’t much more.
Values start on January 3. Everyone spends all their money at Christmas, so hotels and airline seats are empty. Keep your eyes open for deals, like a 3-night getaway to Vegas at Harrah’s with roundtrip air is $370 per person!
Give the gift of travel. Some of those on your list already have enough things, so give the gift of a memorable experience, like a weekend getaway in January or February. Or plan a cruise for next Christmas before prices hit the roof. A 4-night cruise from Miami with oceanview cabin next Christmas can still be purchased for about $509 per person.