Samantha Brown’s Top Tips for Fun, Budget Friendly Winter Travel
Did you know that winter is an excellent time for a vacation? Travel Channel guru Samantha Brown shares her tips for budget-friendly winter travel!
-The Betty Editors
Winter is a great time to travel. That might seem counterintuitive, given the madness at airports over the holidays and the cooler weather in some parts of the world, but January, February, and even March can offer great travel deals to alluring destinations. How? Allow us to explain! We recently sat down with The Travel Channel’s guru Samantha Brown, who shared her fantastic trips for traveling on a budget during winter. Here’s what she told us:
You can take un voyage to Paris on a budget.
• Flights to Paris are usually expensive – around $1,200 – but in the winter they can be half that price. It’s grey and cool (around 45 degrees), but there are no lines at the Louvre and the café’s usually have outdoor heating lamps. If you’re hitting Paris with your girlfriends, go in January when the city’s famous sales offer designer fashions for 20-50 percent off. In France, sales are only allowed twice a year by the government, so this is a BIG deal!
Cruise in style from the Big Easy (New Orleans).
• After a 4-year hiatus due to Hurricane Katrina, Royal Caribbean is re-introducing service from the Port of New Orleans. A 7 night cruise to the Western Caribbean can be $600 per person for an ocean view cabin. Even cheaper if you go with an interior cabin. Go a few days early and enjoy one of the best cities in the world. The beignets and coffee at Café du Mode taste especially delicious in January and February weather (mid-60s).
• It’s a travel industry secret that there are a few “dead weeks” each year when you can find the best deals because almost no one is traveling. For example, one of those weeks is after New Year’s and another is the week right after Thanksgiving.
Now that we’ve (hopefully) inspired you to consider a winter vacation, here are a few of Samantha’s secrets to find the best travel deals:
Get a Twitter account!
• Social media-savvy ladies like us know to look for last-minute vacation deals via Twitter – and follow our favorite airlines for flight updates. During the big storms of 2011, people who used Twitter actually reached customer service quicker than those who used the phone.
• Airfarewatchdog.com will send you an email twice a week with the best fares leaving your home airport. So, instead of spending hours trying to find a decent fare and available seat to, say, Jamaica, you can see that there’s a $300 fare to the equally fabulous Puerto Rico.
Get a flexible travel rewards credit card.
• Blackout dates can make it difficult to use frequent flyer rewards during the winter season. I work with Chase Sapphire Preferred, which offers an online booking tool that lets you book flights on any airline – with no travel restrictions, blackout dates or foreign transaction fees. Plus, you earn double points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining, so you actually earn points for your next vacation while traveling!
Know when it’s cheapest to fly.
• Flying out Thursday, Friday and back on Sunday is the most expensive time to travel. Save money by flying on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Whether you’re a well-traveled jetsetter, or just aspire to be one, I hope my tips will help you take some of the stress out of travel planning – and leave you free to focus on enjoying your well-deserved vacation this winter!
For more of Samantha’s travel tips, click here.
In her 12 years on the Travel Channel, Samantha Brown has visited dozens of countries, hundreds of cities and countless hotels around the world. Sam explores the perfect travel destinations for weekend getaways to the bucket list travel hot spots of Asia
Previously, Sam traveled through various areas of China for Samantha Brown: Passport to China. In Passport to Latin America, Samantha took viewers to 20 cities, revealing colorful landscapes and warm populations. Prior to that, Sam immersed herself in European culture, traveling to 65 destinations from magnificent capitals to tiny mountaintop villages to ancient seacoast towns in Passport to Europe.