Planning a Wintertime Trip? 4 Ways to Save

A mom, dad, son, and daughter taking a break from downhill skiing to play in the snow on a sunny mountain slope surrounded by trees.

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A wintertime getaway might do you a lot of good. Here's how to spend less on one.

Many people like to take vacations during the summer, when the weather is warm and school's not in session. But wintertime travel can be rewarding in its own right, too. If you're gearing up to take a trip this winter, here are a few ways to spend less in the process.

1. Avoid the holidays

Traveling during the holidays often means paying a premium for flights, hotels, and rental cars. Of course, if the purpose of your winter vacation is to see family for the holidays, then this tip won't apply to you. But if you're taking a trip to go skiing or visit a theme park, booking your plans outside of late November and late December could save you a bundle.

Along these lines, aim to avoid holiday weekends during the winter, like Presidents' Day weekend. Many people try to capitalize on those free days off, and that uptick in demand tends to send travel costs soaring.

2. Book your flights in the middle of the week

It's more common for people to travel on a Friday or Monday than on a Tuesday or Wednesday. If your travel schedule is flexible, you could save yourself money by booking both your flights and your hotel rooms at the right time.

3. Consider a private vacation home over a hotel

One of the biggest expenses you might encounter in the course of your travels is food. Restaurant meals can be very expensive, especially if there are multiple people in your party. And that's just one reason it pays to book a private vacation rental instead of staying at a hotel.

When you stay at a private home, it'll almost always come with a functional kitchen that will allow you to prepare your own meals. And if you do decide to go out for the occasional dinner (it is vacation, after all), you'll have a full fridge to store your leftovers for a bonus meal the next day. Plus, booking a private home could result in more space and a more comfortable stay.

4. Use the right credit cards

Being strategic about the credit card you use for your travels could save you money and help you snag extra rewards or cash back. Say you're planning to book a flight to your destination. If you have a travel rewards credit card that offers you free checked bags, you can reap some instant savings. Plus, some travel cards offer generous rewards for hotel stays, so it pays to see what perks your cards come with.

In fact, you may even want to consider applying for a new credit card before booking your trip. This especially makes sense if there's a card with a generous sign-up bonus you can easily snag based on the spending requirements.

If you're planning a trip this winter, you might as well keep your costs as low as possible. These tips could shave a chunk of money off of your next vacation -- and afford you the option to book another trip soon after.

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