Winter doldrums got you down? Here’s a list of the top 5 cheapest winter getaways of 2015, and tips on how to save money once you get there. Bon voyage!
How to save money in Las Vegas:
Do your research: There’s no shortage of online deals on flights and hotel rooms, so be diligent about making travel plans and save the spontaneity for after you’ve checked in.
Ditch the car: Traffic on the Strip can be mind-boggling; you’ll be better off relying on public transportation and your own two feet. Note: If you’re cabbing into the city from the airport, make sure to tell your driver to take Swenson Street — it’s cheaper than using the airport tunnel.
Cut yourself off: Winning feels amazing, but there comes a point when the tables start to turn. Decide how much you’re willing to spend at the casinos before you arrive in Vegas, and make sure to stop yourself before Lady Luck robs you blind.
How to save money in Salt Lake City:
Ride the bus: The Utah Transit Authority provides free service around a six-block portion of downtown Salt Lake City.
Ask about package deals: Many Salt Lake City hotels cater to skiers during the winter, offering stay-and-ski packages with discounts on room rates and lift tickets.
Enjoy the show: Temple Square hosts a variety of free events, including organ recitals in The Tabernacle and performances by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
How to save money in Puerto Rico:
Take an Eastern Caribbean cruise: Puerto Rico really should be explored over at least three or four days. But if all you want to see is the famous El Morro fort, you can get your fill during a port of call.
Plan ahead: You can visit this “Island of Enchantment” in the peak winter for less money than other Caribbean spots, but to do so you should book two to three months in advance.
Use a road map: The buses are essential to navigating much of San Juan, and thepúblicos provide a less stressful way of visiting neighboring towns. But it’s easy to get turned around, miss your stop and therefore, spend more money. Knowing your route will also help you when taking a taxi.
How to save money in Tulum:
Skip the spa: As nice as the “Aloe Vera Wrap” or “Mayan Chocolate Massage” sound, they ain’t gonna come cheap. Instead, consider how relaxing the (free) soft sugary sand and lapping waves can be.
Pack a beach bag: Visiting Playa Paraíso beach is free, but enjoying the watersports, the hammocks and ordering any food there isn’t. You’ll cut costs significantly by bringing a snack, a beach towel and your own Frisbee.
Enjoy the freebies: Tulum is small, so instead of choosing a hotel by location, weigh their incentives. Some of the ritziest spots (like Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa) offer complimentary bottles of wine, a free room upgrade and up to $100 off of spa services.
How to save money in Santo Domingo:
Learn how to haggle: Store prices are set, but the price of just about everything from a street vendor is negotiable. Learn to say, “Gracias no, pero es demasiado caro,” (No thanks, but too expensive) and see how much lower they’re willing to go.
Skip the colonial tour: There will be lots of young men milling around the Zona Colonial offering to show you around. Invest in a good city map and explore (for free) on your own.
Visit on a cruise ship: You could spend a couple days exploring Santo Domingo, or you could hit the highlights in a six-hour port of call and save on airfare and hotel day rates.