Keep in mind when making travel plans that prices go up with demand. Peak season is typically considered to be November to mid-March or April, so either leave sooner or wait a little longer to save some money. Hot destinations are often the most expensive and in-demand for this time, but there are a number of other warm-weather destinations that are considered "off peak" during the same time. Try southern Italy, Spain and Greece, which can be more affordable and are still mild through winter.
This idea is not for everyone but home stays, camping or villa rentals can help cut your cost per day significantly. Doing so might allow you to snag a much larger space than a hotel room. This means you may be able to bring another group into the plans to split the cost. If you think this might be an option for you, plan for all extra costs such as transportation, food, drinks and activities that often are included in all-inclusive packages.
People are so intent on making their one week of vacation special that they often immediately think of getting on a plane. Instead, think about unique experiences available within driving distance that match your interests (like skiing, hiking, or even spas). With that approach in mind you will save money! Once there, take into consideration free events or interesting activities rather than automatically choosing the show in town or dinner out as a way to spend time.
Winter getaways can often involve a lot of stuff (like surf boards, snow boards, golf clubs, boots or sweaters). Airlines collect millions of dollars from travellers every year in excess baggage fees, so pack lightly to avoid facing additional charges. Before finalizing plans, research in-destination rental costs to see if that might be a viable option.
Forget the last-minute deal! Almost always, if you book in advance, you're going to get a better deal. Tour operators and travel suppliers invest heavily in advance bookings, which mean extra bonuses for travellers. Give them a call — despite popular opinion, travel agents are not dead! In fact, they often have access to a lot of travel deals and inventory that the rest of us can't find by searching online.