If you’re like me, your New Year’s resolution is less about going to the gym and more about traveling right—which means seeing the world on a shoestring budget.
Thrifty wanderlusts are in luck because things are looking good in 2018. If your resolution is to travel more and spend less, then there are plenty of options to choose from for travel in January, February, or March. Whether you’re looking for a tropical escape, far-east getaway, or simply looking to shred the slopes, these travel deals will ensure you have enough cash to last you throughout the winter season.
Here are some of the best flight and hotel/resort deals that DC Refined could find this month:
Far East Fun: The Flight Deal has a travel hack fare that will get you from Reagan National to Shanghai, China in January for $523 roundtrip. All that savings means you can slurp down as many Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) as your stomach can take.
House of Mouse: Amusement park lovers might want to consider a trip to Orlando in January. It’s a time when the parks tend to clear out because the kids are back in school, and both Disney and Universal have exciting new additions to the parks. To get here, book a flight on American Airlines, which is currently offering insane deals to Florida. A midweek, nonstop, one-way ticket from DCA is $43.
Whisk Away to White Sandy Beaches: For an easy beach weekend away from the bitter cold, book a Southwest Airlines nonstop flight to Ft. Myers, Florida, which starts at $120 one way. Or take advantage of their final sales happening right now to tropical Caribbean destinations, like the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, and Mexico.
Big Easy Before Mardis Gras: While most people head to New Orleans for Fat Tuesday, what you probably didn’t realize was that Mardis Gras is an entire season of fun that starts in February. But book your flights soon because flight deals, like Spirit Airlines $49 one-way deal, won’t last long. Meanwhile, the Hyatt Regency New Orleans is celebrating the city’s 300th anniversary with a “Tricentennial Package” that includes complimentary Sazerac cocktails and king cake, daily food and beverage credit, and a 300-year commemorative keepsake created by a local New Orleans artist.
California Dreaming: If you’re a Virgin America loyalist keep in mind that your Elevate points end on Dec. 31st and automatically transfer into the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan at a 30 percent bonus. That also means you can use your extra points on one of the many nonstop routes Alaska Airlines offers to west coast destinations. If you purchase by New Years Day, you can land a nonstop $139 one way rate from Dulles to Los Angeles (LAX) or a $172 one way rate from Dulles to San Francisco.
Hotels & Resorts
Cancun on the Cheap: CheapCarribean.com is offering a special New Year’s sale to Cancun, Mexico. All resort and flight deals are being listed at 60 percent off for winter vacations. If you’re willing to roll the dice and let them pick the travel arrangements, the “deal of fortune” option is your best bet. It’s a three-night hotel stay with roundtrip airfare starting at $569 per person.
Greenbrier Getaway: The Greenbrier in scenic White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, makes for an easy weekend escape this winter. For 10 weeks (Jan. 5–Mar. 18) the resort offers a can’t-miss-deal on wintertime fun. A two-night weekend package goes for $699 and includes a complimentary $200 resort credit. Plus there are special tastings like the Australian wine dinner (Jan. 12-14); the “Cocktails for Lovers” and wine pairing (Feb. 9 -11); or the American wine weekend with acclaimed Master Sommelier Fran Kysela (Feb. 16-18).
Learn to Ski Near DC: Want to take an easy day trip with a friend and learn how to ski? In January, Whitetail Resort’s Learn to Ski or Snowboard Package is $49 every Thursday in January. Advance reservations are not required, and the package includes a beginner lift ticket, rental equipment, and a “Learn To” lesson. And if you need a lift to the mountain, the DC Ski/Board Bus, which departs from Union Station, Georgetown, and Gaithersburg, offers ski deals with ground transportation starting at $110 per person.
Follow Tim Ebner on Twitter for the best in travel deals and destinations: @TimEbner.