Want to save a chunk of money on a family getaway during the holiday season? Time your trip for "dead week."
What is dead week?
In the travel industry, dead week refers to the window immediately after a peak period. During a major holiday, airfares and hotel prices are at their highest. But right afterward, popular destinations and resorts empty out and prices plummet. That's why you can land a dead week getaway for a fraction of what it would cost just weeks earlier or later.
When are the holiday-season dead weeks?
The first week of December, immediately following the long Thanksgiving weekend, is a dead week. Prices pick up again in mid-December for the peak holiday period for Christmas and New Year's.
Right after the holiday hullabaloo has subsided, the first two weeks of January are another major dead period, with great prices in top destinations such as Disney World and New York City. If you're considering a visit to a family-friendly destination or if you're thinking about a family cruise, traveling during these slower periods is guaranteed to land you a much more affordable getaway.
Of course, these weeks are not optimal for families with kids in school. But if your kids are still too young for kindergarten or if you homeschool, this tip can save big bucks.
Where to find dead week deals
The easiest way to keep family vacation costs down? Choose a destination within driving distance of where you live.
These essential dealfinding sites will hook you up with fabulous getaway deals within driving distance of your home. Sign up for newsletters and alerts using your newly created vacations e-mail account.
Regional Hotel Deals
Beyond local deal sites, the best national dealfinders include properties in your region, as well as inspiration for trips further afield.
National & International Hotel Deals
AARP Travel Deals
If you're over 50, AARP membership gets you travel discounts on hotels, restaurants, cruises, rental cars and more.