Jul 31, 2017

Thinking about winter getaways

Image result for all nippon airways imagesIt is never too early to start planning your winter getaway especially if you plan travel during the holidays or school breaks. Travel gurus will say the best time to book air tickets is on Tuesday and the cheapest days to fly are mid-week, and for U.S. tickets they suggest start looking three months in advance and five months ahead of time for international tickets. I don’t think it is ever too soon to start looking. We already have our tickets for December. When I am booking air tickets I have a figure
in mind and when I find something reasonable I buy and never check again. I usually by our tickets to Asia in May, try to fly midweek, and avoid holidays if I can. If you are flying internationally check when the country you are visiting have holidays; for example, in Asia Chinese New Year is a very busy time. Sorry to say this but I have always found the best international air deals to be with foreign carriers and they offer better service. We have found it financially beneficial to take the train to NYC and a taxi to JFK because we often get great deals on ANA (All Nippon Airline) which is one of the top five best airlines. 

Often some of the least expensive flights are to Aruba, Bonaire, and
Santo Domingo.  The ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) are out the hurricane belt and great destinations.  Think out of the box – try something different. I have seen great deals to places in Nicaragua and Columbia. 

If you are thinking of buying a time share, condo or even a house in some sunny location – do the math first.  Do you want to have to deal with two properties – taxes, utilities, maintenance and being locked into one destination? As strange as it sounds it does not cost us any more to winter in SE Asia than staying in snow country.  We often stay at the same place for a couple weeks – we love Ngapali Beach in Myanmar but we also like to try something new.  Last year we really enjoyed our stay at
the Holiday Inn Resort in Penang, Malaysia. We are planning to go there again this winter.  It always pays to join an airline’s or hotel’s customer loyalty program. We have an Intercontinental Hotels (think Holiday Inns) credit card where we can get and use points.  This coming winter we are considering the Holiday Inn Resort in Batam, Indonesia – room with breakfast is $79. The hotel has three outdoor pools and one indoor swimming pool, but alas it is not on the beach but with three pools we might not care.  There are always condos, apartments, and houses to rent but I don’t want to do the cooking and cleaning.  If I wanted to do that I could stay home.

If you are thinking of places in the U.S. check out St. George Beach south of Tallahassee – there are a lot of places to rent, golf courses and an amazing beach. Instead of pricey Hilton Head consider nearby Fripps Island which is lovely. If it is not a beach you are interested in there are great places in Arizona
like Tucson. Get a feeling for the Old West in Bisbee and we loved the woods around Prescott. Looking for something artsy? Check out unique Arcosanti. There is someplace for everyone this winter.