Whether you're looking for snow or sun, make your dream winter getaway a reality with a little planning and some savvy scheduling.
- Step 1: Try visiting a national park blanketed in the glory of winter, saving up to 40 percent on park lodging.
- Step 2: Prepare for health issues by getting any necessary vaccinations and securing the appropriate medical insurance before leaving home. Now, give your cares the slip and enjoy your getaway.
- FACT: Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas is the world's largest passenger ship, accommodating over 6,000 guests.
- TIP: Apply for or renew your passport well in advance of your winter getaway to avoid express fees.
- Step 3: Decide whether you will plan ahead to obtain early-bird deals, or whether you will schedule your winter getaway to take advantage of last-minute flight and hotel bargains.
- Step 4: Use the internet to identify possibilities matching your vacation priorities.
- Step 5: Shoot for seasonal discounts if money is an issue. Many ski resorts offer deals in early January and late in the spring. Hawaiian vacations are cheaper through mid-December, and Europe trips are discounted Thanksgiving through Easter.
- TIP: Avoid crowds visiting London's museums, galleries, and theaters in January.
- Step 6: Detail your trip priorities, including anything from beaches or cheap ski slopes to island destinations by direct flight or pet-friendly all-inclusive resorts.