EMBRACE THE DEAD ZONE
No, not the Stephen King novel, but those times of year when people tend not to travel, which makes airlines and travel companies eager for customers: Great deals abound. January after the holidays is a notable Dead Zone, so keep an open mind and hunt for the deals to be had. Europe in the winter months may not offer splendid weather, but who cares when lines at popular museums don’t run down the block?
GETTING YOURSELF A GREAT TRAVEL DEAL
There are countless websites designed to do nothing but help you be your own best travel agent, whether you’re planning far in advance or are looking for a last-minute bargain escape to anywhere. Some of the best resources include: Kayak
(with an easy-to-use last-minute section
. Many sites let you set personalized fare alerts. With most airlines it’s easy to shop for flexible dates and by using a low-price calendar, two of the best ways to get the biggest bang for your travel buck. (Tip: When you find a good deal, buy, because it may not be there for long. Most airlines allow a 24-hour “cooling-off period” during which you can cancel with no penalty: That gives you 24 more hours to find something better.)