7 On Your Side: Save big bucks on last-minute spring travel

NEW YORK (WABC) -- After spring kicked off with a snowstorm, many people are looking to escape for a getaway. So where are the best deals right now?

There are several ways to save money booking your next trip, even if you've waited until the last minute. Spring break airfares aren't astronomical this year, in part because Easter is early. But for the real deals, you may have to think outside the box, forego somewhere warm and opt for a bit of culture.

1. Think snow, not surf

Travel guidebook expert Pauline Frommer says if you don't mind skiing on man-made stuff, the east coast slopes are offering super spring break deals discounted as much as 50 percent. The mild winter means resorts are willing to slash lodging, so it's a good time to haggle a bargain. In fact, Frommer advises packing up the family and heading north, even if it's not to ski.

2. North of the border

You'll save on everything north of the border too. The Canadian looney used to be at par with the dollar, but now it's averaging $1.35. That means everything is Canada is discounted 35 percent.

3. Cruises

Also discounted is the problem-prone cruise industry, if you're not afraid. The Anthem of the Seas, which made headlines last month after getting battered by a storm and turning around, is a big bargain at less than $100 a day from Bayonne to the Caribbean.

4. Houston, we have a solution

Since Houston isn't a spring break destination, airfare is cheap -- $285 round trip from Newark for mid-April. Cruise websites are offering last-minute deals galore, and Frommer says prices get even lower out of less popular ports like Houston.

5. Muy barato, Mexico

According to a recent study by Booking.com, prices to Cancun and the Mexican Riviera are down 45 percent from last year. Also, the weak peso makes south of the border affordable. And believe it or not, you may get to Europe after Easter for less than it costs to fly to Florida.

6. Springtime in Paris

You might spend less going to Europe because the dollar is whooping most world currencies. Falling fuel prices are pushing flights within Europe down 25 percent, and Frommer says look at new carriers like Norwegian, Iceland Air and Aer Lingus for competitive flights getting there.

7. The sweet spot

A recent study by Expedia studied 14 billion bookings and revealed some interesting data. The sweet spot for the lowest domestic airfare is 57 days in advance. The study also found if you book on a weekend, rather than a weekday, you could save a lot of money. null
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