Top Five Off-Peak Destinations for Winter 2013/2014

by , SmarterTravel Staff
(Photo: Lima Pix via flickr/CC Attribution)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on November 16, 2013. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Caroline Costello, destination, Kyoto, Nashville, Rome, Russia, United Kingdom.

(Photo: Lima Pix via flickr/CC Attribution)

Before you grumble at the arrival of frigid winter weather, remember that the upcoming season heralds untold affordable off-peak travel opportunities. In many of the alluring destinations of the Northern Hemisphere, travel providers slash prices as the touristic crowds bid adieu until spring. If you want to save some coin while seeing the world, winter is prime time for wanderlust—and we know just where you should go. Here are five awesome destinations where the colder part of the year bears off-peak affordability.



Admittedly, venturing to Russia in winter may seem like a daunting endeavor. But for hardy, well-prepared travelers who appreciate a hot bowl of borscht on a blustery, dark evening or find the idea of domed cathedrals covered in snow appealing, a winter itinerary yields benefits aplenty, one of which is that prices for airfare are wonderfully low.

We found flights from Boston to St. Petersburg for as little as $775 round-trip in March, as well as flights from Boston to Moscow in January for $749 round-trip. (Both fares are via Aeroflot.) Compare these very affordable prices to summer airfares to Russia, which almost never fall below $1,000 round-trip, even when on sale. (One of the cheapest U.S.-to-Russia airfares we spotted last summer was a $1,189 round-trip from Detroit to Moscow on sale from Lufthansa.)

Here's another good reason to head to Russia this winter: In a historic move to boost tourism, the Russian Ministry of Culture is allowing visitors from select countries (including the U.S. ) to visit parts of Russia for up to 72 hours without a visa. If you're already in Europe, you can take a quick flight over to Russia for a long weekend without the hassles of applying for a visa (you must be traveling with a major Russian airline to be eligible).

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