Planning a trip in the coming months? Here are some tips to help make your travel dollars go farther:

Skip spring break. If you plan to travel to the Caribbean, Mexico or other student and family-friendly destinations, you might want to steer clear in February and March when spring break travellers fill up resorts. Demand for travel and accommodations will be higher, and the atmosphere won’t be as relaxing.

Embrace winter. Who said winter getaways were all about the sun? Think hot tubs, in-room Jacuzzis, fireplaces and spa treatments — not to mention beating the crowds at many top tourist havens like New York, London, Rome and Paris. If you don’t mind braving the weather and the long nights, you can take advantage of shoulder or off-season deals. (See When to snag off-season deals for details.)

Make it a gift. Do you need another box of chocolates or another dinner out? Skip the traditional gifts for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and anniversaries and opt for a travel gift certificate instead. Etiquette experts might object, but it doesn’t hurt to let your friends and family know what you’re planning — they might just appreciate the tip.

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Elizabeth Rogers