Some of the sweetest deals of the season are to sunny destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. You can save upwards of 60% in those areas during certain weeks of the fall, according to Barbara Messing, vice president of online travel site Hotwire.
It's also an opportunity to treat yourself to luxury lodging for a much lower price before winter crowds arrive. "You could have a whole resort to yourself," says Becky Veith, a Travel Experts travel agent in North Carolina.
At the posh Four Seasons-Great Exuma in the Bahamas, enjoy off-peak prices through the end of October with room rates starting at $275. In the Stay Longer package, vacationers pay for three nights and receive a fourth night free. In November, rates start at $375 a night before jumping to $475 per night starting Dec. 17th.
Or you can island hop to Aruba and the La Cabana, where you can play on the white sand of Eagle Beach and enjoy the clear water of the Caribbean Sea. Rooms at this all-inclusive resort go for $182 a night through mid-December (rates go up $368 Dec. 17th).
Vegas-style diversions beckon at Aruba Resort, Spa & Casino, but its prime locale - just minutes away from Aruba's capitol, Oranjestad - may convince you to explore the city instead. Plan your trip prior to Thanksgiving, and $706 will net you a three-night stay, including airfare from New York. Wait just a few weeks longer and the price swells to $1,277.
Or, simply relax and enjoy the gorgeous Pacific Ocean view from your room at the Presidente InterContinental Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where a five-night stay and flight from San Francisco goes for $696 - $640 less than what you'd pay if you traveled over the holidays.