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If you're looking for ways to enhance your winter vacation or struggling to book a last-minute winter getaway, we've got you covered! Foursquare's editor-at-large, Sarah Spagnolo, joined TODAY's Sheinelle Jones to share some of her tips on getting the most out of a trip, as well as four winter trips that won't leave your bank account hurting in 2016.
Tips to Upgrade Your Trip:
- Don’t park at the airport: Parking rates often increase around the holidays, when demand is high, so use a car service.
- Get to your hotel early: Try to get to your hotel right at check-in time (usually around 3 p.m.), or even earlier. If you arrive late, you’ll be less likely to switch rooms or secure an upgrade, if one is available.
- Travel like a local: Seek out hidden gems and newer restaurants that might be trending with locals. Reservations may still be available for places not widely known.
Try these holiday travel steals:
1. Sea Island, Georgia for a family-friendly trip
Are your kids crazy for Dr. Seuss, especially this year, after "What Pet Should I Get?" was released? The Inn at Sea Island partnered with Dr. Seuss to create a Dr. Seuss ‘Christmas with the Grinch,’ complete with a Who-ville wonderland, Reindog parade, Gingerbread House Decorating and elf tuck-ins with a Christmas story over the holiday. Meanwhile parents can play golf and tennis, relax in the 65,000-square-foot spa and otherwise enjoy the coastal family-friendly destination.
Where to Stay: The Inn at Sea Island, between Savannah, GA and Jacksonville, FL, just off I-95. Rates from $185/night
2. Virginia Wine Country for a cozy wine retreat
In 1990, there were about 18 Virginia wineries; today it’s closer to 230, with many that are highly acclaimed. The Cabernets and Chardonnays aren’t household names, meaning that you’ll have this undiscovered wine region to yourselves for a romantic escape.
Where to Stay: Salamander Resort & Spa, where numerous wineries are within a five-mile radius, and complimentary transportation will bring you to Middleburg for holiday shopping. From $195 Dec. 1 - Jan. 31.
3. Minnesota, Mall of America for a girlfriend getaway
Go with the girls for a pre-holiday shopping extravaganza at the Mall of America. Once you’ve picked up something special for everyone on your list (surely you’ll find it all, with more than 500 shops on-site), hit up the renowned Minneapolis Institute of Art for Warhols and Van Goghs, and the 9.1-rated Revival, one of the best places in the country to try the new fried chicken trend.
Where to Stay: Radisson Blu Mall of America, just steps from the Mall of America, has a holiday deal that includes parking, package pick-up from any store, and two in-Mall cocktails. From $179.
4. Stylish SoCal (LA and Palm Springs) for a sun-soaked style haven
Get out of the cold and spend the holidays in sun-soaked Palm Springs, which will be all gussied up for a warm-weather holiday feel.
Where to Stay: The newly renovated Spanish-style La Quinta Resort & Club, from $199, with an extensive network of pools and excellent service. Here’s a great money-saving tip from Foursquare: BYOB at the small pools to save a few dollars.