NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Holiday travel is a budget breaker. You know you cannot afford Park City, Utah or Aspen or New York. Forget Sedona or London or Rome. Top towns command top prices every day, but the prices go stratospheric over the holidays, and $500 a night is not unusual for decent accommodations. Nor is a three or four night minimum stay.
But know this: there are many - highly desirable - but off the radar destinations that are bargains even over the holidays. Like where? Read on for five top picks, including three that are overseas if you want to up your bragging rights.
Taos, New Mexico
Santa Fe - an hour away - may be a budget breaker. Tiny, historic, artistic Taos is a bargain hunter’s dream. Surprised? The holiday action - and high prices - in Taos over the holidays are on the ski mountain, 20 miles outside town. In town, the comfortable El Pueblo Lodge - rooms include working fireplaces - is $143 a night over Christmas.
In-town options go as low as $50 at various branded hotels. At 7,000 feet elevation, there will probably be a little snow for a scenic statement. Dave McGaughey, co-founder of Madcap Travel, especially likes cycling there. “The Enchanted Circle [a 84 mile loop that begins and ends in Taos] is one of the cycling treasures of America,” he said. And if you work up a thirst, you can always stop in at the Adobe bar (at the sold out over Xmas Taos Inn) and sip a cowboy buddha ($12), a thinking person’s riff on a margarita you will still be talking about a year later.