If you're keen for a wintery holiday, there are bargains to be had, writes Belinda Jackson.
New York City
In post-Christmas Manhattan, crowds drop off, hotel prices come down, sales take off and ice skates come into their own. It's Restaurant Week, too, in January/February, during which key fine-dining places offer fixed-price menus.
The 414 Hotel in midtown Manhattan has a "stay four nights, pay for three" deal in its queen-size rooms, from January 5 to February 28. The 414 is a small hotel comprising two townhouses with a courtyard in between. West 46th Street (46th and Ninth Avenue), from $155 a night. 414hotel.com.
The Condor Hotel is in a commercial-residential Jewish neighbourhood of Brooklyn where Hasidic tradition meets hipster gentrification. The subway is about a three-block walk from the hotel, as are a string of restaurants on Myrtle Avenue. The hotel has a seven-night offer in January and February with savings of up to 20 per cent. A twin room, with kitchenette and balcony, costs from $US167.82 ($160) a night , including taxes, dropping to $US131 a night, including taxes, for the bulk of the seven-night stay. The hotel has a lounge and garden and the room rate includes breakfast. 56 Franklin Avenue. condorny.com.
Cathay Pacific has early-bird flights to Europe via Hong Kong for those who can delay their Christmas gift to themselves until April 2013. Economy-class return flights cost from $1640 if booked by December 31 for travel between April 1 and May 31 or between September 1 and October 31. Destinations include London, Rome, Milan, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow and Amsterdam. Early-bird premium economy return seats to Europe cost from $3112. 13 17 47, cathaypacific.com.
The "Canton route" is a new take on the classic "kangaroo route" from Australia to Europe. Canton is Guangzhou, a city of about 12 million just across the delta from Hong Kong, and an emerging stopover for travellers, courtesy of it being the home base of China Southern Airlines. Early-bird fares are available for bookings made until December 31 for travel from January 22 to June 30, 2013. Costs from $1289 for a return economy-class fare to Paris or Amsterdam; from $1439 to London. Conditions apply. 1300 889 628, csair.com.au.
Paris apartments to rent can be well-placed gems. Stays in January mean savings, too. For example, an apartment in the 17th arrondissement about 15 minutes' walk from the Arc de Triomphe is a green oasis in the centre of the city. Originally built as a nuns' cloister, the apartment can accommodate three people and has a kitchen. Stay in January for €140 ($173) a night, twin share. petiteparis.com.au.
Austria is ski central. An eight-night Ski Plus package in Tyrol's SkiWelt costs from $675 a person, quad share, when booked with any other winter Europe tour. Includes overnight transfers from London and breakfast daily. 1300 266 845, contiki.com.au.
Turkey encompasses cosmopolitan Istanbul, ancient Ephesus and mournful Gallipoli. An 11-night tour visits the sites, including Demre on the Mediterranean coast and the trading port of Phoenicus, now Finike. Save 15 per cent on bookings until January 15, 2013, for travel from December 19, 2012, to December 19, 2013. From $935 a person. adventureworld.com.au.
High in the wine region of Valle de Guadalupe, 20 eco-cabins meld into the environment to create Endemico, a Design Hotel in Mexico's Baja California. Remote, yes, but also just 90 minutes from San Diego by air. Get 20 per cent off the best available rate on two-night stays, or stay three nights, pay for two, until March 17, 2013. Costs from $US280 for two nights; from $US350 for three nights. designhotels.com.
Now's a great time to visit - without the crowds or the heat. Tempo Holidays has a two-for-the-price-of-one package on its 11-day Wonders of Egypt tour, which visits Cairo and Alexandria, El Alamein's World War II battlefields and includes a four-night cruise on the Nile. Book by December 31, travel until September 30, 2013. Costs from $3162 for two people.
Marrakesh is the jewel of Morocco. It's winter here, so rug up and admire the snowy peaks behind the city. Save 30 per cent on three-night stays at Angsana Riads Collection Morocco until February 18, 2013 (excludes stays between December 23 and January 6). Costs from $350 for three nights. 1800 050 019, angsana.com.
Cruise New Zealand
Save up to $930 on the price of an inside cabin on a 13-night voyage aboard the Dawn Princess from Melbourne to New Zealand departing on February 18. Sail through the stunning Fiordland National Park and visit Wellington, Napier and Auckland. The voyage costs from $1369 a person from Melbourne, or $1800 from Sydney, which includes Qantas flights and a two-night pre-cruise stay at the Crowne Promenade Melbourne. The deal also comes with a $75 shipboard credit. Book by December 31. 1300 596 345, cruise1st.com.au.