In the first three weeks of December, hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico grapple with filling rooms. The Thanksgiving crowd already left. Neither Christmas and New Year's vacationers -- nor guests escaping the north's winter in January and February -- have arrived. So travelers willing to take a vacation a few weeks early can find some pretty steep discounts.
Here are some deals that offer escapes from the snow but still bring you home before the holidays and the peak-season tourists: