Baby, it’s cold outside! The middle of winter often brings a slump in motivation. It’s cold, it’s dim, it’s dreary – and you need a break. Luckily, we have five affordable ideas for winter travel to escape or embrace the cold.
1. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has been ranked the happiest and greenest country in the world! Costa Rica boasts a year-round tropical climate, though there are many micro-climates due to elevation, rainfall, and other factors. The country is also very bio-diverse with regard to animal and plant life. It’s a nature enthusiast’s dream! It’s important to note that you do not need to speak Spanish to travel to Costa Rica, though it would obviously make your stay a bit easier if you did. Flights can be booked for under $500 round trip per person and vacation rentals can be found for under $100 per night (and that’s total, not per person, so take the family)! One such vacation home is Dos Palmas Beach Cabinas in Playa Matapalo, which sleeps up to 9 people. Here’s the backyard: A friend of mine is traveling there in the spring, and she tells me that she loves Costa Rica because it is “incredibly gorgeous, untouched, unspoiled…It’s paradise.” If I ever go missing, I’m probably in Costa Rica.
2. Take a Cruise
Cruises are a popular and affordable vacation plan. They allow you to see and explore various locations while taking care of transportation, food, and amenities. Warm and relaxing destinations include the Bahamas and the Caribbean. These destinations offer excellent warm weather, beaches, shopping, sightseeing, and more. Some cruises even take passengers to private islands to ensure plenty of beach time. There are also, of course, themed cruises from companies like Disney, which may be a more magical use of your vacation funds if traveling with children.
When planning for your cruise, remember that you’ll have to pay airfare to get to your departing port and back home again after the cruise. Compare between websites and airlines to get the best rate; depending on where you’re leaving from and how far in advance you’re purchasing your tickets, expect to pay between $400-$600 for round-trip airfare.
It’s a dry heat! If tropical humidity makes you wary of traveling south for the winter, why not vacation in the desert? Arizona is full of national parks, incredible lakes, Native American historical sites, and other one-of-a-kind attractions like the Grand Canyon and ghost town Jerome.
Expect to pay around $400 for round trip airfare. You can check out TripAdvisor for ideas on vacation packages including airfare and hotel – select the destination that suits you best!
It may be too cold to get to Russia for the Winter Olympics, but you can still get your fill of winter sports. If you happen to enjoy the cold and want to embrace the wonder of winter, travel to Colorado! Colorado has incredible scenery and, of course, great slopes for skiing. Colorado offers other winter activities such as ice skating, dog sledding, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, zip-lining, and more. Travel to Aspen, Boulder, Breckenridge, Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins, or other excellent destinations. Learn more about Colorado vacations here.
Round trip airfare can be had for under $300 depending on booking date, travel dates, and destination.
5. New York City
It’s not going to be warm, but it will be more budget friendly to visit the Big Apple in the winter time. You can go ice skating at Rockefeller Center and see a show on Broadway. Winter means bargains for NYC tourism, such as Restaurant Week, a period of about one month over January and February during which select restaurants offer three-course meals at serious discounts. Hotel Week, in January, allows visitors to book rooms at participating hotels for a fraction of their regular price. If it’s too late to plan a winter vacation to NYC this year, consider it for next year! You could always save by staying outside the city and getting a train or taxi downtown for sightseeing and vacation attractions.
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