Now that winter is in full swing, you’ve probably found yourself dreaming of getting away from the brutal cold and gray skies. There’s no better time than now for a vacation, not only because it can help you escape the gloominess of winter, but also because it can be cheaper to travel to certain spots in the winter months rather than in the middle of summer. You may not get as much sunshine as you would in July, but you might be able to score some cheap airfare deals and inexpensive hotel rooms that will make your winter getaway totally worth it.
If you’re looking to go somewhere this winter that won’t break the bank, consider one of these five spots that may be less expensive to visit this time of year, or are cheaper alternatives to favorite winter getaways such as the pricey Caribbean islands.
What could be better than basking in the sun on a Caribbean beach? The answer is nothing! But, jetting off to St. Barth or Aruba can cost a pretty penny. Instead, consider Tulum, Mexico, which is just a two-hour drive from Cancun, but has pristine beaches with turquoise water. Tulum is every bit as beautiful as the Caribbean islands—for a fraction of the cost. You can also visit the spectacular Mayan ruins while you’re there. Plus, Tulum is a bit quieter than other parts of Riviera Maya, and you may be able to find relatively affordable flights to this Mexican paradise.
2. San Diego
Sunny California can be a nice escape from the bitter cold that has blanketed much of the rest of the country, and San Diego may be a much more affordable option than the more popular Los Angeles. While it won’t be hot or super sunny in San Diego this time of year, the weather is mild compared to many cities, and you can still enjoy budget-friendly activities like hiking and whale-watching.
3. Punta Cana
Punta Cana, located on the eastern edge of the Dominican Republic, boasts beautiful beaches and clear Caribbean waters. While winter is high season to visit the islands, Punta Cana is one of a few Caribbean destinations that offers all-inclusive resorts, which can mean big savings for some travelers.
You don’t have to leave the country to find some sunny weather, and Dallas, Texas, is a prime example. There are short and affordable flights to Dallas from many cities. You may not be lying on the beach, but you will find mild weather and many fun, walkable neighborhoods, as well as free attractions and museums.
5. Las Vegas
Sure, it’s easy to blow a wad in Las Vegas, but you can also find plenty of cheap and even free entertainment. Skip the budget-busting casinos and check out attractions like the Neon Museum and Boneyard or the amazing fountains and light shows at the Bellagio. Plus, the sun is usually shining in Sin City. Temperatures aren’t blazing hot this time of year, but they are reliably in the 60s and 70s.