Sometimes it can feel like there’s not much to do during the winter months. Once the holidays are over, the colder weather seems less exciting, and it’s easy to find yourself in a bit of a rut until spring arrives. If you’re starting to feel this way, don’t stress! Between the colder weather, shorter days and general pandemic craziness, it’s normal to feel a general sense of blah. Know that this is temporary and you can combat these feelings by planning something you can look forward to like a winter getaway! In an effort to keep your bank account happy as well, here are 6 affordable winter vacations that are fun to plan solo or with someone else.
- Cozumel: Pack a suitcase full of sandals, men’s swim trunks and other beach necessities because your Mexican vacation awaits! This beautifully serene Mexican beach destination is the perfect cure for the winter blues. Plus, the hotel and travel rates for this area tend to remain low this time of year, meaning you’ll have more spending money for dining and activities like boating, snorkeling or even taking a tour of a Mexican chocolate factory.
What to Pack: While you might need to get some summer clothing out of storage, there’s no need to buy anything new for this trip. Think bright swimwear, casual daytime outfits and comfortable shoes.
- Austin, TX: Explore everyone’s favorite Texas city this winter and see what the buzzing metropolis of Austin has to offer. From craveable comfort food and BBQ to live music and a lively bar scene, Austin has a little something for everyone. A range of hotel and vacation rental options makes this one easy to fit to your budget as well. Eat, drink, play and explore in Austin!
What to pack: Since Austin is home to a younger, more artistic crowd, you’ll want to dress in cool casual looks. Pack jeans, sneakers or boots, t-shirts, collared shirts and layers for the cooler weather.
- Miami: While there’s never really a bad time for a trip down to Miami, Florida, a winter vacation here is simply sublime. Escape the cold and leave your coat at home before embarking on a sunny getaway to this iconic south Florida city. You can make this trip more affordable by focusing on free or low-cost activities like hanging at the beach and pool, browsing one of many art galleries around town, walking around South Beach or exploring a nearby national park.
What to Pack: Depending on which activities and reservations you book, your suitcase may vary. Eclectic swimwear and bright colors are Miami wardrobe staples!
- New York City: While NYC is certainly fun and festive around the holidays, there’s a general lull in the number of visitors afterward, making it the perfect time to schedule a budget-friendly winter vacation. If you’ve already seen NYC’s big attractions, there’s a whole lot of other iconic New York experiences to check off your list. Head to Brooklyn for unforgettable food and some great flea market deals. Spend the afternoon wandering through unique shops, cafes and galleries in the East Village or buy a last-minute Broadway show ticket at a discounted price.
What to Pack: Remember that NYC is a walking city! It’s also a notoriously cold city this time of year, so go metropolitan casual with a nice pair of sneakers, a long coat and lots of layers.
- Southern Beaches: If you grew up spending a week at a North or South Carolina beach, consider making this your next winter vacation spot. Even if you’ve never visited one of these southern beach towns, there’s so much to experience and explore in areas like Hilton Head Island, Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, Emerald Isle and others. Everything is on a more low-key (read: affordable) level during the winter because it’s technically the off-season, so bring the whole family for a winter vacation full of relaxation, great weather and, best of all, no huge crowds.
What to Pack: Southern beaches offer a wonderfully casual environment, meaning you can get away with wearing shorts or jeans and a collared shirt just about anywhere. Stay comfy and make sure to bring swimsuits and boys’ swim trunks for the kids!
- Los Angeles Area: If you’re on the west coast or just want to experience a different environment, head to LA for a few days. Drive on the Pacific Coast Highway, explore neighboring beaches, hike one of the area’s famous scenic trails or even spend the day at Disneyland. Whatever you choose to do in SoCal, you’re sure to return home feeling refreshed and full of great memories.
What to Pack: California style favors comfortable fabrics, sustainable clothing, hats and generally easygoing ensembles. Bring your sunglasses!