Yeah, summer vacations are nice, but have you ever tried packing your bags for a winter getaway?
After the holidays, airfares and hotel prices start to drop dramatically, especially since most of us have used up our vacation days and aren’t planning on travelling too much. But perhaps, if you are one of the lucky people who racked up some extra paid leave, you might be able to swing an incredible trip for not too much cash. If you’re travelling domestically, it’s more possible than you think.
No matter what your temperament, this great, wide country has something for everyone. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, you can go skiing, lay on the beach, visit a bustling metropolis or sample local food and culture even when it’s below zero back home.
And the best part? It’s not going to strain your wallet. Many places that we’ve collected below are under $500 for round-trip flights, and you can even find even better deals in the New Year.
Check out these incredible destinations below to plan out your next winter vacation. Who knows, these places are so affordable you may not have to wait until next year to go.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe hosts a bustling artistic community where tourists can come and absorb the local culture in over 250 art galleries ranging in style and subject from contemporary to traditional Native American art. In fact, the city prides itself on being a go-to destination for people wanting to learn more about Native American culture and history, with its many events, museums and historical sites. It’s also an excellent place to relax at a local spa. Average hotel cost is around $163, according to USA Today.
Food trucks and honky tonks meet east coast hipster culture Texas’ coolest city. Rainey Street, Red River and Sixth Street are all popular places to go to get some local entertainment, and not to mention delicious local food like tacos and authentic Texas queso. Plus, you can find any music under the sun within the city, from country to punk rock. Hotels range between $50 to $300 depending on where you are in the city.
Get everything you want in a Hawaiian vacation, without all the touristy stuff. Located on the Big Island, you can get some quality time on Hawaii’s beautiful beaches, enjoy romps through the rainforest, or go snorkelling with tropical fish without having to compete with tons of other vacationers. Some places even have average prices as low as $79 per night for a 3-star hotel.
Sun Valley, Idaho
According to Smarter Travel, round-trip flights from Los Angeles start at $189, or $312 from New York City area airports. But besides the savings, it’s a skiers paradise. Since Sun Valley, if you can’t tell by the name, has an average of 205 sunny days per year, skiers can hit the slopes nearly any given day without worry. If you love winter and saving money, this might be the best spot for you.
Care to visit the Nation’s Capital when it’s a verifiable winter wonderland? We thought so. Although D.C. averages about 43 degrees in January, don’t let that deter you from feasting your eyes on the Lincoln Memorial, the National World War II Memorial, the Smithsonian, and dozens of other museums, galleries and historic sites that everyone simply must-see. Did we mention many of them are free? According to USA Today, the average hotel cost is $115.