Are you looking for an affordable winter vacation spot? Look no further. We found 10 destinations that won’t break the bank.
You can get away during the winter on a low budget. This article looks at inexpensive places you travel to from the U.S.
Get your bags packed, and take a look at these destinations!
How Do You Travel With a Low Budget?
Traveling with a low budget is possible. There are several ways to see the world without spending thousands of dollars. For example, you can find package deals, fly during non-peak times, and use hotel or airline rewards.
Another way to save on travel includes avoiding popular destinations. Instead, travel to places off the beaten path of a typical tourist. You’re likely to find some treasures.
Booking in advance and grabbing deals can also help save on travel. You might also want to consider staying in a hotel or vacation rental with a kitchenette. Then, purchase groceries at the local supermarket, so you don’t have to spend money on eating out for every meal.
Learn some creative ways to travel if you’re broke.
What Makes a Destination Affordable?
What makes a destination affordable is subjective. However, lower-cost places are typically in non-touristy areas or places that rely on tourism and have a lower cost of living.
For example, Cancun, Mexico, has a relatively low cost of living, and tourism is one of its main industries. So, you’ll find deals on all-inclusive resorts more frequently than in other places.
Destinations with inexpensive yet quality lodging with exceptional customer service are a green flag for affordable places to vacation. We also look at the attractions and entertainment in the area, air transportation, and ground transportation to get around.
The 10 Most Affordable Winter Vacation Spots
Let’s look at 10 of the most affordable winter vacation spots. We briefly introduce the destination, give examples of why it’s cheap, and list a couple of the top things to do while you’re there.
1. Cancun, Mexico
About: Cancun, Mexico, is a relaxing beach getaway. The area has various all-inclusive resorts and average to luxury hotel options. In the winter, the average temperatures in Cancun stay within the 80s.
Why It’s Affordable: Cancun’s resorts and hotels offer many deals. Some include flights, and others include excursions. You can find deals on travel websites like Expedia or Apple Vacations.
Top Things to Do: There are countless things to do in Cancun. You can partake in various water sports, from snorkeling to paddle boarding. And many of the resorts offer entertainment, including musical shows, dancing, and organized sports.
2. Sante Fe, New Mexico
About: Santa Fe, New Mexico, is an artistic community. It’s a fun place for a winter getaway in the northern part of the state. The temperatures can get a little chilly in the winter, under 50 degrees, so there are fewer crowds.
Why It’s Affordable: Santa Fe is affordable in the winter because it’s the non-peak season. Shops, galleries, and restaurants are open year-round, but the amount of visitors in the winter is reduced. Lower prices and deals on accommodations during this time of year make the city more accessible.
Top Things to Do: There are opportunities for skiing, shopping, and going to the spa in Santa Fe in the winter. You’ll also find hot springs in the mountains.
3. San Diego, California
About: San Diego, on the southernmost coast of California, stays warm through the winter. With temps between 65 and 75 degrees, and the sun shining most days, it’s the perfect time to visit the city.
Why It’s Affordable: While California is generally expensive, San Diego is one of the most affordable places to visit in the winter. Everything is open year-round.
But because the temperatures will dip below 80 degrees, you can find more reasonable prices on accommodations and entertainment. Also, the beaches are far less crowded.
Top Things to Do: San Diego has countless things to do. Exploring its beautiful coastline is a must-do. You’re likely to see some sea lions along the way.
And if you enjoy water sports, you can rent a surfboard and catch some waves. The San Diego Zoo is also a popular attraction.
About: Panama is a Central American country that has become more accessible to tourists over the years. Famous for the Panama Canal, it has miles of beaches with turquoise waters. And, the interior of Panama offers rainforests and rich cultural experiences.
Why It’s Affordable: Panama has a lot of free outdoor activities. You can visit beaches for days. The country also has a lot of national parks, which are inexpensive and well worth the experience.
Top Things to Do: Seeing the Panama Canal is often a tourist’s bucket list item. And nearby Panama City has shopping, restaurants, museums, historical sights, and entertainment. In addition, there are a lot of hiking opportunities in the country.
5. Montego Bay, Jamaica
About: Montego Bay, Jamaica, is a warm Caribbean city for a relaxing winter vacation. It’s a popular tourist destination and cruise port. Montego Bay is a great place to base yourself and explore the island of Jamaica.
Why It’s Affordable: Jamaica is an affordable island. Flights from the U.S. are usually reasonable, and lodging on the island can be inexpensive when compared to neighboring islands in the Caribbean.
Top Things to Do: You’ll find plenty of hotels here, restaurants, shops, outdoor activities, and beaches. In addition, snorkeling and scuba diving are fun activities to do while in Montego Bay.
6. Key West, Florida
About: Key West is at the very end of the Florida Keys and the southernmost point of the United States. It’s lively, with a downtown area lined with restaurants and shops. And to get there, you only have three choices: drive down to the Keys, fly in, or take a boat or cruise ship.
Why It’s Affordable: While the Florida Keys is remote and can be pricey, Key West is affordable. There are a lot of RV parks in the area, hotels, and vacation rentals. An excellent option for keeping costs down is to rent a house with a group.
Top Things to Do: Key West has every kind of water sport imaginable. You can go dolphin-watching, fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, and jet skiing. We also recommend taking a boat tour to the Dry Tortugas National Park, which is on an island off the shores of Key West.
Check out the top rated snorkeling tours in Key West! 🐠
7. Puerto Rico
About: Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory in the Caribbean Sea. Its landscape has beaches and mountains. The island also offers a lot of cultural and historical sights for visitors to explore.
Why It’s Affordable: Puerto Rico tends to have a lot of deals on rental cars and hotels. You can also sometimes find discounts on hotels, flights, and car rentals bought together. Food on the island is reasonably priced, especially if you eat in non-touristy locations.
Top Things to Do: Visiting Old San Juan in Puerto Rico is a great place to start your exploration of the island. We also recommend checking out beaches and national parks.
About: Spain is an affordable European destination. The country is full of history, culture, food, and attractions to explore. Located on the Mediterranean Sea, the northern part of the country does get cold.
Why It’s Affordable: Lodging, food, and public transportation in Spain are inexpensive. Budget-friendly hotels and Airbnbs are common.
If you want to stay very cheaply, you can find hostels throughout the country. You can also find good deals on airfare from the U.S. to Barcelona.
Top Things to Do: From the famous cities of Madrid and Barcelona to all of the small villages in between, there is much to do in Spain. We recommend Barcelona in the winter to visit museums and cultural sights, and being close to the beach.
9. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
About: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, is known for its beaches and blue waters. It’s a popular vacation spot for Americans. Located on the country’s eastern tip, palm trees line its sandy beaches.
Why It’s Affordable: Punta Cana is one of the most affordable Caribbean destinations with all-inclusive resorts. The resorts give you access to warm winter temperatures and beaches. And since most are all-inclusive, you don’t have to budget extra for meals.
Top Things to Do: You’ll find watersports, zip lining, and kayaking here. The beaches are the biggest draw to the area. You can also go offshore on a sailing excursion.
About: Thailand is a small country in Southeast Asia. It’s tropical and hot most of the year, and its landscapes boast beaches, mountains, and lush jungles. It has a rich history with ancient ruins and royal palaces you can visit.
Why It’s Affordable: Food, lodging, and ground transportation in Thailand are extremely affordable, and a small fraction of the costs in the U.S.
Traveling from the U.S. to Thailand is likely the biggest expense. However, you can often find good deals when flying from Los Angeles or San Francisco into Bangkok.
Top Things to Do: Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, is the foodie capital of the country. It’s also one of the least expensive places to visit.
You can see cultural sights here and visit an elephant rehabilitation center. You can also take a cheap flight down to Karabi on the coast for a relaxing beach getaway complete with affordable spa treatments.
Is a Winter Vacation Worth It in One of These Spots?
Anyone of the winter vacation spots on our list is guaranteed to create memories that will last a lifetime. Which one looks the most appealing to you?
We hope you’re able to escape this winter for some relaxation and adventure. Be sure to tag us in some photos if you end up at one of these destinations.
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