After summer passes, then Halloween, Thanksgiving, and finally Christmas, there isn’t much to look forward to until spring arrives. This period between January and April is when many people start to get the travel bug and are just begging to get out of the house for a change of scenery. While the ideal travel destination during wintertime will depend on a variety of factors, there are plenty of places to escape to, and some might be right at your doorstep. Here are some of the top places to go this winter, whether you’re traveling with family, a partner, or just yourself.
A change of scenery in a warm destination can do wonders for the winter blahs. Plus, it gives you an excuse to wear your cute summer dresses, shorts, and flip-flops again. As for where to go, there are plenty of options right here in the United States. You’ll basically just want to head as far south as possible, but your ideal location will depend on who you’re traveling with. If small kids are involved, it doesn’t all have to be about Mickey Mouse, either, although Disney is a valid option. There are plenty of places you can go in Florida, along the Gulf of Mexico, and in California that have beaches, pools, museums, and parks for kids to enjoy. And don’t forget Arizona: The Grand Canyon is a must-see.
Note that if you’re going anywhere during spring break, you certainly won’t be alone. So if your ideal vacation is a quiet one, try to avoid going to warm-weather destinations around Eastertime. Since schools don’t all have the same spring break schedules, the spring break travel period can actually last up to a month. Still, kids can have lots of fun meeting other kids their age, and spring break memories are some of the best for kids.
The great thing about Mexico is that it is so close, and it isn’t difficult to find a direct flight from major U.S. airports. You can even drive to places like Tijuana and Ensenada. Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and Cancun are some of Mexico’s top travel destinations. But there are other lesser-known areas worth considering, such as Mazatlan and Ixtapa Zihuatanejo. Perfect for couples and singles alike, there is plenty to do in Mexico, whether you want to swim with dolphins and stingrays, visit the sea turtles, or simply relax by the beach in a new swimsuit with a cold drink.
As countries open their borders back up, you may find some great travel deals for places in Europe that you’ve always wanted to see. The good thing is that the weather in Western Europe is affected by the gulf stream, making temperatures much milder than they are in many parts of the northern United States. So you can easily enjoy places like Ireland and England with clothes that you’d wear for spring and fall. Pack a waterproof packable jacket in case it rains, some good walking shoes, and some layering essentials, and you’ll be good to go. In some areas of Italy, Spain, and Portugal, it may even be summerlike. Just be sure to check travel restrictions before you book any flights.
If winter weather is your thing, you might want to get the most out of it as possible. Heading to a ski destination can be a great winter getaway if you have a group of friends since there are large chalets with hot tubs and bonfires to rent. But it can also be romantic for couples. There’s something about sitting in a hot tub after a long day of skiing, surrounded by chilly mountain air, looking out at the snow-capped mountains. Look anywhere out west in the Rockies, or head out east, like in New York’s Finger Lakes region.
You don’t have to travel far to give yourself a break from the daily grind. Why not use your vacation time to explore your own state? Chances are that there are attractions or destinations that you haven’t seen but are worth checking out. This is a more laid-back way to enjoy your vacation, as it simply involves hopping in your car instead of booking a flight. And if you have an indoor waterpark nearby, this is a great option for families. Many large waterpark chains have nice accommodations and restaurants and other attractions such as miniature gulf in addition to the waterpark. Some may even allow pets, so you can pack up the dog bed and take your pup along with you.
With these getaway ideas in mind, you can make sure you have something to look forward to when winter tries to get the best of you.