There is something warm and inviting about the holidays, but it’s not usually the weather in North America, Canada or Europe.
Nothing makes me crave a tropical beach and heat more than having to bundle up for winter. I am just not the snowboarding, hot cocoa drinking, bundle-up-by-the-fire kind of girl.
Some like it hot, I guess you could say.
In fact, I dread winter so much, that I’ve made a travel career out of chasing the sun. I’d choose a bikini and sunscreen over coats and boots any day, and I usually do! So, where can you go this winter where forecasters predict 80 degrees and sunny from December through at least March, without breaking the bank?
- Central America: Countries in Central America are great getaway destinations: they are, demographically, closer to North America and Europe than South America, and have much to offer. From Mexico to Panama, weather is divided into two distinct seasons – wet and dry. Lucky for you, lovely traveler, the dry season in most countries runs from December through April, so pack light!
- South America: Take a trip just about anywhere below the equator, and you fly right into summer. Coastal cities in Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia are most enjoyable during this peak season, as there is water to jump into when the summer months become, well, a little too hot to handle. Think Rio de Janiero, Brazil, Mancora, Peru, Punta Del Este, Uruguay, or Cartagena, Colombia. Dale!
- The Caribbean: Weather is generally warm and sunny in this region of the world year round. Avoid September and October, however, as many accommodations and businesses close down during this time to remodel and take their own vacation.
- U.S.A.: The Pacific Southwest is usually a beautiful place to spend your winter; southern California and Arizona, especially.
- Southeast Asia: The high season in this region of the world runs from December through February, coinciding with the dry season. The flight will be somewhat pricey, but once you get there, living on the cheap is easy. For more information on Thailand specifically, check out the Go! Girl Guides guidebook!
Other Things to Know:
- Book flights in advance. The travel industry is well aware of our desire to escape winter, so flights can be somewhat expensive. Sign up for travel alerts on sites like kayak.com or momondo.com to receive daily emails on deals. These search engines check all other forums (priceline, cheaptickets, expedia, etc.) before quoting a price. Quite efficient.
If you’re looking for cheap airfare to Colombia, check out spiritair.com. This Colombian airline offers exceptional deals year round; most of the time direct.
Expect for popular destinations to be crowded, and for prices to go up, especially around major holidays.
Book your first few nights of accommodations in advance if possible until you can find a cheaper, more quaint place to stay in the destination of your choice.
- February and March tend to be cheaper than December and January.
Don’t forget about Mexico: Currently, it’s less expensive to fly to Mexico than many other countries in Central and South America. Some speculate it’s an effort to boost travel and stimulate the Mexican economy. Win, win?