15 Perfect Affordable Warm Winter Vacations Right Here in the US
By the time the New Year progresses, the charm of the fall-winter turns into a chilling Bomb Cyclone extending a cold snap in every home. It’s less of enjoying the snow dust in a winter wonderland and becomes more of dragging through the dirty snow, managing frost and freezing temperatures which is not everybody’s idea of a good time.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans escape from the blistering winds and slushy snow to head to the tropical beaches in winters.
If your concept of ideal winters is to spend it at a warmer place or maybe on a beach, then this list of the perfect and most affordable winter vacation will be a great breather for you.
We’ve rounded up some of the most affordable warm-weather getaways from the US in December and January.
1 Maui, Hawaii – The perfect whale watching destination
Hawaii landed a top spot for itself on several surveys as being one of the perfect affordable warm winter vacation in the USA. There is no good way to celebrate vacations on a tropical beach in the middle of the Pacific to beat the chill.
The island has a diverse landscape, unparalleled scenery good for excursion and hiking, reading a book by the ocean and national parks to explore. And as a bonus, one can see the humpback whales migrating across the bay.
Flights to Hawaii: United boasts most flights and is all set to start services from Colorado and Hawaii. Travelers can find an increasingly affordable flight to Hawaii.
2 Lanai, Hawaii – The pineapple island with world-class luxurious resorts
The Lani Island managed to snap a top spot in the World’s Perfect warm winter vacation Destinations. The island is a far-flung gem for people who want to have the entire 90,000-acre island all to them. Believe it or not, these islands in Hawaii date back to 800,000 years.
Although this most picturesque island comes for a price, it caters to some of the perfect services and amenities like the exquisite food; enjoy snorkeling on the majestic Nā Pali Coast and try some of the perfect and freshest sumptuous variety of Ahi Tuna at a fraction of price than what you can normally get in America. Hit the back road in a 4×4 Jeep or try the new style of yoga class at a private ranch, the possibilities are endless.
Most of the affordable round trips can be rounded within $400 and the cost of the stay is around $200.
3 The Florida Keys – The archipelago of 800 keys
The Florida Keys offers a variety of most affordable winter vacation options. This is a string of tropical islands that stretch for about 120 miles off Florida’s southernmost tip. Its picturesque beaches are very popular with partiers and equally suit those who love beautiful beaches, exotic seafood while whiling in the sunsets and have a knack for water-based sports.
There are many Hotel & Resort that extend the charm of old-fashioned beach community. For more budget-friendly options, consider staying on further north of the Keys like Marathon or Islamorada.
United Airlines, which at the moment just flies on Saturdays is about to start a daily flight from Chicago.
A round-trip ticket from New York City can be fetched for as low as $151 and from Chicago and Boston for around $200. Hotels start at $200 a night during high season.
4 Sarasota, Florida – A wealthy retiree haven with terrific beaches
Sarasota has some of the most crystal clear blue waters and white sandy beaches in the US. There are 6 main islands on the Sarasota’s extensive coastline, each with a distinct personality, variety of recreational options and natural beauty. Longboat Key has fewer crowds with a laidback vibe and quite ideal to nest here. Siesta Beach is popular for being the perfect beaches in the world. These beaches have amazing parks in acres, sand dunes, mangrove spreads, and ideal for outdoor activities, grills and picnics.
A round-trip flight is around $200 from New York and Boston, and for around $400 from Chicago. Hotel rooms go are under $200.
5 Sunny Isles Beach, Florida – Miami most stunning oceanfront vistas
Sunny Isles Beach is located between Fort Lauderdale and Miami and is quite popular for its rich diversity, upscale shopping options, and high rise beach-front properties. There’s everything you can expect from this beach like long stretches of sands, the warm Atlantic Ocean perfect for snorkeling and diving and plush beachside hotels.
To unwind, there is a 9 hole designer golf course, shop till you drop at the Miami Design District that lists upmarket bars and eating joints, art galleries, fashion retails and more.
6 Barbados – The land of the flying fish
Barbados beaches are as diverse as the island and rated among the perfect in the world. The coral island scores high with the surfers and naturalists.
The west coast is calmer with palm swaying white sand shores with clear blue waters. Catamaran cruises, snorkeling, jet skiing are quite popular. The south side of Barbados is surrounded by coral reefs and is ideal for a lovely boardwalk, watersports and kitesurfing and the windy outcropping beaches of the east coast is perfect for surfing.
JetBlue has started a new route from Boston and also decreased airfares to the island. Flights are under $400 roundtrip and reasonable resorts are widely available.
7 The Cayman Islands – Swim with stingrays at the Stingray City
The Cayman Islands is located on the western Caribbean. The 102 sq.miles of picturesque white sandy beaches and beautiful calm turquoise water promises an idyllic escape. Grand Cayman is the biggest and has plenty of options for shopping and dining. The island is most famous for 12-foot deep Stingray City dive site where travelers can swim alongside the rays.
Cayman Brac is famous for the Cayman Crystal Caves – the newest attraction opened to the public. These are spectacular formations hidden in a lush tropical forest.
There are other natural phenomena and some unique celebrations to enjoy in the Cayman Islands.
Flights from the East Coast start at $470 round-trip.
8 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – Mexico’s top tourist destination
Cabo San Lucas is a resort city at the southern tip of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. Commonly called as Cabos in English, the island has a reputation for being an excellent choice for outdoor activities and for some pure beach relaxation with a buzzing nightlife and excellent dining option.
The Cabo Arch is an arching stone cliff jutting out of the sea. Los Cabos also has some of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses. Whale watching is extremely popular in Cabo.
Its hotel and resorts cater to everyone from families, to honeymooners and Hollywood stars. A roundtrip from Chicago (ORD) to Los Cabos (SJD) in the first week of December costs the cheapest at around $421.
9 Playa Del Carmen, Mexico – The crown jewel of the Riviera Maya
Mexico has been high on the list for being accessible and easy to get to and in Playa Del Carmen there is never a bad time to go to given the near year-round sunshine but winters are the high season so it’s perfect to book in advance. The place is just 40 minutes away from the Cancun. Get the maximum adrenaline rush on a jet ski in crystal blue waters or visit the Mexican jungle and take a jump inside the most magical underwater caves, experience tours of Mayan ruins nearby as well.
The rooftop restaurants have some of the perfect views of the entire city and the food is outstanding. Palaya has some of the biggest clubs on the 5th Avenue, 3 floors with different vibe and music.
Flight to Playa Del Carmen in the first week of December on a United Flight costs $396 from Chicago and a stay for as less than $200.
10 Montego Bay, Jamaica – Jamaica’s tourism capital
Jamaica has a dry season from December right until April and makes for the perfect winter getaway. The energetic city of Jamaica is famous for reggae and the raucous spring-break party but also a good place for low-key adventure and relaxed vibes but has much more to offer. Spend long days amidst the natural beauty by the water sipping on local rum daiquiri or try out some clear water snorkeling and head for the diverse nightlife later. No matter where you stay in Jamaica, there are plenty of water sports and other activities to keep you engaged.
11 San Diego, California – America’s Finest City
For people trying to escape the winter chills but on the other hand did want to be at the opposite extremes, San Diego is an ideal getaway. Balmy weather is perfect for walking barefooted on the beach, taking part in all sorts of activities. Watch the whales pass by as it’s migration time for them.
La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches with picturesque cove and surrounded by cliffs and La Jolla beach draws surfers from around the world.
6,000 acre La Jolla Underwater Park is a protected underwater reserve rich in marine life. Lover’s Cove is filled with a diverse array of marine life and has been ranked among the top ten perfect spots in the world for snorkeling.
Of course, nobody wants to miss a trip to the San Diego Zoo. Hotels here are economical for as less as $100 and there are many that offer an ocean view that overlooks the La Jolla Coves.
12 Puerto Rico – The home of Pina Colada
Enjoy the tropical island with a unique blend of Spanish and African culture. The island is ever inviting to travelers to stay long, soak up some sun and enjoy the thriving food scene.
Puerto Rico beaches glow in the dark and have pink sands of Isla Verde. There is a multitude of options like diving, snorkeling, enjoying delicious cuisine, jive away to salsa dancing.
There are many small independent full-service hideaways near the sea and are conveniently located near the airport and priced as low as $130. There are bigger resorts a well that stretch across 20 acres of lush tropical gardens offering all the plush amenities but are priced just a little higher.
13 Panama- Hub of the Americas and the land of Geisha coffee and Panama hats
Panama is an ideal destination in many ways. Known for its warm weather and sunshine, the places like Bocas del Toro situated on the northwestern Caribbean cost offers the perfect option for scuba diving and surfing.
The group of archipelagos has many islands which are not overrun by tourists as in Cancun and these places are more economical as well.
The colonial styled Spanish architecture of the old Panama town and the after-dark scene of the Casco Viejo os stupendous. Browse the markets as the sun beautiful set in the backdrop above Plaza Francia.
14 Curaçao – The Most Interesting Island in the US
For an authentic Dutch Caribbean experience explore the home of the original high-proof Blue Curaçao liquor – Curaçao. The Dutch Island located off the Venezuelan coast is different from many other Caribbean destinations in more than one sense; you can visit here all year round. It’s much larger than Aruba and far less developed for an original Dutch charm, and has much more to do here as well.
There’s a 30 degrees temperature all through the year and the place in a wide variety of settings and locales with arid landscapes, beautiful, colorful architecture, diverse selection of cultural sites, beaches and coves, arid landscapes, an astonishing underwater world you just can’t explore them all in a single visit. Combined with fine dining, a pulsating nightlife hoards of the shopping experience and a savvy multilingual local population.
There are regular flights to Curaçao from America as all major airlines serve this destination. A round-trip flight from New York in December – January can be had for just over $300, and you can find hotels for as less as $100 or less in Curaçao.
15 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – A government-protected nature reserve Island
Punta Cana is located on the east coast of the Dominican Republic and is highly famous for its beautiful tropical weather, enviable beaches, colonial architecture and luxurious yet inexpensive accommodations. The place is highly popular amongst the Americans as a winter getaway featuring regularly on popular travel magazines and travel websites so much so that it has now secured the no. 1 tourist vacation sport in the Caribbean.
The 39 miles of coast of Punta Cana has white silky beaches jotted with coconut palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze with the sparkling blue sea by its sides.
Tourists pour in from all over the world and therefore all international airlines serve Punta Cana like American, Continental, British, Delta, JetBlue, and Spirit.
A round-trip from New York City, Boston, and Chicago starts at under $400. And an all-inclusive hotel can be had under $100 a night.
From the Caribbean to the Gulf Coast, we’ve handpicked the perfect winter getaways so you can soak in some sun.
For our budget conscious travelers, there are some popular and the cheapest winter getaways from America listed above.
Florida comes up on the top for being the cheapest budget destination for a warm-up.
And just in case if you are willing to travel further, then the Mexican resorts present a nice range of options to choose from such as the towns of Puerto Rico and Cancun, the Bahamas and Jamaica.