Winter travel destinations offer a full range of adventurous activities if you’re looking for a way to stay active during the snowy season. From hitting the slopes either on ski vacations or snowboarding trips to ice skating, hopping aboard a snowmobile, or simply building a snowman with your kids, making the best of winter will help you to enjoy the offerings of the season. To escape the winter blues, why not plan Valentine’s Day vacations? From city breaks to getting cozy in a mountain cabin, there are many romantic winter trips that can keep the sparks flying throughout the frigid winter months.
For some travelers, the only winter travel destinations that are important include skiing. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, skiing is a fun winter getaway that is a wonderful change of pace from other types of vacations. Even if you think you’re only a cultural traveler or prefer the warmth of the beach, the dramatic landscapes are sure to take your breath away. And while Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Vermont, and the Alps in Europe all offer great skiing resorts, there are plenty of other activities as well. If you don’t ski, spend your days shopping, in the spa, or snuggling by the fire with a good novel and a mug of hot cocoa.
On the other hand, some travelers want to plan Valentine’s Day vacations that include some serious sunshine. February is one of the most popular times to plan a trip to Florida, from the clubs of Miami Beach to the serene beaches of Naples. Romantic winter trips to the Caribbean, Mexico, or Hawaii might be exactly the escape you need to survive the long winter months. One of the best ways to find value in these locations is with an all inclusive resort. Look for vacation packages that combine accommodation, food, some drinks, and some entertainment to plan a vacation within your budget.
If you’re planning Valentine’s Day vacations on a budget, look into cruises. The changing scenery of a cruise can be very romantic, and there are many opportunities for adventurous excursions and shopping when the boat docks. Many travelers love the combination that a cruise provides; some days can be relaxing while others can be full of activity. Whether you want to sail between Caribbean islands or visit places along the coastline of Mexico, these romantic winter trips won’t soon be forgotten! Planning a warm weather vacation in the winter is also a great trick for staying in shape during the cold months.
While beach vacations can be enticing, some travelers have a hard time looking past traditional winter travel destinations. Christmas vacations and New Years trips are both popular, and for many people, the atmosphere wouldn’t be complete without a little snow. Renting a mountain cabin is a great way to spend quality family time together, whether or not you’re interested in skiing. From the ski resorts of Europe to the serene cabin rentals in Vermont, there are plenty of ways to embrace the season and enjoy the best that winter has to offer!
Winter Vacation Homes
Winter vacation homes come in plenty of different types, and travelers looking to buy or rent one will need to decide whether they want a villa rental by the beach, or a cabin rental in the mountains. If you’re planning to look for luxury winter vacation rentals, book early, as the cold months are a busy season in beach resort areas in Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as for ski areas such as Tahoe, Whistler, or Aspen.
Mount Whistler Canada is one of the most popular destinations for luxury winter ski rentals. Located in beautiful British Columbia, and nestled in the Pacific Range of the Coast Mountains, Whistler offers some of the best skiing in North America. Indeed, after hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler’s facilities are top-notch, perfect for avid skiers and snowboarders. For luxury winter vacation rentals in Whistler, check out companies such as Whistler Luxury Condos, which has dozens of luxury suites dolled up with almost every amenity you can imagine. Hot tubs, fireplaces, private decks, gourmet kitchens, are all rolled into some of the sumptuous packages at these luxury winter ski rentals. With a condo rental, you can expect a cozy, rustic décor perfect for the mountains, and a less institutional feel than most big hotels. For more affordable, but still comfortable accommodations at Whistler, consider renting direct from a private owner. You can often house four to six people in a rental, and prices can be negotiated with the owner.
Lake Tahoe is another popular ski destination in the winter, and luxury winter ski rentals are particularly popular there. The excellent weather in the winter means you probably have a better chance of getting sunny days at Tahoe than at Whistler. South Lake Tahoe, especially, has plenty of resorts and luxury condominiums. You may wish to consider Lakeland Village, a complex of luxuriously appointed town homes and lodges, and as an added perk, there are multiple great ski resorts, including Northstar at Tahoe, Heavenly, and Squaw Valley.
Renting winter vacation homes in tropical destinations like Hawaii can be a great way to personalize the experience. You will have more space and the benefit of your own kitchen to eat meals at your leisure, and the locations of beach rentals are often more secluded than at big hotels. For a romantic getaway, the privacy and convenience of luxury winter vacation rentals are a plus, especially as they are comparable in price, per night, to the price of hotels. For the ultimate in luxurious accommodations in Hawaii, you may want to consider Ohana Beach Rentals, which has everything from luxury condos, to villas, to estates with their own gardens and pools. If you have the cash, you can enjoy the perks: a personal pool, award winning architecture and design, private beaches, and more.
As you plan your winter vacation, don’t forget perennial popular destinations such as Orlando Florida, where you can rent an apartment or condo for a week or two while taking your family to the Disney theme parks, or golf destinations like Palm Springs or Scottsdale Arizona, which are also very popular for vacation rentals. There are many great winter destinations that are perfect for specific types of trips, such as family vacations, honeymoons, and golf vacations—it all depends on how you want to spend your free time.
Luxury Winter Vacations
Luxury winter vacations are, for many travelers, a way to escape the daily grind and immerse themselves in a carefree experience far from the routine worries of normal life. Splurging a little on luxury winter ski trips, cruises, and beach vacations can be a great way to unwind and enjoy your hard-earned vacation. Surprisingly, some cheap luxury winter getaways can be quite affordable, with comfort and luxury available at reasonable prices.
For luxury winter ski trips, you can't beat Colorado for world-class skiing at your choice of an upscale or down home price point. One of the most popular places for celebrities to go for luxury winter vacations, Aspen has both five-star resorts as well as mobile homes, though the overall atmosphere is affluent. The legendary Little Nell is an opulent five-star ski resort particularly popular with celebrities. It offers ski in/ski out access—that is, you have immediate ski access to the famous Aspen mountain right outside Little Nell's doors. The Little Nell's rooms are lavishly appointed, with suites and private residences available for those who wish to take luxury to the next level, and there is also a fancy restaurant on the premises. Rooms and services are extravagantly priced to match.
If you're looking for luxury winter ski trips at more affordable prices in Aspen, there are several hotels and ski resorts that are more reasonably priced. Relatively cheap luxury winter getaways, for example, are available at Aspen Square, a condominium resort that offers deluxe apartments with luxurious amenities such as fireplaces, balconies, flat-screen TVs, and fully equipped kitchens, with rooms that start at just over $200. Wherever you stay at Aspen, you are sure to have the opportunity to enjoy the excellent ski slopes, as well as other winter sports such as snowmobiling, sledding, and snowshoeing. There are many great resorts around Colorado, as well as options at Lake Tahoe and in New England, if Colorado is too far to travel.
For vacationers looking for cheap luxury winter getaways, consider an all-inclusive cruise on a luxury cruise liner. With vacation packages that include airfare, accommodation, and food, joining a luxury cruise can be a surprisingly affordable way to travel. Look for intimate ocean liners that accommodate only a few hundred guests rather than thousands, and that offer personalized perks such as turn-down service, room service, and skilled wine matching services. Some luxury cruise companies to check out include Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which travel to almost every warm weather destination imaginable during the winter months, such as the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, and more. Special two-for-one deals can sometimes be found which make these luxury winter vacations even more affordable.
The classic beach resort destination in the winter is Hawaii, where beautiful beaches and jungles abound along with picturesque volcanoes and a vibrant local culture. Luxury resorts such as the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island offer five-star amenities and service for the whole family, as well as an amazing nine miles of beach and a swimming lagoon perfect for parents traveling with children. Other luxurious resorts in Hawaii include the Four Seasons Maui, the Grand Wailea, which includes a water park that appeals to young and old alike, and the beautifully secluded Four Seasons resorts on Lanai. Let the excellent hotels and resorts of Hawaii take care of you as you enjoy the sun and surf, forgetting all your worries as you relish your luxury winter vacation.
Cheap Winter Vacations
Cheap winter vacations can be an escape from the dreary slushy days of the cold season, bringing travelers to sunnier climes or even snowy getaways—anything to escape the routine of the winter months. In addition, cheap flights in the winter are often more affordable than in the peak summer months, allowing you to go further and do more for your money on your winter vacations.
If you've got the wherewithal to spend a week or two in Southeast Asia, this is perhaps the best cheap winter vacation destination for those who want to wholly escape the cold. The best time to visit Malaysia and Thailand is during the months of October to March, when temperatures are slightly cooler than during the most humid, making the winter the best time to visit Southeast Asia. As Southeast Asian destinations are very popular, you can often find cheap flights in the winter, or package deals that include an all-inclusive resort stay as well as airfare.
Once you are there, Southeast Asia is relatively cheap to get around, and resorts are very affordable. Flights between Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries are mind-bogglingly cheap with Air Asia, Malaysia's budget airline. From Kuala Lumpur, you can get anywhere in Malaysia, as well as Bangkok, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and more, for just a few dollars on Air Asia. Shop early for the best flight deals. For a family-friendly stay, check out the beaches and all-inclusive resorts on Koh Samui and Phuket.
For cheap winter vacations closer to home, don't forget the Sunshine State. The weather in Florida is pleasantly warm during the winter months, and the state boasts some of the country's finest beaches and multiple theme parks, perfect for entertaining adults and children alike. Orlando Florida may be the best cheap winter vacation destination for kids, with Walt Disney World and Universal Studios theme parks nearby.
Disney World, for example, boasts 4 theme parks and 2 water parks, not to mention numerous all-inclusive resorts with their own attractions. Adults as well as children will find something to see at Disney World, with the kid-friendly Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, as well as more grown up-friendly exhibits at Epcot and MGM Studios. While entrance fees to the theme parks may at first seem steep, you can save a lot of money by booking winter vacation packages that include flights, accommodation, and perhaps entrance to the theme parks.
If you are not so concerned with finding cheap winter vacations in warm climates, and are willing to explore snowier winter destinations, consider skiing trips to Lake Tahoe or traveling to Yellowstone National Park with your family. Possibly the best cheap winter vacation destination for people who enjoy the outdoors, Yellowstone is a fascinating mix of steaming geysers, rainbow pools, and amazing wildlife. You can drive your own car to Yellowstone, and accommodation in West Yellowstone, the town adjoining the park, is cheap and plentiful. Just make sure you check the road conditions during the winter as some roads may be closed due to snowfall and dangerous conditions. Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing next to some of the fumaroles and geysers are unique and memorable experiences. Cheap flights in the winter fly into nearby Salt Lake City, Utah, where you can continue on to Yellowstone via rental car or through a regional airport such as the one in Cody Wyoming.