As someone who has lived in northerly climates for much of my life, I know well that feeling that sets in around late January or early February. You reach that upsetting point where you can hardly remember what warm weather feels like, and just the idea of a 70 degree day is enough to send you into one of those hour-long daydreams that can really get in the way of one’s productivity. Personally, I find that winter is much easier if I can escape to a warmer climate at least once during the harsh winter months. If you can afford it, it can help keep your energy up as you wait for those first achingly glorious warm April days.
That’s why I’m offering these affordable winter travel ideas. In today’s economy, many of us can’t afford the luxury Hawaii or Bahamas vacation. But if you just want to relax and enjoy yourself while escaping the blustery winds of the north, there are plenty of things you can do.
South America: Don’t forget that the winter months for us are summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Yes, South America is a very broad category, but there are so many parts of the continent that are perfect. Air travel is relatively cheap, and countries like Chile, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, and Brazil are quite affordable for people from the U.S. Personally, I love Buenos Aires for my city enjoyment, but I also love the diverse natural landscapes of Chile. If you’ve never been to South America, try it out. Many North Americans are surprised by what a warm, beautiful, and welcoming continent it is.
Southern Europe: Many parts of Europe aren’t exactly cheap, but there are actually many southern portions of the continent that make great affordable winter travel ideas. Spain and Portugal are relatively cheap, as are many Mediterranean islands and the southern portions of Italy. And then there are beautiful, historic Greece and Turkey. All of these areas are warm, affordable, and full of everything you could want as a traveler.
Africa: If you’ve never explored the diverse natural climates of Africa, now may be the time to get started. Practically the entire continent is warm year-round, and the people in the most well-traveled parts of Africa are famously welcoming and kind to outsiders from all over the world.
Caribbean and Mexico: Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are within just a few hundred miles of the southern U.S., but many of us never get to see them. If you’re looking for affordable winter travel ideas, look into places like Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Mexico. U.S. dollars can go quite a long way in places like this, and there are more than enough tourist amenities to keep you happy and comfortable during your stay.
Thailand: Thailand stays warm year round, and it is most comfortable during the winter months. It’s an increasingly popular destination for Australian and East Asian travelers who want both beautiful beaches and exciting modern cities like Bangkok, but there are often some very good deals for flights from the U.S. They don’t come around every day, though, so you have to snatch them up when you find them.
Have you always dreamed of taking a vacation to Hawaii? Do you think it’s too expensive? You may be surprised to find out there are many cheap travel ideas for a trip to Hawaii. You can actually save money and still have a great time.
Hawaii has a reputation as being a place you can only visit if you have a money tree. But there are steps you can take to make it less costly.
The first thing you need to do is plan your Hawaii trip in advance. Oahu is a great area to go because you can find a lot of lower fares to this area. But don’t try to find these bargains at the last minute. If you try to buy airfare on too short of notice, you are going to be paying extra for your tickets. So right off the bat you would not be saving money, but instead you would be paying even more money than you should be. So try to start looking for your tickets a month or two before your trip. This is when you will find the lowest airfares.
If you plan to stay for more than a week or two, discounts are often offered to stay in a condo with a full kitchen and save on your meals. For a longer stay you will probably actually pay a lower amount per day than you would if you stayed in a hotel.
If you opt for a regular hotel, try to find the ones that will serve you a free breakfast even if it’s only a continental breakfast. Most people don’t really eat that much for breakfast anyway, so spending big bucks for a lavish meal when you first get up is often a waste of your cash. If the hotel provides free food in the morning, be sure to take advantage of it.
You will find a lot of places in Hawaii, especially right on the ocean, offering souvenirs, but if you have small children who are clamoring for keepsakes from this beautiful destination there is an easy way to save money. Just buy all of your souvenirs from Wal-Mart, Costco, or a store like that. Your kids will not know the difference. You can even buy T-shirts and things like that for your friends and family and they will not know they you didn’t purchase them in an expensive boutique. Well actually they might know that but they won’t care because they will be very happy with their loot since it has the word “Hawaii” printed on it.
Walk as much as possible and you will save on gas and/or taxi fare. If you are traveling to Oahu there is a great public transportation system, and you can ride the bus around everywhere using bus passes. This is a good cheap travel idea for those who do not want to rent a car.
To save money on your daily entertainment bill, remember that you are in Hawaii and there are many surfing competitions going on all the time. Go check them out, make a day of it on the beach. It’s great fun. You’ll also be able to see nightly hula shows, usually free of charge. Sometimes they even give lessons! That’s always great for a laugh or two.
The food in Hawaii can be wonderful, but keep in mind that you can get the same great food at restaurants that are not located right on the ocean and you will pay a lot less. If you are not real big eaters, consider buying one meal and sharing between two people since you probably won’t have a way to take your leftovers back to the hotel and you’ll just end up wasting food with two full meals.