10 Affordable Winter Vacations

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With the cold weather quickly setting in and summer wardrobes across the Northern Hemisphere deep in hibernation, memories of sun-baked beach bars and endless balmy evenings are growing ever more distant. But fear not, even in the depths of winter you can still find an affordable holiday spot. Whether you’re craving a dose of Vitamin D or some fun on the slopes, winter is a great time to head off for a bargain break.

Canary Islands, Spain

They may be closer to Africa than mainland Spain, but the Canary Islands are undeniably Spanish. Scan a price comparison site like Tripseats and you’ll quickly discover that many budget airlines service these windswept Atlantic islands. With cheap flights, hotels, and a great climate – temperatures rarely drop below 20°C, even in the depths of winter.

Along with the better-known island of Tenerife and Lanzarote, smaller destinations like La Gomera and La Palma offer a very different, eclectic holiday experience.

Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Although still a popular time to visit the region, winter, particularly during December, sees flights and hotels drop in price. Cancun is a particularly affordable destination to fly into with many charter flights heading to the city from Europe and the US and with the cost of living cheap across the region, you don’t need to worry about breaking the bank after Christmas either.

With white sand, palm-fringed beaches, gloriously balmy temperatures and a liberal measure of Mayan heritage, the Yucatan Peninsula makes for an exotic winter destination.


Cartagena, Colombia

Ok so a flight to Columbia may well stretch the budget slightly, but scour the internet, and there are some very reasonable package deals to be had. Nestled on the country’s Caribbean coast, the beautiful colonial city of Cartagena is the world away from the icy winds of the north. Columbia is a notoriously cheap destination and come mid-January, the end of the high season, prices in Cartagena drop even further.

There’s no better cure for the winter blues than a generous helping of warm weather and Latino culture, and you’ll find both in abundance here.

Florida, US

Florida is the perfect winter destination for families. With temperatures hovering around 21-24°C, winter in the sunshine state is warm but manageable, ideal for younger members of the family. As well as cheap package breaks and charter flights, the US is famous for affordable accommodation and cheap eats.

Head to the theme parks and soak up the festive spirit over the Christmas period. Florida knows just how to impress during the holiday season.

Goa, India

Famous for its hedonistic beach parties and unfathomable sunsets, the Indian region of Goa is a stunning place to escapes the cold clasp of winter. Flights in and out of Mumbai can be picked up very cheaply, and from there, internal connections are just as reasonable.

Temperatures peak at around 33°C during December; the monsoon is a distant memory, and the sea is as warm as bath water. Add in the fact that India can be one of the cheapest places on the planet and you’ve found the perfect winter retreat.

Southern Thailand

With so many tourists flocking to Thailand, the price of flights to the Land of Smiles has dropped dramatically in recent years – you can regularly find return flights to Bangkok from the U.S. for around $750.

From Thailand’s awe-inspiring capital, head south to the country’s fabled islands.

Islands of the west coast like Phuket and Koh Phi Phi Don, are the best places to visit during winter with temperatures settling around 30°C and rainfall at a minimum.

Cape Verde Islands

A bit of an unknown quantity, the Cape Verde Islands are fast becoming a destination of choice for European’s looking for an affordable winter break. Flights to this remote archipelago tend to go via Lisbon, and the island of Sal is the best place to head for a cheap package deal.

Cape Verde offers an eclectic mix of Caribbean-quality beaches, volcanic landscapes, and a vibrant Creole culture. Find a deserted beach, immerse yourself in a book and leave your hat and gloves in your suitcase.

Poiana Brasov, Romania

Although many want to escape the icy grip of winter, there are some who embrace the chance to hit the slopes, and Europe is a hotbed for affordable ski resorts, none more so than Poiana Brasov in Romania.

Situated in Romania’s Transylvania region, of Dracula fame, this cheap, basic resort offers lift passes from just $108 a week and seven days accommodation can be booked for around $246

It might not be the first place you think of when it comes to skiing, but with prices like these, it might be time to try something new.

Borovets, Bulgaria

With some the resort’s hotels built right next to the slopes; Borovets is the perfect place for avid skiers who want to get as much time on the slopes as possible.

With the cost of living relatively low, the average price of beer is just $1.25, and a week’s equipment hire close to $61, this Eastern European resort is the ideal winter getaway for skiers on a budget.

Janské Lázne, Czech Republic

Body// The Czech Republic may be better known for the delights of Prague, but head to the mountains and you’ll be greeted with world-class ski slopes.

Just two hours’ drive outside of the city is Janské Lázne where beautiful ski runs weave through pine forests and along lake shores. Ski passes can be purchased for just $112 a week and, as with the rest of the country, eating out is very inexpensive indeed.


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