By December or January, those of us experiencing winter weather are ready for a break. But is it possible to find sunny destinations that won’t break the bank? In a word, yes! We’ve put together a great list of cheap warm weather vacation ideas to consider. Read on for three U.S. destinations and three international destinations that will warm you up while saving you money. Make it easy and less expensive too by packing carry-on luggage.
Inexpensive U.S. Warm Weather Trips
The nice thing about seeking sunny getaways in the U.S. is the lack of travel time and lower airfare, or none at all, depending on where you live. You don’t have to cross the globe to find warm water and blue skies!
Palm Springs, CA. An easy flight from most parts of the U.S., the city of Palm Springs, CA is a new favorite getaway for me and my family. What it offers: desert beauty and outdoor recreation, world-class spas and golf, excellent cuisine, and perfect lounge-by-the-pool weather. What it lacks: the showiness of Las Vegas or the harried atmosphere of Southern California. While in Palm Springs, rent a villa instead of booking a hotel room. Not only will you be more relaxed, but these getaways (some of which even include a chef!) are more affordable than you’d think. Spend your mornings hiking, golfing, or riding the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway and your afternoons by the pool.
Ojai, CA. Yes, another California destination… I can’t help it if there’s sunny skies here! If you haven’t heard of Ojai, you’re not alone. This sleepy artist community in the hills above Los Angeles likes its privacy, as well as its visitors. Stay at the Blue Iguana Inn to surround yourself with lush gardens and tranquil desert mountain views in all seasons. In the winter months, travelers stroll through the art galleries downtown or visit the area olive oil farm in mildly pleasant temperatures, and feel a million miles away from the city.
Gulf Shores, AL. You don’t need to go to Florida for white sand beaches and sunny weather. Gulf Shores offers miles of sand, the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and dolphin cruises. There are plenty of Alabama Gulf Shores oceanfront hotels to choose from, and families will love the laid-back atmosphere so far from the spring break hotspot of Florida.
Cheap Warm Weather Vacation Ideas – Internationally
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Caribbean waters meet budget-friendly accommodations in the Dominican Republic. For easy Punta Cana travel, Dreams Punta Cana Resort and Spa is family-friendly, with onsite beaches, pools, kids’ clubs, and dining. The Punta Cana Ecological Reserve is an easy distance from all lodging, and offers 12 freshwater lagoons and tropical habitats.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It’s not exactly a secret that Mexico is a great destination for warm-weather travel, but Puerto Vallarta gets my top vote due to its affordable access from most U.S. airports. The lush mountains overlooking the city are perfect for Puerto Vallarta horseback tours, and while the hotels closest to town can have a party atmosphere, lodging north and south of the boardwalk area — such as our pick, Velas Vallarta — are affordable and quiet.
Costa Brava, Spain. Located on the Mediterranean Sea above Barcelona, Costa Brava may not be the most affordable destination to get to from the U.S., but once there, the abundance of hotels, restaurants, and beaches make it a discerning traveler’s dream. Known for its fresh cuisine and fun shopping, Costa Brava offers affordable fun in the form of beaches, hiking, and daytime excursions. Honorable mention will go to Madrid because of the plentiful apartments in Madrid.
Best Of Las Vegas
Las Vegas truly is a city that never sleeps, and a favorite party destination with tons of attractions and things to do. Some people try their luck at the many Casinos, others spend their money on crazy experiences. Nothing is impossible in this city, and there is something for every type. Here are some great things to do in Las Vegas for those who want to have a great time…
Helicopter Tour of Grand Canyon
Las Vegas might be all about glitz and glamour, but awe inspiring nature is not far away, and just like Las Vegas always has to have the biggest and the best – they offer the same with nature: Grand Canyon. The best way to explore and experience the vastness of this natural wonder is to take a helicopter tour over it. Besides, a helicopter tour alone is an experience!
Roller Coaster Rides At Hotels
The action is never far away, in fact you don’t even have to leave the hotel to experience thrills and action. The New York New York hotel and the Stratosphere Hotel both have roller coaster rides inside the actual hotel, but if you want even more rides to choose from you can always visit Circus Circus, the second largest indoor theme park in the country.
Las Vegas has plenty of fun shows every night of the week, some which even are free. For something truly spectacular, however, nothing beats the Cirque du Soleil shows, of which there are plenty. Each show is different and suits different tastes and ages. We met a couple who had been taking Las Vegas holidays for a week, and went to a different show every night. Their favorite was Brian Hoffman’s “Remembering Red – a tribute to Red Skelton”.
Disney World in all honor, but after enough “child friendly” theme parks it might be time for something new, something for all those parents – how about re-living those sandbox days of being a child digging with tractors – only this time it’s for real…
Operate heavy machinery, like Caterpillar bulldozers, and dig in and move some dirt! This is definitely a unique experience you can’t do at home.
If you want to check something out for free, the Bellgaio fountains won’t disappoint. The fountain light show is easy to squeeze in to a busy schedule, as it’s on several times per hour all night. The water show with its lights and music is a romantic little attraction to enjoy for a bit while resting your feet.
(photo credit: 1)