Every year, we count down the days until winter’s end. If you feel the immediate need for the warmth of the sun, consider taking a weekend getaway to a destination with a more desirable climate. What’s more, planning an affordable break can be done in three easy steps:
Step 1: Select Your Destination
First, look for a place that offers a wide variety of activities at a low cost. The best winter stops guarantee that you’ll never get bored with a mixture of shopping, nature activities, beaches, and entertainment to pass the time. If you find it difficult to decide on where to go, here are several inexpensive locations that will save you money but won’t skimp on the sunshine.
From blues and jazz shows to shopping and museums, this city caters to everyone—usually with near-perfect temperatures. Inexpensive hotels and entertaining activities make The Big Easy perfect for those who don’t want to spend too much on a long weekend.
It’s perpetually a summer beach party in Key West, but it can get pricey during December and January when sun-seekers are out in full force. So that you don’t break the bank, opt for a hotel that’s within walking distance from the beach (rather than a beach-front property).
Coupled with long stretches of biking and hiking trails and great beaches, San Diego is perfect for those searching for some time in nature. Most tourists won’t start arriving until late spring, making this Southern California city a great place for the budget-minded traveler.
Winter is the perfect opportunity to head to this fun, quirky Texan town—and to avoid the otherwise stifling Texas heat. With its affordable lodging, boutique shopping, and ample entertainment, Austin is a hard-to-beat destination.
Step 2: Pack the 5 Suitcase Essentials
It’s easy to get carried away while preparing for your trip. The thought of escaping to warmer weather could lead you to pack for a week-long adventure instead of a weekend getaway. Be aware that most flights will charge you a fee for every bag you bring with you, so you’ll want to try and fit everything into a single carry-on if you can. To keep costs manageable, consider limiting yourself to just a few essentials.
You don’t want to end your day massaging sore feet in your hotel room, so be sure to pick up something comfortable. Before traveling, check out Orthotic Shops, which offer a great selection of shoes for nearly every type of holiday. Sandals, especially flip flops, are a must for beach locations—but don’t forget a pair of durable ballet flats or walking shoes, so that you can easily transition while enjoying all that your destination has to offer.
Versatile Day Wear
Don’t over pack your tiny suitcase for dressy and casual occasions alike. Instead, pick outfits that can double as both day and evening attire. Along with flats and an accessory, like a scarf or sweater, a simple skirt paired with a t-shirt can transition from beach wear to dinner wear. Men can bring along polo or collared shirts, light-colored shorts and boat shoes.
Layers (Just in Case)
Even the warmest destinations can still have chilly evenings or rainy days. Pack a comfy sweatshirt or a neutral-toned sweater to compliment any outfit in your suitcase. While a coat isn’t necessary, be sure to check the forecast in case a rain jacket or travel poncho may be called for.
No matter the season, you can still get sunburned if you aren’t properly protected. However, it’s unnecessary to bring a huge bottle of sunblock—a travel-size container is perfect for a few days. Those especially prone to the sun’s rays should also pack a proper beach hat and a pair of sunglasses with UV protection.
Tote bags are a versatile must-have for anyone planning on shopping or carrying a few necessary items. Their simple, collapsible design means that they won’t take up too much space, either. As an added bonus, it can easily be your second bag if your souvenirs or new purchases cannot fit into your carry-on.
Step 3: Relax and Enjoy!
There is nothing like a well-planned weekend trip to paradise, and you’ll find that leaving the cold behind, even for just a couple of days, is the best cure to shake those wintertime blues.