Winter travel means something different to everyone. Some people enjoy the snow. Others want warmth and sunshine. Below is a collection of some of the best cold and warm winter travel excursions you can pursue.
When to Take the Best Winter Travel Excursion
If possible, try to travel in the months of January and February. With the holiday season over, prices are lower and fewer people travel. Of course, there are holiday weekends in these months you may want to avoid as well.
Once you have a destination in mind, you can look for special deals on travel booking sites. You can also check the actual ski resort or travel provider website for winter travel specials.
Where to Go This Winter
Below are some of the best places to head this winter. Whether you want to relax, hit the ski slopes, or explore history, there’s a perfect excursion for you.
There are many great places to ski and snowboard, but Whistler is one of the best. Located in British Columbia, Whistler is a great excursion for all four seasons. To get the best winter rates, try booking by mid-November.
While there, be sure to head to the world-famous Whistler Blackcomb ski resort to hit the slopes. For the 2018 winter ski season, the slopes open on November 22.
You can also try bobsledding at the Whistler Sliding Centre. You can shop and dine at the Whistler Village. Visiting the Village during the Christmas or New Years holidays means you can enjoy the holiday lights and events that are unique to that time of year.
Colorado is another ski and snowboarding haven. Vail is home to several top-notch resorts. If you don’t stay in Vail, you can always stay in nearby Breckenridge or Beaver Creek.
If you’re planning on skiing for at least four days, you might be able to save some money with an Epic Pass. This pass can also give you free lift access to other resorts around the globe. Some of these other resorts include:
- Whistler Blackcomb
- Park City
- The Canadian Rockies
- Hakuba Valley, Japan
If you want a winter European experience, Vienna is one of the most charming places to visit. Note that you will want to pack extra warm clothes for this trip. Visiting in late November and during December lets you visit the famous Christmas Markets. At the market, you can enjoy fine cultural food and drink.
You can also tour historic buildings and listen to winter concerts.
For a slightly warmer climate, you may choose Rome. This is another European city that’s easy to fall in love with that has plenty to do and see. Visiting Europe in the winter can also mean fewer crowds.
A Caribbean Cruise
The Atlantic hurricane season officially ends at the end of November each year. Waiting until January or February to take a cruise means calmer water and cheaper rates. In fact, expert cruisers recommend first-timers to cruise in the winter months because the seas are usually calmer.
You should compare prices for Eastern and Western Caribbean Cruises. One of the best cruise booking sites is Costco Travel. Their rates are competitive with booking directly through the cruise liner. Plus, you usually get better onboard credits and Costco bonuses.
Cruise liners have their own private islands that you might visit. But, you may stop in public ports too.
If you take an Eastern Carribean cruise, you might visit these ports:
- St. Thomas
- San Juan
- St. Maarten
- Grand Turk
With a Western Carribean cruise, you can expect to port here:
- Grand Cayman Island
Some people prefer the Western Caribbean for their beaches. But, either area helps you escape the cold.
You can also fly to a Carribean island and stay on an island resort. However, you may pay more than sleeping on the ship. For many resorts, the winter months are peak season like the summer months. To save some cash, you may decide to use points for an all-inclusive resort.
Hyatt has one of the most extensive collections of Carribean resorts. Reward nights start at 25,000 points per night for a standard room.
Hawaii in the winter can also be a great time. January and February are the coolest months with daytime highs ranging between 78 and 82 degrees. Nightly lows can dip into the low 60s.
Because the winter months are color, you may see more colorful vegetation and flowers. Even better, the water is still warm enough to swim and snorkel in.
Some surfers find that winter is the best time to surf the Big Island or Oahu. If this is you, you might want to stay in the North Shore area of Oahu. Most days, the swells are between six and twelve feet tall. When surfing in the winter months, stick to the North or West shores to find the best waves.
Getting to Hawaii can also be easier than you think. For example, Southwest Airlines should begin flights from the U.S. West Coast to Hawaii in early 2019. Or, you can always try another carrier like Alaska Airlines to avoid a legacy carrier.
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is south of the equator. While it’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s summer in New Zealand. Daytime highs from are December to February.
Because this is peak tourism season in New Zealand, you might not get the reprieve from crowds you’re looking for. January is usually the busiest month. Waiting until February means you can enjoy warm temps but have fewer crowds.
In Auckland, some of the must-see sights include:
- Sky Tower
- SkyCity Auckland
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral
You may also wish to venture outside the city to either the North Island or South Island regions. In these areas, you can enjoy the beach or find hiking trails. Plus, you enjoy a scenic drive in the process.
The best winter travel excursions don’t require you to bundle up for frigid temperatures. Winter is a fun time to leave home. It’s prime time for skiing and snowboarding if you enjoy this hobby. Or, you can relax in the warm sun in a tropical climate if you choose too.