Travel Rankings & Advice

Best Affordable Winter Vacations

Though the season's high prices can be a deterrent, U.S. News ensures that your dollars go far with this list of winter's best affordable vacations. Our editors considered the cost and quality of accommodations, transportation, dining and attractions to narrow down the destinations with the best value — and weather — for a wintertime getaway. In addition to expert insight, we take user votes into account to determine our rankings. Help us out by voting below.

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Why go: Many of Tulum's beaches are free to visit and local archaeological sites, such as the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, only cost a small fee. And since it's tucked away on Mexico's east coast, there's a low risk of hurricanes. Plus, pleasant temps hover in the high 70s during the winter months. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Tulum

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Why go: Santo Domingo's Zona Colonial (one of the city's most beautiful areas) is free to explore. You won't have to drain your wallet on souvenirs either; vendors negotiate. Compared to other Caribbean spots, the Dominican's capital city boasts overall lower hotel rates. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Santo Domingo

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Why go: Continuous sunshine brings visitors and locals outdoors, with temps hovering around 80 degrees. The azure waters remain clear and calm — perfect for scuba diving in the magnificent Great Blue Hole. The only downside: You'll need to book far in advance to avoid peak season rates. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Belize

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Why go: Although the winter months might be a little too chilly for the beach, San Diego's temperatures are still mild and prices for hotels are at their lowest. This is also whale migration season, so you'll spot plenty of activity happening in and around the bay (when the fog clears). Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in San Diego

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Why go: Winter weather in this United States commonwealth is near perfect with little rain and temperatures in the low 80s. If you can squeeze your trip in before the holidays, you'll find excellent hotel deals and fewer crowds. Skip oceanfront properties and head inland for lower lodging rates. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Puerto Rico

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Why go: Winter is the high season in this dynamic seaside destination. You may pay more to stay in Key West during the colder months, but its drivable Florida location means you can save on airfare. Plus, hurricane-free peace of mind is your non-monetary reward for visiting in winter. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Key West

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Why go: Vancouver is an obvious choice for winter sports lovers, but for those who don't enjoy the slopes, the city offers a variety of events to keep you busy during the winter months, including the Festival of Lights, as well as multiple food and wine festivals. Plus, nightly rates for city center hotels are at their lowest. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Vancouver

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Why go: Warm, dry weather makes winter the perfect time to visit Anguilla. Although this is peak season here, the island's embargo on high-rise hotels and casinos keeps prices down. If you opt for a villa or vacation rental instead of a pricey hotel, a trip here won't break the bank. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Anguilla

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Why go: This small barrier island off the coast of Texas is known as a spring break hot spot, but during the winter months prices are notably lower and the island is decidedly more family-friendly. Aside from quiet relaxation, popular activites include deep-sea fishing and dolphin watching. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in South Padre Island

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Why go: This peak tourist season boasts plenty of sunshine, making it an ideal time to explore lush rainforests and lounge on tropical beaches. That said, the dry season is the most popular (and expensive) time to visit. Luckily the U.S. dollar goes a long way in Costa Rica no matter the season.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Costa Rica

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