Best Cheap Winter Vacations
Some destinations see prices skyrocket in the winter, but U.S. News ensures that your dollars will go far with this list of winter's best affordable vacations. Our editors considered user votes in addition to factors like the cost and quality of accommodations, dining and attractions to narrow down the destinations with the best value – and weather – for a wintertime getaway. Help us solidify next year's list by voting below.
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A winter visit to Rome means you'll encounter smaller crowds and lower room rates, not to mention festive decorations around the holidays. Plus, with fewer travelers to compete with, you can squeeze in more sightseeing and snag reservations at the city's top restaurants.
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The cobblestone streets will probably be covered in snow, but that shouldn't discourage you from exploring neighborhoods like Old Québec and Quartier Petit-Champlain. The city celebrates its way through the frigid temperatures with events and festivals that last from Christmastime to Carnaval in February.
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Winter in the Northern Hemisphere means summer in the Southern Hemisphere: Auckland, New Zealand, experiences pleasant temps in the 60s and 70s and plenty of sun from December through February. While it's expensive to fly here, once you arrive there are ample free things to enjoy, ranging from pristine beaches to sprawling parks.
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Spend your days seeing the impressive parks, cathedrals and plazas before cozying up with a glass of wine and tapas at night on a winter vacation to Seville, Spain. You'll have fewer tourists to deal with, and lodging options are much more affordable than during the warmer months.
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This peak tourist season boasts ample sunshine, making it an ideal time to explore the country's lush rainforests and lounge on its tropical beaches. That said, the dry season is the most popular time to visit. Luckily, the U.S. dollar goes a long way here, and there are plenty of free things to do.
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Winter in Banff is characterized by snow and skiing. This Canadian destination enjoys excellent skiing conditions and an under-the-radar reputation. What's more, lodging and lift ticket prices are a bargain compared to other ski spots in North America, but you'll need to book them a few months in advance to ensure availability.
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Warm weather, low humidity and affordable room rates make Bangkok an exceptional winter vacation for those who hate snow. Temps range from the 60s and 70s at night up to the 80s and 90s during the day. Plus, you can book four- and five-star hotels for less than $125 a night.
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If all you dream about for a winter vacation is escaping to a tranquil beach, Cozumel is your answer: Turquoise water, great snorkeling and warm temps attract travelers in droves. For lodging, opt for a bed-and-breakfast or vacation rental to save some coin. Another affordable way to experience this Mexican paradise is by cruise.
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An affordable and enjoyable winter vacation in Orlando, Florida, is possible if you avoid the holidays. Room rates and Walt Disney World one-day ticket prices drop in January and February, and temperatures hover around a comfortable 70 degrees. Or, skip the parks altogether and explore downtown Orlando and the Mall at Millenia.
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A winter vacation in San Miguel de Allende should include time spent exploring the city's markets and cultural institutions, including the Fábrica La Aurora, a textile mill-turned-art-museum and shop. You'll also want to sample the vast foodie scene: This Mexican city offers everything from fine dining to cheap (but delectable) food truck meals.
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Buenos Aires effortlessly blends European charm and South American flair, and the winter months (which actually comprise the city's summer season) are a great time to enjoy all it has to offer. There are a variety of free events travelers can attend, such as Carnaval, and the warm temps are conducive to enjoying meals and drinks outside.
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Daytime temperatures in the mid- to high 60s and affordable lodging options greet travelers come wintertime in this Texas city. For an authentic cowboy experience, consider visiting during the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in February. Also, set some time aside for exploring the River Walk and The Alamo, which are both free to enjoy.
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If you've always wanted to see the iconic Taj Mahal, winter is the best time to go. Plan your trip for late January or February, when crowds have dispersed and high temperatures rest in the mid- to high 70s. While a flight to India might be pretty pricey, you'll easily save some money on your accommodations and dining.
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Cheaper than other Mexican beach locales, such as Cabo and Acapulco, Mazatlán makes for a relaxing winter getaway. If you ever tire of lazing on the beach or by the pool, get out to explore the historic Old Mazatlán area or stroll along the oceanfront Malecón. For additional savings, opt to stay at an all-inclusive resort.
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Winter sports enthusiasts flock to Innsbruck, Austria, when the temps drop to take advantage of the nearby powdery slopes and affordable lift tickets (compared to other European ski spots). What's more, Innsbruck's old-world charm captivates visitors. Take time to wander historic roads like Maria Theresa Street and tour the Cathedral of St. James.
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