You don’t have to wait until spring to enjoy a relaxing vacation. Whether the goal is to spend quality time as a family, connect with someone special, or just treat yourself, we have some tips. When you plan properly, you can travel safely while enjoying a full itinerary without over-scheduling—and exhausting—yourself.
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1. Select a Destination that Gets You Excited
If you usually only vacation in warm weather, go somewhere new and explore a little this winter. Do you imagine staying in a cozy cabin surrounded by woods? Would you prefer to walk on the beach and soak up the energy of the ocean even if you can’t swim? There are so many things you can do and see on a winter vacation that aren’t options in warmer weather.
You may want to go skiing, snowboarding, or even snowshoeing. Slip into a national forest to explore the trails if you enjoy being outdoors. If your idea of vacation is to keep it simple, then look into resorts that offer everything you need in one convenient place.
2. Timing is Everything
In many locations throughout the U.S., there’s winter and then there’s deep winter. How much cold weather, snow, ice, and sleet do you really want to tolerate on vacation? If you’re from a warm region, just a slight chill may have you reaching for your winter coat. If you’ve survived some intense winters, then you may have a higher tolerance for cold temperatures and other winter weather.
Research the climate at your destination to determine the best time of winter for your trip. For example, you may plan your vacation during the best month for skiing and other outdoor sports. You may also want to avoid rainy seasons, pushing into dryer and colder months instead.
3. Look for Indoor Amenities
A long list of amenities will grab your attention, but how many of those amenities are available in the winter? For example, a location may come with access to playgrounds, basketball courts, outdoor swimming pools, and walking trails. That sounds great for summer vacation, but you should research what winter amenities are offered. Some indoor amenities to look for may include a game room, spa, fitness center, and free cable and Wi-Fi.
4. Consider Safe Travel and Walking Distances
Some of the best winter vacations keep everything you need within walking distance. If you’re caught in a snowstorm or the roads get icy, you can still walk to restaurants, bars, museums, and other attractions. Instead of feeling confined in a hotel room, you can bundle up and head out to enjoy the weather.
Resorts are great ideas because they’re easy to book and function like self-contained cities. Everything you may need from food to entertainment is on-site.
5. Pack for the Outdoors—Even if You Want to Stay Indoors
If you’ve selected a location loaded with indoor amenities, you still need to prepare for outdoor time. Pack everything you need to stay warm when walking to and from the car and your favorite indoor areas. You may surprise yourself by wanting to walk outdoors to see the beauties of the world in winter. Warm coats, hats, scarves, and gloves are essential even for short periods of outdoor exposure.
6. Check Seasonal Opening Times
In some tourist locations, many attractions have limited operational times in the off-season. You’ll see lower hotel prices in many places, but you don’t want to show up and find that everything on your wish list is closed.
For winter vacations, check out the best things to see and do in your chosen location, and then check the hours of operation in the month you plan to travel. You may also find some great festivals and events that are only offered in the colder season. Holiday events are often spectacular for vacation fun.
If you aren’t sure what you want to do on winter vacation, spend some time learning about different destinations. Don’t settle until you find something that lights you up with excitement.