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Saturday, January 7, 2017

5 Cheap Winter Destinations

Here in Oregon, Winter is definitely in full swing. We've had three snow/ice storms with more on the way. We were fortunate to miss one, as we were on our Disney trip (that I'll be writing about soon). That means we're kinda stuck here for the rest of the cold, snowy, icy, windy, crappy weather. If you're looking for a cheap way to get out of town, there are a handful of great, affordable options.

budget winter travel

A last-minute trip can be planned pretty easily or you can start planning already for next year. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you've already learned about some cheap destinations that are going to be pretty trendy this year. If you don't subscribe, but still want to read that, new subscribers between now and next Wednesday will get a forwarded copy after signing up. {if you signed up in the last week and still want to read it, shoot me an email and I'll forward a copy to you.} Now, let's get to all those great winter destination that'll, hopefully, get you out of the snow. You can be one of the few that's happy that Target has their swimsuits out already.

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Dallas, Texas
Everything's bigger in Texas, except the travel rates in the winter. Flights from anywhere in the U.S. are generally short, the weather is often warmer than many other destinations, and there are a lot of events and free activities. From an outdoor art walk, indoor museums, and an Audubon center, things only get more awesome from there. Not sure there's enough to do? Rent a car and head to Fort Worth to lengthen your list. Save even more in Dallas with CityPASS.

Las Vegas, Nevada
As you know, I never think there's a bad time to go to Las Vegas, but some are better than others. Nevada may get cold at night, but you can warm up inside the casinos with free drinks and dancing in the nightclubs. Head over to Circus Circus and enjoy the indoor Adventuredome or the Bellagio's Conservatory. Save on non-free activities with the Explorer Pass from Smart Destinations.

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Madeira, Portugal
If you just really want to get out of town - or the country - Portugal is an affordable getaway that many Brits indulge in. Flights to Lisbon can be pretty cheap right now, and it's a short 90-minute flight on a true budget airline from there. In fact, you can fly Lisbon to Funchal (the capital of Madeira) for under $50/person. Weather is fairly tropical compared to many other places, with winter temps in the 60s, which will feel like summer if it's snowing where you live. Stuff yourself with tapas and lay on the beach near a vacation rental that is far from expensive.

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Amsterdam, Netherlands
While you won't get away from the cold weather in Amsterdam, you'll at least get a change of scenery. Winter airfare is super low this year and TAP Portugal offers a free stopover in Lisbon or Porto, giving you two trips in one. You decide which end of your trip to use it and soak in a little warmth and sun. Because tourism is low in the colder months, you can snag a fantastic package at a luxury hotel along the canal as well. You'll also get the chance to enjoy the museums, cafes, and pubs without being packed in like sardines.

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Southern Ireland
You can't depend on warm or cold weather in the winter, as it can be pretty unpredictable. County Kerry and County Cork are both beautiful, no matter the temperature, and hotel rates are rock bottom. Vacation rentals can run for under $500 for the week, plus there are no crowds, so tourist destinations seem like they're open just for you. Imagine how awesome your pictures will be when there aren't any other people in them. Once you're done sightseeing for the day, warm up with a couple of pints of Guinness.

You may be pretty happy you saved money on your regular yearly trip and can afford to splurge a bit on a second getaway in the winter months. 

Have you planned a winter vacation for this year?

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