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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Where to Travel In December For Less

While other people are using their vacation days to visit or host family over the holidays, you could be heading on a winter getaway and doing away with all that stressful mess. In fact, I love to give myself the gift of a trip, because I don't need more stuff (despite wanting it), and awesome memories last forever. Here are 10 places to go on a budget next month:


After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany has become a wonderful tourist destination. The whole country is rich with culture and cool things to see and do. Save on ticket prices by purchasing airfare to Berlin via Reykjavik on Iceland Air. Add Iceland as a stopover for as long as you want for no extra cost! With the Oktoberfest crowds gone, you can visit this cosmopolitan city full of awesome museums, restaurants, and historical landmarks. The Christmas markets will be open, so if you're looking for street food, holiday spirit, and/or last-minute gifts, this is the place to do it. Purchase a city pass and save big on attractions on your trip. Get discounts on museums, gardens, transportation, restaurants and more.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

South America is always a great money-saving destination. Buenos Aires – "The Paris of South America" – is a hotspot for culture, nightlife and food. Take your time lingering over amazing dining experiences, learn to tango and explore historic neighborhoods and museums. You'll find plenty of affordable wine sipping opportunities, plus you can save on accommodations. Find suites for as little as $60 per night and bask in the lovely weather this winter.

Cancun (and Mexico in general)

If you can handle some of the crowds in the touristy parts of the country, like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, you can find some really great hotel rates. It's no secret why a lot of people flock south when they go on vacation. Look at resorts along the Yucatan Peninsula for more scenic views or search for places that have all the things you enjoy doing on your trips, because Mexico has it all, and at better rates than many other countries. You just want to make sure you do your research so you aren't stuck in a million-room resort with a bunch of stuff you'll never do or use. Check into cottages, bungalows or boutique hotels instead.


Known mostly for producing the majority of country music superstars, Nashville might surprise you as being a metropolitan city with so much more to offer besides Taylor Swift and the Dixie Chicks. Did you know that it is also the hometown of Kesha? It’s true! You’ll find amazing southern history around Nashville, including Civil War plantations. These grandiose homes are both awe-inspiring and educational. There’s no better way to learn about significant times in American history than to go right to the source. You can top off your days with down-home southern meals out and a vibrant nightlife full of all types of music.

New Orleans

I've traveled to New Orleans and have written several posts about it, and I'm planning another visit in March. With the big festivals over and Mardi Gras months away, December is a wonderful time to visit. Not only do you still get warm weather, but you also aren't wading through hoards of tourists.  Save on your trip to New Orleans with the Power Pass. Starting as low as $28 per day, gain entry to the must-see attractions of the city. Choose from places like the Musee Conti Wax Museum, Audubon Zoo, Cajun Pride Swamp Tour and much more! Available in 1, 2, 3 and 5 day durations. Add a 1-3 day MealTicket to eat at awesome restaurants for one low price. If you know you’ll be stuffing your face with étouffée, jambalaya and other Cajun deliciousness, this is definitely the way to go!


Do you want to visit a destination that's warm this winter? Orlando has been having some wicked hot weather lately. It was in the 90s on Halloween, so you definitely don't need a coat. In December, Orlando sees a drop in visitors, since most of them are coming for the theme parks and it’s hard to do that when your kids are in school. If you can get away, you'll be able to enjoy that warm weather, while also getting bargains on hotels and finding shorter lines for park rides (except on Christmas party nights at Magic Kingdom). Be aware though, if you are relying on hotel shuttles, they will be few and far between for theme parks. I’d recommend renting a car or using Uber/Lyft.

Palm Springs

While not as exotic as much of the rest of this list, and known mostly for their golfing, Palm Springs is a nature-lovers’ desert oasis. From hiking, horseback riding and swimming, there is something for everyone who loves to be outside. Steeped in Native American and Mexican culture, the city is now a resort paradise that draws regular travelers and celebrities alike. You can find great deals on accommodations, entertainment and even dining and spa services. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it – and find it for less – in the desert of Palm Springs.

St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands)

I'm still a bit bitter that I never made it to St. Thomas due to the hurricanes a few years ago, but hurricane season is over in December, so you're going to have a lot better luck than I did (though I won't complain about having to go to San Diego instead). There's so much to see and do and eat here, or you can just lay on the beach if you want. Here's a post I did on all the cool stuff there is to do.

photo credit


The Phi Phi islands are where you want to go when you have a tropical locale on the brain. Thailand is notoriously budget-friendly, but most recreational travelers don’t know much about the islands. Ko Phi Phi is becoming a more widely known secret, because it offers everything one could want from an island getaway: beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and perfect for diving and snorkeling. Tourism plays a big part in the economy of Ko Phi Phi and they have rebuilt a more luxurious island experience since the devastation of 2004’s tsunami. You’ll find resorts and restaurants that cater specifically to those looking for a true island experience – in between kayaking and laying out, that is.


I grew up in Tucson and I know I wasn't appreciative of it when I lived there. I don't love cactus and I don't love the heat, but if you're looking for a destination that's affordable, interesting, and rarely makes it below the 60s in the winter, then you may want to check it out. Here's a post I wrote on how to spend 2 days in the city. If you have longer, then you can definitely cram in a lot more delicious food, awesome shopping, and outdoor activities, and not have to wear a giant coat during your trip.

Where's everyone going for the holiday season?

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