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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

5 Budget Winter Destinations

It's not even winter yet, but I can feel the winter blahs coming. The cold, rainy weather has arrived in Portland and I'm already over wearing a coat, considering it's usually windy as well, so your hood doesn't even stay up well. If you're thinking about a getaway this winter, you're not the only one. I've already got a trip to Arizona planned in January and will be traveling to Vegas in February.

It's not even winter yet, but I can feel the winter blahs coming. If you're thinking about a getaway this winter, you're not the only one.

You can get away on a budget, too. Let's look at 5 destinations to start planning a trip to:

Photo by Wei Zeng on Unsplash

Puerto Rico

When you're needing to escape to somewhere warm, the Caribbean is there to welcome you. Enjoy the beach, delicious foods, the rainforest, casinos, and even the mountains. Turn your vacation into something much different than others by following the food trail and going on a culinary adventure. You will need to have proof that you are fully vaccinated and are Covid negative, or you will be quarantined upon arrival until you can take a test and results come back negative.

Photo by Kit Suman on Unsplash


Though Italy is still in a state of emergency, that doesn't mean you can't visit. In fact, they are open to visitors from many countries, including the U.S. There are many historic sites you can visit, there's still amazing food you can eat, and the city itself is just gorgeous, so even if you stayed outside most of the time, you'd still be getting a lovely vacation. You must either present proof of vaccination, or recovery from Covid, and present a negative Covid test.

Las Vegas

Spend your days that would be cold and dark at home by the pool in Las Vegas. I love going off The Strip and enjoying other things the city has to offer. Downtown's art district is lovely and you can view so much free art just by walking around. The Container Park has many outdoor dining options. Ethel M's allows you to view a real, working chocolate factory, and the cactus garden is beautiful in the day and lights up after dark. I would also highly recommend Springs Preserve, which combines the history of Las Vegas, indigenous plants and animals, and art to create an awesome day out. If you're traveling domestically, there aren't any restrictions, though there are still mask mandates indoors, including in casinos (a woman asked me this when I told her she needed to wear one in Las Vegas, despite being from "elsewhere", like casinos weren't all indoors. 

San Diego

With mild temps during the winter, San Diego is lovely, historical, and full of amazing things to see and do. This is another city that has a lot of outdoor choices: Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Mission Beach Boardwalk. You can see my post hereAgain, there are no vaccination rules for travelers, but masks are mandated for all indoor public spaces.

Photo by Kathryn Maingot on Unsplash


Looking for a beach vacay that also feels Mediterranean? Head to Barbados to drink rum, go scuba diving (or snorkeling if you're not that adventurous), go hiking, and even take a safari tour. There's something for everyone here, including amazing historical architecture and fantastic cuisine. Even fully-vaccinated travelers will need to present a specific negative Covid test.

Did this satisfy any of your wanderlust? My runners-up for budget destinations are Tulum, Mexico (this has become very popular though and may well be insanely crowded), Santa Fe, NM, and Quebec City.

Sometimes, just a change of scenery can do you good, even if the weather is similar to where you live. I know just seeing new things and eating different food and engaging with people I don't know gives me that reset I need in life to not feel like I want to jump out of my skin when I'm home again. It keeps the SAD at bay long enough to get to Spring (for me). Destination Date Nights can only do so much.

Are you planning a winter getaway? If so, where are you going?

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