20 Cities To Visit This Winter That Won't Break The Bank

Going on vacation in December is for the most part, only accomplished by wealthy people. School holidays, office closings, Christmas, and New Year's make almost all trips incredibly expensive. Prices drop after the first week of January when life goes back to normal, but not everywhere. Certain hot spots remain costly, but you can still take a few days off and travel to a place that won't burn a hole through your wallet.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Your best bet is to keep an eye on travel packages and deals via various sites or your favorite travel deal website. There are some excellent deals for Vegas because people would rather not go during the coldest time of the year. You get even better rates if your dates are flexible and you are able to travel on weekdays. The weather in the Sin City is also perfect for people who don't like too high or low temperatures and the variety of adventures (other than gambling) are endless.

Copenhagen, Denmark

After Norwegian Airlines stepped up their game, fares to Copenhagen have dropped. You can easily find tickets for around $300 from New York. Hotels are cheaper than previous years but renting a private apartment is even cheaper. Your daily costs don't have to exceed $15, including sleep accommodations, and you'll still be able to enjoy the city to the fullest. Find your way in Bronze Age labyrinths, water mazes, and look in and outside a rainbow and sail a Viking long boat.

San Diego, California

If you want to experience world-class surfing without having to break the bank, San Diego in the winter is your destination. Surfing there is on the great American bucket list. The city is one of the coolest surfing towns in the world. It has awesome wave pools in addition to a plethora of good surf spots. You can find hotels for under $100 per night (usually at their lowest this time of year). Flights from New York go for about $300 round trip.

Barcelona, Spain

Surrounded by mountains and the sea, the setting of this progressive Spanish city is stunning. The art and architecture comes close to matching its natural beauty. Landmarks like La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and the Gothic quarter are breathtaking sights that you shouldn't miss, but beyond these sights is a city with world-class nightlife, excellent restaurants and outdoor adventure opportunities. Flights to Barcelona right now are about $500.

Seattle, Washington

You can find very good flight deals to Seattle right now. Few cities are as tough to describe or as worthy of exploration as ever-changing Seattle. With each neighborhood carving out its own slice of culture, there is no shortage of things to do or see. Revel in the rich art and music scene, dine in incredible new restaurants or check out nearby outdoor adventures and hike the North Cascades or paddle Puget Sound.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

The gorgeous Jamaican spot may look expensive, but there are plenty of options to help you keep the cost down. Many hotels in the area offer discounts and the food and drinks are reasonably priced as well for the rest of the high season that goes into April. Many flights are direct because the Montego Bay has several busy airports. You can find hotels for about $70, according to Hotels.com.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Escape the snow with great music and unforgettable food. The city is famous all over the world for its jazz, zydeco, blues, Cajun & funk events. The most popular street to listen to the best music is Frenchmen Street. If you're not interested in Mardi Gras mania, plan to visit in January. The city is like an art paradise for the soul. New Orleans also offers a lot of history lessons. A major tourist attraction is the National WWII Museum. Flights right now are under $200 from Chicago and Los Angeles.

Bucharest, Romania

The city has been known as "Little Paris" because of its architecture. The small streets, beautiful buildings, parks and gardens will definitely make you feel romantic. As is the case with most places in Eastern Europe, flight and hotel prices drop significantly after Christmas and New Year's Eve. The weather is cold but there is plenty to do. Don't miss the gorgeous Old Town and the stunning, huge Palace of Parliament, which is the second largest government building in the world after the Pentagon.  

Buenos Aires, Argentina

You don't have to cross oceans and continents to reach a cheap getaway destination. Visit the home of the tango, some of the world's best steaks, and penguins without breaking the bank. Argentine food and wine alone are not a bad reason to add it to your travel bucket list. Buenos Aires is one of the world's most exhilarating capital cities, with astonishing art, captivating neighborhoods, and excellent food. Many hotels in the capital offer rates for under $70 per night.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has been having a tough year, but surprisingly, tourism is holding quite steady. With consistent temperatures ranging from the low 70's  to high 80's, travelers coming from cold areas of the U.S. would love to bask in that sunshine. Their high season is May through July, so prices will definitely be cheaper now. The island is a popular destination for romantic getaways, adventure, and nightlife. Flights from New York are about $100.

Berlin, Germany

Germany's capital city has undergone a renaissance in recent years. Emerging as one of Europe's most culturally vibrant centers, Berlin is on the cutting edge when it comes to art, fashion, and nightlife, offering visitors a mix of glamour and grit. Hotel rates are around $100 per night. The city looks back at its dark history through powerful attractions such as the Checkpoint Charlie Museum and Topography of Terror. You can find flights from Boston and New York for about $300.

La Paz, Bolivia

Sitting at 3,660 feet above sea level, La Paz is the highest capital city in the world. It won't break the bank to go there for a few days. The buzzing markets of the city are themselves a popular attraction. Few items will cost you more than a dollar per pound. You can easily find hotels for about $50 a night. A large meal at a mid-range restaurant will be about $10. 

Scottsdale, Arizona

Weather is hot or warm pretty much all year round. That's why the best time to visit is the winter because you get the comfortable "warm" temperatures. It's always usually around 60s. You can take a free barn tour at the famous Arabian Horse Show if you go in February. Go on a half-day mountain bike tour through the Sonoran Desert, home to some of the Southwest's best mountain-biking trails, or kayak through the desert's Salt River, a lush oasis surrounded by red cliffs and wondrous wildlife.

Havana, Cuba

Now that the restrictions to visit as a tourist have been loosened, you can start planning your vacation to explore the beauty that lies in Cuba. It is becoming a hot spot so go now before prices skyrocket. Stay at the historic, and renovated, Hotel Saratoga on the outskirts of Old Havana. Don't miss a chance to enjoy the rooftop pool from which you can see the entire city and its classic beauty. Flights from Miami in February are about $150, according to CheapFlights.

Tremblant, Quebec, Canada

This is a lesser-known Canadian ski destination that's also less crowded. This quaint European-style town is built around an impressive ski mountain, but there's so much more to Tremblant than downhill. The village is infamous for top-rated dining and exciting nightlife options, all of which are steps from the base of the mountain. Flights from New York are about $300.

Tulum, Mexico

Visit the Mayan ruins, swim in their gorgeous bright blue waters, go diving in El Gran Cenote – an underground cavern, and go snorkeling in one of their spectacular swimming holes. Playa Paraíso beach is still free, as are many of Tulum's shores, so you can save money. Archaeological sites such as the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, don't charge much at all. You can find deals for under $80 in January and February, and flights are under $300.

Catalina, California

This is where you go for one of the best snorkeling adventures of your life. By far, the Lover's Cove is the most popular snorkel spots off Catalina. It is a protected area with kelp forest, rock reef, and a "zoo" of cool-water inhabitants. Less than 50 miles off the coast of California, Catalina Island is a picture perfect escape that's just a short boat, plane or helicopter ride from Los Angeles. Adventurous travelers will enjoy kayaking off the coast, hiking or zip lining. The rugged island is a popular summer escape, so visit now for fewer crowds and nicer weather. 

Dublin, Ireland

Days may be shorter, but locals have plenty of ways to make the most of them in the winter (when the weather is mild compared to the rest of Europe). A lot of music events are organized. Walk the Great South Wall, a sea wall built around 1750 about a mile out into Dublin Bay. Dublin's well-known pub culture is equally enjoyable year-round, but cozying up in pubs is even more welcoming in the colder months. Also, this is the off season in Ireland, which means great package deals and no crowds.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Everybody is going to Cancun, which drives prices up this time of the year. Puerto Vallarta is a great alternative with perfect weather and a major airport which guarantees good airline deals. Tickets from Los Angeles are around $300 and from Boston around $350, according to Expedia. You can find 3- and 4-star hotels with nighty rates of $150 per couple.

A national park

Experiencing a national park in the wintertime may just be the parks' biggest secret. Winter transforms the parks into majestic landscapes you have never seen before – vast ranges topped with white powder, dusted trails with no crowds, ice caves and frozen lakes and rivers. Imagine strangely-shaped red pillars against the striking contrast of snowflakes. You don't have to fly and spend exuberant amount of money on fancy hotels. A simple road trip will do.