Winter travelers frequently select tropical destinations to avoid bone-chilling January with its inevitable gloom, the February avalanche of white and the bitter sweep of March winds. While winter travel destinations that require coats, hats, mittens and boots are less popular choices, cold-weather vacations can inspire the adventurous to enjoy the winter season’s unique offerings — if the traveler approaches the trip with the right frame of mind.
Why would you want to visit a locale with a cold climate in the winter? Some key reasons:
The heavy tourist season coincides with warm weather in all but a few destinations (such as ski resorts). Traveling in the off-season allows the winter traveler to avoid the crowds, see more, see it with less hassle and see it without the distraction of tourist competition.
More Authentic Experience
Winter travelers see destinations as they are when they aren’t overrun with tourists and thus their experience of those destinations is more authentic. As an off-season traveler, the winter tourist is more likely to meet locals and engage with them. During much of the high tourist season, the locals are off vacationing themselves.
A Different View
Visiting a tourist destination in winter offers a vastly different view than visiting the same destination during the summer. Majestic snow peaks, statues shrouded in moody gray clouds and cheerful holiday décor are some of the experiences winter travel facilitates.
Winter travel to cold weather climates is not as popular as travel to warm climates, and it is considerably less expensive. Tourists choosing winter travel to cold climates may be able to afford trips they otherwise could not afford. They also may be able to afford to do more once they arrive at their winter travel destination. Once at they’ve arrived, winter travelers to cold climates may be pleasantly pleased to find that prices for purchased items and activities are lower than they would be in the high tourist season when the demand is higher and when the locals are not the ones paying.
How much can you save on winter travel as compared to summer travel to the same destination? GoBudgetTravel documented that winter airfare to Europe from the United States is 83 percent cheaper, while winter airfare to the Mideast and Asia results in 66 and 34 percent discounts, respectively. African airfare averages 29 percent less in the winter while South and Central America, with their warmer climates, are barely discounted.
Improved State of Mind
Winter weather often brings on melancholy, so why would anyone trying to escape winter weather at home choose to migrate to a locale experiencing that same winter weather? One philosophy that some find appealing is that if you are going to experience winter, you may as well experience it somewhere new, somewhere that offers excitement, somewhere that takes your focus off the weather and redirects it to the enchantments foreign lands have to offer. In other words, make the best of winter rather than letting winter get the best of you.
If wanderlust is nagging you, winter is depressing you and the economy sucking up your travel budget as fast as you earn it, consider substituting winter travel to a cold weather destination for the unattainable tropical winter break.