It can be chilly in many parts of the country during the winter months, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay out in the cold.
You can still have a great time at any number of winter getaways even if you’re on a budget or trying to find ways to supplement your Social Security. It just depends on where you want to go and what kind of deals you can find.
So pack some sunscreen and some warm-weather attire and get out of the cold with these affordable destinations that won’t break the bank.
Savannah is a wonderful place to visit if you like the charm of historical homes and other unique attractions. This southern city is also a great place to wander, with plenty of parks and a riverwalk.
And make sure you check out a sightseeing tour by day or a ghost tour at night to get a good feel for the city.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is another great southern city that’s particularly inviting for music fans. The area is well known for plenty of jazz clubs or other live music that will suit just about any taste.
Check out the French Quarter for drinks and food as you take in the unique New Orleans architecture along Bourbon Street. And make sure gumbo or beignets are on your dining budget while you’re there.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas has something for everyone. While you can gamble at any number of casinos on the Strip, there are also plenty of options for non-gamblers as well.
Check out a show at one of the hotels or try different restaurants at a variety of price points depending on your budget.
And don't forget about the casino buffets. Some may be pricier than others, so it’s a good idea to see what your options are before you decide to eat there.
South Padre Island, Texas
South Padre Island’s beaches can be a warm place to relax during the cold winter months up north. You can enjoy plenty of seafood and drinks at one of the many restaurants along the Gulf of Mexico.
For a more active day, try horseback riding on the firm beaches on the island. You can also sit on a local beach to read, although the water may be a little chilly for swimming during the winter.
A warning for retirees looking for a relaxing getaway: The area is a favorite for spring breakers so remember to plan your trip before or after they arrive.
Tampa Bay, Florida
On the eastern side of the Gulf of Mexico is Tampa Bay. Although Tampa is a big city, the area around Tampa Bay is filled with activities. Walk along the city’s riverwalk in the morning or enjoy a round of golf in the afternoon without having to worry about too much heat.
Make sure you include the Florida Aquarium and Zoo on your travel list and check out its website for tickets. Prices can vary depending on when you visit so try to pick a day that’s not as busy for the best deals.
Palm Springs, California
If the desert is more appealing, head to Palm Springs, where temperatures will be comfortable in the winter compared to the heat of the summer.
Palm Springs offers plenty of outdoor activities like hiking in Joshua Tree National Park or being dazzled by the waterfall in Tahquitz Canyon.
You can also enjoy a stroll down Palm Canyon Drive with plenty of galleries or shops that carry mid-century modern treats.
In the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix is another big city that has a lot to offer. If you want culture, visit the Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum of Native American art and culture, or the Musical Instrument Museum.
Nearby Scottsdale is home to more than 200 golf courses, so you can enjoy a round of golf while your home course is buried under snow. And with so many courses to choose from, you can find a place to play no matter your budget.
Pro tip: If you’re a Costco member, check out Costco travel packages. You may be able to save some extra money with your membership or get additional deals while you’re at a resort in the area.
Kona is home to plenty of warm beaches that you can enjoy during the winter months, but there are many other activities too.
In Volcanoes National Park — where Mauna Loa recently erupted — you can take a hike or tour the volcanoes in the area, but be sure to check current restrictions. The island also has plenty of delicious restaurants and a variety of places to stay depending on your budget.
If you’re retired, you have the flexibility to travel during the week instead of the weekend. On weekdays, you may get better prices on airline tickets and save money.
If you’re a wine lover, check out the Santa Ynez Valley wine country north of Los Angeles. The area isn’t as popular as places like Napa Valley, which gives you the chance to take an affordable trip to plenty of wineries in the area.
The quaint Danish-inspired town of Solvang also has restaurants you can try or you can take a stroll through the town to admire the architecture and European feel.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Along the Gulf Coast of Alabama is Gulf Shores, which boasts beautiful beaches and azure water.
You can enjoy plenty of affordable activities on the water like kayaking or paddleboarding, or you might want to head out on a fishing trip.
The area also offers a variety of places to eat and enjoy the local seafood and warm nights.
Before you leave, make sure you have the best travel credit cards in your wallet to maximize your saving when you’re making your winter escape.
To help you stay within your budget, you can also travel on a non-busy day or book your trip for the off-peak season when prices may be lower.
And don't forget to look for ways to save money now so you can enjoy the most out of your vacation later.
Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
- Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
- Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
- No foreign transaction fees
- Apply Now
- Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.
- 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
- Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
- Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
- 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 17.99% - 27.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee applies to all balance transfers.
- If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
- Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
- This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
on Bank of America’s secure websiteRead Card Review
Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
Why we like it