The cost of the holidays can leave even the biggest of budgets stretched a little thin – the price of a tree, tinsel, and treats often serving to make lavish winter getaways out of the question. That’s not to say you should sit at home and wait for summer, though. Leave the hibernating to the bears and dive in to discover six must-visit winter destinations that offer serious value for money.

Cheap winter getaways in Colorado Springs

Boasting a central position and served by countless budget airlines, Colorado Springs demands top billing in any line up of cheap winter getaways in the USA. While parts of Colorado are buried in snow over the frosty winter period, Colorado Springs is plenty milder. It can still be chilly, of course, but an extra layer or two is all that’s typically needed to enjoy local icons like Garden of the Gods Park – a stunning National Natural Landmark where features include towering sandstone rock formations and the Geo-Trekker theater experience.

Affordable winter breaks in Panama

Panama may not be the first destination you think of when researching the cheapest places to travel in winter, though it’s one you shouldn’t rule out too quickly. You’ll need to look around for the cheapest flight deals, perhaps booking early to secure the best price – but the low cost of dining and attractions when you get to Panama proves consistently appealing. Visitors can admire the orange-roofed old town’s colonial architecture, sip coffee in Casco Viejo’s Plaza Bolivar, or head to Bocas del Toro for unforgettable underwater adventures.

Warm winter vacations in Tulum

The Mexican seaside community of Tulum can be a little on the expensive side in December and January, though if you can hold out just a little longer, cheap vacations in February come courtesy of good deals on both flights and vacation home rentals. It’s a warm winter vacation destination that’s perhaps best known for its pre-Columbian Mayan ruins and picture-perfect beaches dotted with huge sea turtles, though there are plenty of contenders for enjoyable side trips too. The UNESCO-tagged Sian Ka’an Biosphere with its tropical forests, marshes, and mangroves is one example of the options on the menu.

Low-price picks in Punta Cana

The Dominican Republic is no stranger to a snowbird, though perhaps never more so than in Punta Cana, a collection of beach towns that hug the shoreline of the country’s far eastern edge. The beaches are the big draw at this affordable winter vacation destination, although temperatures in the 70s and 80s, limited rainfall, and around eight hours of daily sunshine offer plenty of excuses to explore. The Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park is just one of the many excursions available, this privately-owned reserve boasting 1,500 acres of subtropical forest and several freshwater lagoons open for swimming.

Bang for the buck in Barcelona

If you’re eager to head a little further afield for your cheap winter vacation, Spain is a destination that’s frequently associated with cheap winter breaks - falling prices and affordable vacation rentals putting Barcelona among the country’s cheapest places to travel in January through April. Activities in the atmospheric Catalan capital needn’t cost too much, either – admiring the city’s brooding Gothic quarter, soaking up the atmosphere of La Boqueria market, and strolling along the iconic Las Ramblas are all on the house.

Fair prices in the Florida Keys

While the phrase cheap winter vacations in the US isn’t typically associated with the sun-drenched Florida Keys, this palm-dotted coral cay archipelago in the Sunshine State boasts several warm winter destinations where prices for a tropical retreat are nowhere near as high as you might assume. Cheap vacation home rentals are often at their most abundant in the likes of Islamorada and Marathon – both packed with attractions but, also, still within easy reach of water sports in the Key Largo Dive Center and the lively sunset celebrations in Key West’s Mallory Square.