Six of the best places to travel in winter

If you’re wondering where to go in winter, wonder no more. Whether you’re looking for winter vacations on snowy mountains or sun-drenched shores, we’ve got top picks for the best places to go in winter, both at home and abroad, coming up. And if your budget is tight, you can check out some options for affordable winter vacations too.

Warm winter destinations

When your hometown is covered with snow over the winter months, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of jetting off to somewhere sunny. Vacationers seeking a little sunshine over the winter months will find plenty of it offered at these top warm winter destinations.

Winter travel in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Average highs in the 80s and a unique blend of African and Spanish cultures give Puerto Rico plenty of appeal. The capital of San Juan, a cruise port perched along the island’s Atlantic coast, has golden-sand beaches, glittering casinos, and a cobblestoned old town filled with colorful colonial buildings and 16th-century landmarks. Side trips from the nation’s commander-in-chief include El Yunque National Forest, a tropical rainforest with waterfalls, hikes, and rare birds that’s typically no more than 45 minutes’ drive from San Juan vacation home rentals.

Winter trips to Mirissa, Sri Lanka

While much of northern Sri Lanka is plagued by persistent rain during the winter months, the nation’s southern province is very much postcard-perfect. Among all the winter vacation destinations along the coast, Mirissa proves a consistently popular choice – travelers drawn here by the promise of silky-sand beaches, simple waterfront dining, and the odd al fresco party. The rising temperatures in Sri Lanka’s south don’t go unnoticed by the animal kingdom either, the warm waters of the Indian Ocean attracting a myriad of whales and dolphins from November through April.

Cold winter vacations

Looking for a winter wonderland for your next vacation? From the intriguing to the downright freezing, the planet is packed with great choices for snowy winter vacations. You’ll find the low-down on two of the best cold places to visit in winter coming right up.

Winter vacations in Banff, Canada

As winter travel destinations go, Banff is one of the best-loved winter vacation spots in the Great White North. It’s a season when this Canadian resort town is at its chilliest, though there are plenty who’d argue that winter also sees the town at its most charming. Visitors enjoy boutique shopping and delicious dining on Banff Avenue or find adventure in the mountains beyond. You can ski, snowboard, and sled to your heart’s content on the slopes of the Sunshine, Lake Louise, and Norquay resorts, or get a bird’s eye view of the snow-capped Canadian Rockies on a helicopter tour you’ll never forget.

Winter breaks in Oslo, Norway

One of Scandinavia’s most intriguing places to visit in winter, Oslo sits at the head of the spectacular Oslofjord on the country’s southern coast. Winter vacation packages to the Norwegian capital often include a fjord sightseeing cruise, though there’s a bundle of stuff to do on land too. See the 9th-century boats on display at the Viking Ship Museum, enjoy lunch with a view at the waterfront Norwegian Maritime Museum, or head to the hills to take on the Corkscrew sledding run, which covers a hair-raising 6,500-plus feet between the Frognerseteren and Midtstuen metro stations.

Affordable winter vacations in the USA

If you’re eager to enjoy a winter vacation but lack the bucks for a far-flung getaway, you can stop worrying. Some of the best – and most affordable – winter destinations can be found in your own backyard. Here are just two of the oodles of great places to travel in December on a budget.

Cheap winter rentals in Los Angeles, California

While New York is taking on the worst of Mother Nature’s moods over on the East Coast, Los Angeles is welcoming her warmer side. It’s not just balmy temperatures on the beaches that put Los Angeles on a list of the best winter travel destinations, of course. The City of Angels offers affordable winter vacation rentals right through the season, not to mention ice skating during the holidays and Chinese New Year celebrations that last into mid-February. Outdoor fans can take advantage of some of California’s clearest days to hike Mount Hollywood.

Affordable winter vacations on Tybee Island, Georgia

Winter on Tybee Island offers a quieter, more relaxed island experience than usual. Fewer crowds mean there’s plenty of space to explore the island’s museums and cultural attractions, with many throwing their doors open for free as part of Super Museum Sunday. Then come the city’s annual festive boat parade and its showy New Year’s Eve fireworks display, both guaranteed to put a little Christmas cheer in your heart. Despite the city’s seasonal appeal, Tybee Island vacation home rentals are at their most affordable in winter – making it the ideal time to book a budget-friendly break.