How to Plan a Warmer Vacation This Winter
After the craziness that this year has brought with it, most of us are in dire need of a vacation. The cold winter weather that is mere weeks away from setting in may have you thinking that going away to somewhere warm sounds pretty good. If you're thinking a warm vacation this winter is just what the doctor ordered, best start planning now.
Go Somewhere Warm
Of course, the first thing you need to do is pick where you want to go. For a warm winter vacation, somewhere generally south is a good place to start. If you're going for somewhere in the contiguous United States, California and Florida are popular vacation options. Southern California tends to have temperate weather all year long. It might not be warm enough for you to want to get in the water though. The currents in the Pacific Ocean pull the water down from the north, so it's bound to be cold. Winter is Florida's dry season, and despite it still being winter, the weather tends to be warm and sunny. You can easily get away with short sleeves during the day and a light jacket at night.
Look for Travel Deals
Money is tight for a lot of people these days, so travel deals are a must when preparing for a winter getaway. The travel and hospitality industries have been hit pretty hard by the pandemic, which can be an advantage for travelers. Airlines are still offering fairly inexpensive plane tickets, and you may find accommodations with discounted prices as well. If you have a travel credit card, you may have additional perks you can take advantage of for even greater savings.
Plan Fun Activities
Part of the purpose of going on a vacation is to have fun. Make sure you plan some fun activities for your stay. What you are able to do will be dependent on where you decide to go, but there's a good chance that the warm temperatures will entice you outside. You might enjoy soaking up the rays, hiking, exercising outdoors, swimming, or even sightseeing. Keep in mind that with the pandemic still ongoing, different areas may have different restrictions regarding what you are allowed to do. It will be important to take that into consideration both when choosing your destination and planning your activities. Be prepared to be flexible with your plans in case circumstances change and require you to adapt.
Rent a House
If you've been on a vacation before, you've likely stayed in at least one hotel. While there are differences from hotel to hotel, after a while you may start to feel like you've seen it all. The predictability can be nice, but renting a house may be a better option. Houses have a wider variety of features and amenities. You may even find a house with a deck. Decks have benefits if you're part of a large group. These types of accommodations also tend to do a better job at making you feel at home while you're away. Renting a house can also be a far more cost effective option for bigger groups, since they can usually accommodate more people and it's easier to split the bill.
Decide When You're Going
Just as important as deciding where you're going is deciding when you're going. You'll need to pick dates to book transportation and accommodations. This can have an impact on pricing as well. Flights and accommodations often have different price points during different days of the week, reflecting consumer demand for them. When making this decision, try to take the local weather into account to make the most of what should be a warm, pleasant experience. It may also be worth looking into what events are taking place at a local level. If there are winter events you have an interest in, try to plan your vacation to coincide with them. Keep in mind that you'll probably pay more as a result, as the demand for travel and hospitality services is likely to increase.
Be smart about packing for a winter vacation. Travel, especially by flight, tends to ramp up during winter months, so traveling light can be especially helpful. If you can, pack everything into a carry-on bag. You'll avoid checked baggage fees and almost guarantee that your luggage won't go missing. Pack smart in terms of what you bring as well. Bring clothes that are appropriate for your destination. If you have bulky items you want to bring, try wearing them instead of packing them to save on space in your luggage.
Vacations can be expensive, and no one wants to feel like they have to penny pinch while on vacation just to afford one. If you've decided you want to take a vacation this winter, start saving now. Take a look at what transportation, accommodation, and food costs are likely to be like and use them as a starting point for figuring out how much you are likely to need to fund your trip. Set a target goal for yourself and figure out how much you'll have to save from each paycheck in order to meet it. Don't be afraid of saving more either. More savings means an emergency cash fund or even just some extra money on hand to have some extra fun.
Take Advantage of PTO
One of the downsides of taking a vacation is that you are potentially double dipping into your personal finances. You're probably spending a decent amount of cash, and you probably aren't working, so you aren't bringing money in to offset it either. If you have PTO, that isn't necessarily the case though. PTO may not roll over from year to year, so if you have any left, take advantage of it during your vacation. You'll be getting paid to go have fun, and since you saved for your vacation you won't be using money you'll need to put to other expenses.
A warm winter vacation can be a great way to chase away any winter blues and get yourself prepared to face what's coming in the new year. It will take some planning and preparation to pull off, so start now if you haven't already. This will help set you up for some much needed fun in the sun.
Ready to plan your next vacation? Contact us today so we can help you make it happen!