8 Frugal Destinations for a Dreamy Winter Getaway

Winter is chock-full of fun activities and pastimes to enjoy with the whole family — including sledding, snowball fights, and watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve. But if you tire of the cold weather easily, the winter wonderland outside might get old quickly, especially after the holidays are over.

To break up the chilly monotony, a lot of families plan a winter getaway somewhere warm. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Thanksgiving and Christmas travel weeks are the busiest of the year.

If you're able to book your winter travel during the holidays, doing so should save you money. If you have kids in school, however, it might be hard to escape the higher price tag. Either way, it helps to know which warm weather destinations offer the best deals. Before you book your winter getaway, check out these eight cheap spots around the world.

1. Mexico

Mexico offers an array of activities for beach-lovers and adventure-seekers alike. Swim in a cenote, go zip-lining, or simply relax on a beautiful palm-lined beach.

Cities like Mazatlan offer beauty and comfort at crazy-low prices all winter long. Three-star hotels start at just $80 per night — even over the Christmas holiday. To get a beachfront room, however, rates start at around $98 per night. Since Mazatlan has its own airport, flights tend to be affordable, too. This winter, plan to pay around $400 for round-trip airfare to Mazatlan from most major cities.

2. Cuba

Now that travel to Cuba is more feasible for American tourists, a world of hotel and travel options have become available. Plenty of airlines including: Spirit, JetBlue, United, and Delta have flights to Cuba running or in the works with round-trip fares as low as $400 over winter break.

Cuban hotels run the gamut right along with the prices they charge. Count on paying around $50 per night, per person, for a lower end property, and more for something beachfront or all-inclusive.

3. Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is known for its beautiful beaches, fun and upbeat culture, and of course, low hotel rates. Even during the winter season, you can score a cheap deal on a hotel or all-inclusive resort. According to Expedia.com, you'll pay an average of $135 for a three-star hotel over winter break.

New flight options have made getting there a lot easier, and cheaper. Lots of major airlines fly to the Dominican Republic, including American Airlines, United, Delta, and even Southwest.

4. Florida

Don't overlook Florida as a cheap travel destination this winter. Outside of the big resort towns, there's a ton of value to be had. If you can drive there, you'll save a bundle. But even if you have to fly, you can find a low fare. With Southwest Airlines, for example, flights into Fort Lauderdale or Orlando from select U.S. cities cost as little as $240 over winter break.

Three-star hotels in towns like Hollywood, Florida start as low as $200, according to Expedia. You can also book a cheap, last minute rental through VRBO or Airbnb if you want to save money by preparing your own meals.

5. Arizona

There may not be any beaches in Arizona, but it is warm. Fortunately, Arizona is fairly cheap, too, even over winter break. If you can drive there, you can obviously save a lot of money.

A three-star hotel in Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix, or Mesa starts at around $122 per night. That leaves plenty of cash leftover to enjoy the great outdoors and the many natural marvels nearby.

6. Jamaica

Flights into Montego Bay cost as little as $400 during some parts of winter break, depending on where you're coming from. It helps to be flexible, both in terms of your travel dates and your departure city.

Meanwhile, three-star hotels in Montego Bay start at just $162 per night during winter break, while all-inclusive resorts (including food, drinks, and entertainment) offer rates as low as $199 per night. A beachfront stay at a property like Doctor's Cave Beach hotel starts at just $111 per night, and that's over the New Year's holiday!

7. Southern California

Flights into most southern California airports like LAX and SAN start at just $360 if you're flexible with travel dates over the winter holiday. This is partly because you're rushing against the crowd. Where most people are heading south or to the Caribbean, your southern Cali trip takes you in the opposite direction.

Hotel prices vary greatly depending on where you stay. If you need a beachfront spot, you can expect to pay more. Obviously, you'll pay less if you're slightly flexible.

8. Egypt

Feel like turning winter break into an adventure? Egypt is offering crazy-low prices on everything this holiday season. In the resort region of Sharm el-Sheikh, for example, three-star resorts start at around $33 USD per night and the average five-star hotel costs around $157. You can even stay at an all-inclusive hotel like the Club Reef for as little as $71 per night.

Flights into nearby Cairo also start as low as $780 from major U.S. cities like Boston and Chicago over the busy winter travel season.

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8 Frugal Destinations for a Dreamy Winter Getaway

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