It's the dead of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, which also means that it's the off-season in North America and Europe.
Traveling during the off-season has plenty of benefits, from lower prices on flights and accommodations to much thinner crowds. If you can deal with some colder temperatures during your trip, it can pay off big time!
If you want to take a spontaneous winter vacation, keep reading to discover five fantastic destinations for exploring during the off-season!
Prague, Czech Republic - Winter Charm
Prague may be cold during January, February, and March, but it couldn't be more magical! With snow-capped castles and cobblestone streets, Prague is a real-life winter wonderland. If you're here over the holiday season, you can enjoy enchanting Christmas markets, while January and February offer fewer crowds. You can also go ice skating at the rink in Victory Square, walk across the Charles Bridge, or explore Prague Castle. Just don't forget your hat, mittens, and winter coat!
Caribbean Islands - Summer Serenity
The Caribbean is much quieter during the winter, but that doesn't mean it isn't warm! During the winter months, you can enjoy fewer crowds with the same pleasant tropical weather and plenty of sun. All-inclusive resorts and cruise lines often have fantastic deals during January and February – luckily, you won't get the Christmas or spring break prices. Lay out in the sun, snorkel in colorful reefs, and enjoy water sports.
Kyoto, Japan - Tranquility in the Off-Season
In the summer, Kyoto is very hot and humid, so winter is a great time to visit! Temperatures can be chilly this time of year but are generally mild, and you'll see snow-covered temples without all the tourists. If you visit in February, you can celebrate Setsubun, a festival celebrating the end of winter and the beginning of Spring.
New Zealand - Summer Adventure
Because New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, its summer falls between December and February, making this one of the best times to visit, especially if you live somewhere cold during these months. Escape the cold and enjoy the sun at New Zealand's Ninety Mile Beach, or go sailing in the Bay of Islands to see some of the most stunning scenery in the world.
San Diego - Southern California Sun
San Diego is mild and sunny year-round, so it's extremely pleasant during January and February. The bright sun and mild temperatures allow you to comfortably explore Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and La Jolla Cove, where you might even see a sea lion or two. History lovers can visit the U.S.S. Midway Museum, while culinary enthusiasts can explore Little Italy. San Diego is a much cheaper alternative to Los Angeles, plus it's usually warmer!
Who says you can't travel in the winter? With thin crowds and great prices, winter travel is sometimes even better than summer destinations! From gorgeous beaches to cozy winter wonderlands, these off-season destinations have plenty to offer while giving you the best bang for your buck.