Last Updated on December 22, 2023
Many people choose to travel and vacation during the winter months. Plenty of places really come to life in the colder months, transforming into picturesque winter wonderlands. For other tourist destinations, winter is considered the off-peak season — meaning fewer crowds and queues to visit popular landmarks and attractions. Vacationing in the winter can also help save you money — especially if you choose a budget-friendly destination.
The Winter Wallet
Whether you want to spend the holidays abroad or jet off in the New Year to escape the January blues, finances are likely to be a concern as the holiday season is one of the most expensive times of the year for many. In a discussion about holiday spending habits worldwide, ExpressVPN’s article highlights a study revealing that the average American spends approximately $1,000 on Christmas-related expenses like food and gifts.
If spending has shrunk your winter wallet, more expensive destinations may be out of your budget. Thankfully, there are plenty of places to visit without breaking the bank!
Here are three examples:
Iceland’s natural beauty is known all over the world. Although the sparsely-populated Nordic country has a reputation for being an expensive travel destination, you can definitely explore its wonders on a tighter budget — even in the capital city of Reykjavik.
There are plenty of attractions you can see for free, from the iconic expressionist architecture of the Hallgrímskirkja church to the gorgeous colored glass structure of the Harpa Concert Hall. The awe-inspiring Gullfoss waterfall is only a couple of hours’ drive west, and traveling anywhere in the country with lower levels of light pollution is a fantastic way to see the world-famous aurora borealis or the northern lights.
Icelandic delicacies are easily available and affordable all over Reykjavik — the city has a vibrant street food culture, especially when the local Christmas markets are on!
Mexico City, Mexico
Perhaps you want to travel in winter to escape the cold and get some well-needed sun. If that’s the case, Mexico’s capital is an excellent choice of destination. It isn’t just warmer weather in Mexico City either — there’s a rich history, vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and a favorable exchange rate from dollar to peso!
In historic neighborhoods like Coyoacan and San Angel, you can find gorgeous street art and painted buildings. If you’re hungry, you can get tacos, tamales, churros, and other Mexican delicacies from the bustling street markets for cheap prices. What’s more, museums like the National Museum of Anthropology and the Frida Kahlo Museum are all affordable, with some reduced rates for children and seniors.
In Zocalo, Mexico City’s main square, you can see festive decorations over the Christmas period and witness the traditional Posadas processions and music. Feliz Navidad!
Southeast Asia is known for being a budget-friendly part of the world for travelers. Vietnam is the ideal combination of being fascinating and affordable, and its capital, Hanoi, is one of Vietnam’s most interesting cities.
There’s plenty to explore in Hanoi. You can visit iconic landmarks like the Temple of Literature and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum for fairly low prices or stroll through the narrow streets of the historic Old Quarter, with its historic architecture and busy markets. Vietnam’s street food is world-famous, from pho noodle soup to banh mi sandwiches.
If you’re there in February, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, sees the colorful parades and performances of the Tet Festival. Wherever you go, Vietnam’s climate is mild and pleasant during winter, which is great if you want to avoid extremes of temperature.
While these destinations are all excellent budget-friendly choices for a winter break, they are only three examples of many! If you do your research and think outside of the box, you can find somewhere interesting to visit for any budget.