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18 Best Cheap Places to Travel in December

Written by Shandley McMurray and Joni Sweet Updated Nov 13, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Let's face it, nothing's cheap in December. Have you ever wanted to escape it all and relax somewhere fantastic, without the pressure of endless gatherings and gift wrapping? We've got good news: December is a fantastic month to find travel deals—as long as you're planning to vacation before Christmas and New Year's .

Airlines and hotel companies want to fill up their seats (and rooms) prior to the holiday rush, so great bargains abound and cheap places to travel in December do exist. From a luxurious beach break to a week spent in the wonderful chaos of Vegas, this list offers an extensive range of vacation spots to suit even the lightest pocketbook.

The earlier you book, the better the price, so get moving! Plan your trip with our list of the best cheap places to travel in December.

1. Las Vegas, Nevada

2. belize, central america, 3. orlando, florida, 4. oaxaca, mexico, 5. budapest, hungary, 6. salt lake city, utah, 7. los angeles, california, 8. montego bay and kingston, jamaica, 9. punta cana, dominican republic, 10. st. thomas, u.s. virgin islands, 11. stowe, vermont, 12. banff, alberta, canada, 13. québec city, québec, canada, 14. costa rica, 15. chicago, illinois, 16. arlington, texas, 17. charlotte, north carolina, 18. puerto rico, map of cheap places to travel in december.

Las Vegas at sunset

Step into the action with a trip to Las Vegas. Known for its unique atmosphere and non-stop buzz, this desert city takes you from New York to Paris, all in one strip. The best part: it's affordable. The cheapest December vacation on this list, Vegas wants you to visit so much that its hotels offer incredible deals.

Whether you've dreamt of staying at the Bellagio Las Vegas , Excalibur Hotel , or MGM Grand Hotel , you're sure to find an affordable rate in the lead-up to Christmas. Book your stay as part of a travel package, and the savings become even more attractive.

While you're here, make time for a walk along The Strip , a trip to the Mob Museum , and a tour of the nearby Grand Canyon .

  • Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Las Vegas

Dock and palm trees in Belize

Want fun in the sun without a giant price tag? Book a trip to Belize. Do it in December, and you won't Belize the deals (sorry, we had to)! From exploring Mayan ruins to diving in the Great Blue Hole (a massive marine sinkhole) to snorkeling along the Belize Barrier Reef (the world's second-largest reef behind Australia's Great Barrier Reef ), there's plenty to do in paradise. Not a big swimmer? Visit the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve for a beautiful hike through pine forests, around waterfalls, and through caves.

Your wallet will welcome the load of extra cash you've saved by timing your trip for this perfectly warm (about 82 degrees), relatively dry time of year. Plus, the pristine beaches, dense jungles, and inviting turquoise waters will help you forget about any money (or other) woes.

  • Top-Rated Things to Do in Belize
  • Best Things to Do in San Pedro, Belize

Lake Eola and downtown Orlando

It may not be the most romantic Floridian destination, but Orlando often offers the best deals, especially during the lead up to the holidays. At this time of year, many of Orlando's hotels are close to half price. You'll likely get lucky in the airfare department as well, particularly if you book early.

With all that money you've saved, why not treat the kids (and yourselves) to a pre-holiday visit to Disney World , Universal Studios , or Sea World Orlando ? Not up for insane crowds and listening to "It's a Small World" on repeat? Snorkel in Discovery Cove or visit the sloths in Orlando's Exotic Animal Experience .

Alternatively, take a day trip to some of the beaches near Orlando and soak up a little sun and sand for an afternoon. Or drive an hour east to explore the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. It's home to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame and interactive exhibits on space missions.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Orlando

Monte Alban ruins

This Southern Mexican city has plenty to offer tourists looking for a good deal in December. Enjoy great savings on hotel rooms and at some local venues as well. You're likely heading to Mexico for some sol , so plan to spend quality time poolside.

When you're not soaking up the rays (while wearing sunblock, of course), Oaxaca boasts a ton of things to do to keep you busy and intrigued. Book a bike tour, soak up the history at the ancient ruins in Monte Alban , take a cooking class (who doesn't love Mexican food?), or visit one of the multiple churches in town.

Love museums? Soak up some culture and history at the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca and Museo de Filatelia de Oaxaca, A.C. Then, take to the markets in the city's central square, Plaza de Armas .

Don't miss Noche de los Rábanos (a.k.a. Night of the Radishes) on December 23. This historic festival began in 1897 and includes fireworks, music, dances, great food, and a competition for the best-carved radish.

View over Budapest in winter

Bundle up! Budapest's chilly weather keeps most tourists away in December, giving those who don't mind the cooler temperatures (ranging from -1.8 to 3.1°C) a break on both the cost of accommodations and the crowds at major attractions.

With the winter weather comes snowfall, blanketing the historic city and its beautiful sites in a magical dusting of powder. Take a look at photos of Buda Castle, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and Fisherman's Bastion to see just how dreamy Budapest can look in the winter. You can also shop for souvenirs at one of Budapest's Christmas Markets.

When you're ready to warm up, head to one of Budapest's wonderful museums for some indoor sightseeing. You can see works by Old Masters at the Museum of Fine Arts or royal regalia at the Hungarian National Museum . For an even cozier experience, take a dip at a local bathhouse. The famous Széchenyi Thermal Bath has a mix of steamy outdoor and indoor baths that will relax your muscles and leave your body warm for hours.

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Budapest

View of downtown Salt Lake City at sunset

Whether you're a ski bum or a culture buff, there are plenty of reasons to visit Utah's capital . The fact that Salt Lake City is a relatively cheap place to visit during December is another plus. Those who plan to stay in the city can save even more cash by dashing about on public transportation. The Utah Transit Authority has numerous helpful options to get you where you need to go. If you want to day trip out to nearby ski resorts in Utah , though, you're best off renting a car, which is also cheaper before the holidays.

Founded by Mormons (Latter Day Saints) in 1847, this capital city boasts an impressive Mormon Temple . Only Mormons are allowed inside, but the rest of us can marvel at the architecture from the sidelines.

All are welcome to visit the nearby Mormon Tabernacle , a large, domed auditorium that seats over 6,500 and boasts a pipe organ with 11,623 pipes. The famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs here. Bonus: it's free. Nature lovers and avid hikers won't want to miss Big Cottonwood Canyon .

Accommodation: Top-Rated Hotels in Salt Lake City

With great weather and relatively low hotel occupancy rates, Los Angeles is another worthwhile spot for an affordable getaway in December. The City of Angels is particularly exciting for sports lovers this time of year, with basketball, hockey, and football all in season. Cheer on the Lakers and the Kings at the Crypto.com Arena , or head to SoFi Stadium to root for the Rams.

Book your flights and hotels early to score the best deal. Then, continue to reap the savings by enjoying some of the top free things to do in Los Angeles . You don't need to spend a dime to gaze through the public telescopes at the Griffith Observatory , marvel at world-class art at The Broad , snap photos in between the outdoor art installation of 202 antique cast iron streetlights at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art , or check out the Japanese architecture in Little Tokyo .

Another fun way to spend time in Los Angeles is hiking. Head to Runyon Canyon Park for steep climbs with amazing views of downtown. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities—this park's proximity to the Hollywood Hills makes it a hot spot for the stars. Other great spots to hike in Los Angeles include Paseo Miramar, Mount Baldy, and Los Leones Trail, where you can catch stunning vistas of the Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica.

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Los Angeles

Montego Bay beach

Looking for an affordable beach destination? It's time to get jammin' in Jamaica. Both Montego Bay and Kingston are popular vacation spots for those who love to relax. And they both offer great deals in December.

Plonk your body on a beach chair, hike through mountains, snorkel, or chill out by the pool, warm with the knowledge that you saved on both airfare and hotel costs for this trip. Another bonus: with plenty of hotel shuttles and taxis on offer, you won't need to splurge on a rental car.

An all-inclusive may be your cheapest bet if you don't want to blow your budget on food. Plus, you'll have paid all the money upfront, which means you can rest easy and choose anything you'd like from the menu without guilt.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Things to Do in Montego Bay

A beautiful beach in Punta Cana

Punta Cana is the place to be if you're dreaming of somewhere warm, bright, and beautiful. It's also a good deal by Caribbean standards, with affordable all-inclusive packages, and boy does it boast beautiful beaches .

Surrounded by turquoise water and white, sandy beaches, this picture-perfect spot on the eastern side of the Caribbean's Dominican Republic is pretty close to paradise. Adventurers can zipline through the rainforest canopy, windsurf, kiteboard, sail, dive, or snorkel. Not up for all of that? Don't worry. You can golf, ride horses, walk the beach, or float in the pool.

Another plus? December is the time to catch good deals and fab weather. This month offers highs of about 85 degrees and less rain than you'll find from April to November. It's ramping up for high tourist season, so hotel and airfare prices will be on the more affordable end of the spectrum.

Accommodation: Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Punta Cana

Magens Bay, St. Thomas

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islands offer an unforgettable and truly relaxing vacation. Those who visit St. Thomas can enjoy swimming with turtles, snorkeling, or diving in the bright blue ocean, golfing, shopping, and fantastic food—not bad for an island that's only 32 square miles.

This destination offers everything from luxury resorts to basic hotels and bed and breakfast lodging. It's easy to find something to fit your budget.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in the US Virgin Islands

Stowe, Vermont

While some ski resorts in Vermont offer big savings on lift passes at this time of the year due to run closures, Stowe does not. That's the bad news. Now for the upside: they don't have to because they get more snow than most resorts in December and have more runs open for you to ski. If you book lift passes online at least seven days in advance, you'll save money no matter when you plan to come.

So, what's making this a cheap holiday, you ask? The savings come in the form of hotel deals. Rooms in early to mid-December can be over $100 cheaper a night, which leaves you with plenty left over for shopping or lift tickets.

While you're still soaking up the high from saving your hard-earned cash, take time out to revel in the beauty that is Stowe. It's been dubbed one of the most beautiful small towns in Vermont for a reason, after all!

Non-skiers will love the spa amenities found in many of the resorts, and the town's shopping and restaurants are first-class. In addition to the unbeatable skiing and snowboarding, activity seekers can enjoy indoor rock-climbing at Stowe Mountain Resort or ice-skating at Spruce Peak Village .

Read More: Best Things to Do in Vermont in Winter

Winter sunrise over Lake Louise

Banff truly shines during its best season: winter. From world-class skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, skating, curling, and sledding, there's no lack of outdoor activities in this spectacular village.

Those who crave adventure won't want to miss the Johnston Canyon Icewalk . Conditions can be slippery and dangerous, so it's safest to book a guide. Want to relax? Book a horse-drawn sleigh ride through snowy meadows or bathe in the Banff Hot Springs .

Skiing at Banff is expensive, no matter when you do it. That said, the longer you ski, the more deals you get, especially in early to mid-December. If you book a "Stay and Ski" package, you'll notice great savings, including cheaper room rates and discounted lift tickets at three resorts: Banff Sunshine , Lake Louise Ski Resort , and Mount Norquay . Banff loves early birds, so the sooner you book, the better the savings. Same goes for your airfare.

Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Banff National Park

The Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City during winter

July is the best month to visit Québec City for those who don't mind footing a hefty bill at hotels and restaurants, and elbowing their way through crowds of people searching for the city's best poutine. Traveling to this lovely Canadian gem in December, though, is magical and comparatively cheap.

This being Québec, you're pretty much guaranteed a dusting of snow or, more likely, a large dump that casts the historic buildings and parks in an enchanted light. Visit a German Christmas market at Le Grand Marché or another in Vieux-Québec . Traipse through festively adorned streets so European, you'll forget you're in Canada. Rue de Petit Champlain in particular begs to be photographed.

While you're in town, toboggan down Au 1884 , a giant sledding run thought to be the oldest attraction in Québec City. It lies beside North America's most photographed hotel, the Fairmont Le Chateâu Frontenac . Booking this iconic hotel around Christmas is the most expensive time to stay. Choosing a room during the first two weeks of December, on the other hand, will cut your price by at least half. Built by the Canadian Pacific Railroad company in 1892, this lavish building offers remarkable views of the Saint Lawrence River.

Read More: Best Attractions & Places to Visit in Québec City

Rio Celeste Waterfall in Volcan Tenorio National Park

December is a great time to visit Costa Rica if you're looking for a bargain and ideal beach weather. This month marks the tail end of the rainy season, welcoming a refreshing break from the humidity that plagued the area for many months before. The temperature highs at this time hover around the 77 degree mark, perfect for adventuring through the jungle, ziplining, or lounging on some of Costa Rica's most beautiful beaches .

While some roads may be closed off and on due to residue from the rainy season, visitors usually experience dry skies at this time of year. They are also privy to competitive hotel and restaurant rates compared to other travelers who either don't want to risk the chance of rain by visiting in early December, or are hoping to travel for the holidays.

Speaking of holidays, the Christmas/New Year's season is one of the most popular (and expensive) times to visit Costa Rica. Some hotels book up months in advance, so those planning to stay over the holiday need to plan well in advance and be prepared to foot a pretty substantial bill.

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Places to Visit in Costa Rica

Downtown Chicago in the winter

Winter is one of the cheapest times to travel to Chicago. As long as you avoid visiting during the Christmas holidays, you'll be in for some serious savings. Hotel rates drop dramatically once the barometer begins to plummet, and early December visitors, in particular, can notice a more budget-friendly bill at the end of their stay.

While frigid temps can at times make visiting Chicago's best parks a bit challenging, winter guests to the windy city can enjoy plenty of indoor attractions. The Art Institute of Chicago boasts a vast collection of historic and modern masterpieces, while a trip to the Alder Planetarium will help you get closer to the world beyond. The Museum of Science and Industry is another must-see that features multiple hands-on exhibits.

Plus, you'll have the chance to witness some of the festive charm that makes spending the holidays in Chicago an enjoyable experience. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival sets off at the end of November but lasts through the holiday season. December travelers can also take a twirl around the ice at Millennium Park .

Read More: Best Attractions in Chicago

River Legacy Parks in Arlington, Texas

One of the lesser visited cities in Texas, Arlington is a super cheap place to travel in December. The massive sports venues are a major draw for this small city, located between Dallas and Fort Worth. Its AT&T Stadium is home to the Dallas Cowboys . Choctaw Stadium (previously known as Global Life Park) is worthy of a tour, even if baseball isn't being played while you're there.

Arlington is likely the only place you can visit an International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame . Good news for amusement park lovers: the massive, Six Flags Over Texas is open weekends year-round and on holidays.

Arlington's Christkindl Market is known as one of the best Christmas markets in the US . In addition to all the tasty treats and handmade crafts you'd expect to find, visitors with kids will enjoy its family-friendly vibe.

Texas Live! is the city's entertainment hub. It boasts multiple restaurants, shops, and is home to the Live! by Loews - Arlington Texas resort. This is a chic and contemporary hotel boasting 300 luxury guest rooms and suites. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the view and there are many options to enjoy food and refreshments on-site.

Read More: Best Places to See Snow in Texas

Charlotte, North Carolina skyline

While most tend to visit Charlotte during its warmer months, December is a cheaper time to explore the top things to do in this North Carolina gem. With highs hovering around the 50-degree mark, you'll be comfortable while you wander the sites and traipse around Uptown Charlotte or skate around the ice at the U.S. National Whitewater Center .

The NASCAR Hall of Fame , Billy Graham Library , and Discovery Place Science museum will keep everyone busy. When you're finished exploring, spend the money you saved on your hotel and airfare to enjoy a little retail therapy, or perhaps splurge on a fancy meal in one of the city's best restaurants.

Beautiful beach in Puerto Rico

There are few things as exhilarating as scoring a deal on a beach vacation, especially when you're leaving behind a cold, snowy winter. Although winter is the most popular time to visit Puerto Rico, travelers can still enjoy affordable rates and budget-friendly airfare to this cheap Caribbean destination.

Puerto Rico is a hot spot for lovers of the sun, sand, and surf. It's home to multiple beautiful beaches , so visitors won't be at a loss for somewhere fabulous to unfurl their towels. Wandering the colorful streets of Old San Juan is one of the most popular things to do in Puerto Rico –and it doesn't cost a penny unless you fall prey to temptation and buy wares sold in its charming shops.

El Morro Fort lies in Old San Juan, at the tip of a peninsula. This historic spot is worthy of a visit, as is the impressive Castillo de San Cristóbal , the largest Spanish fort built in the New World.

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in San Juan, Puerto Rico

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

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Cheap Holidays and Destinations: If you are someone who is looking for deals, be sure to see our articles on Cheap Ski Holidays in the US and, if you are traveling the Europe, see our piece on Cheap Places to Visit in Europe .

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26 Cheap destinations in 2023 with great weather in December

December is an interesting and unusual month for choosing holiday destinations. Many of the world’s favorite tropical beach areas and cities have the best weather of the year in December, but because most people can only take that last week of the month off work, the prices from one week to the next can be vastly different. The first two weeks of December are some of the cheapest weeks of the year in most of the places listed below, while the last week of the year is often literally the most expensive week of the year. In other words, if you can go in early December you can save a fortune or stay in a much nicer place than if you go for Christmas week.

We have a separate list of cheap and warm places to spend Christmas and New Years and there are similarities with the list below, but the prices are more in line with what you might expect to pay. On the other hand, if you can do a trip early in the month of December, you’ll get basically the same weather and the hotels (and flights) will be half the price. The important thing is to book early if you are going over the big holidays.

This article was updated in July, 2023.

Important December 2023 holidays

  • December 2 and 3 – National Day Holiday in United Arab Emirates (major public holiday)
  • December 6 – St. Nicholas’ Eve and Day (major public holiday in many European countries)
  • December 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception (public holiday in many Catholic countries)
  • December 10 – Constitution Day in Thailand (major public holiday with celebrations on 12-Dec)
  • December 24, 25 – Christmas Eve and Day (major public holiday)
  • December 26 – St. Stephen’s Day and Boxing Day (major public holidays in many countries)
  • December 31 – New Year’s Eve (major public holiday, celebrations)

New video of this article

The Americas

If you are looking to save money you’ll find that the first week of December will be many times cheaper than the last week of December in the Caribbean and most other places on this list.

The Caribbean

cheap travel places in december

If you are mainly looking for a place to relax on the beach and take a couple boat trips or water sports, you might consider just booking at an all-inclusive resort. There are hundreds of them in the Caribbean and they have to compete for guests by offering prices that can seem suspiciously low, but most of them actually deliver what they promise for those low rates.

  • 17 Cheapest Caribbean all-inclusive destinations
  • 32 Caribbean destinations from cheapest to most expensive

Cancun, Mexico

  • December avg high: 83°F/28°C
  • December avg low: 70°F/21°C
  • December avg precip: 3.8″/9.5cm

cheap travel places in december

When planning a trip to Cancun it’s important to choose the best area for your style. Cancun itself is mainly a long L-shaped strip of resort hotels and timeshares along a beach, with very few other restaurants or shops between them. If you want to stay in your resort the whole time, Cancun itself is a good choice. But about an hour south of Cancun by shuttle you can be in Playa del Carmen , which is an actual fun tourist town filled with shops, bars, and restaurants. If you want to sample different things on your trip, Playa del Carmen is a better choice. The island of Cozumel is just across the water from Playa del Carmen and it’s kind of a hybrid of the other two. And Tulum is a bit south of those and it’s a smaller and more artsy town that is gaining in popularity in recent years. All of these choices are served by the Cancun airport and are easy to reach from there.

You might also consider getting a Cancun Pass for your trip. It bundles a bunch of expensive attractions into one moderate price. It’s worth a look because some of the attractions are amazing and most people aren’t even aware of them.

>>>New: Guide to choosing where to stay in the Cancun area

  • 3-star hotels from: US$67 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$139 per night for two people
>> Cancun prices and travel tips >>> Check current Cancun resort and package deals

Where to find the cheapest Caribbean all-inclusive resorts

In this new video below I’ll explain exactly how and where to find the cheapest all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean that are really good.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

  • December avg high: 84°F/29°C
  • December avg low: 73°F/23°C
  • December avg precip: 0.8″/2.0cm

cheap travel places in december

Unsurprisingly, the end of December is the beginning of the peak season for resort prices, so those who are able to come earlier in the month will be getting better deals. Still, the all-inclusive resorts are locked in heavy competition all year so this area can be a great deal compared to the alternatives, even in high season. If you are looking for where to go in December for an all-inclusive beach holiday, this is your best option for most people. Punta Cana is also on the list of our best Caribbean destinations for families with kids , by the way.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$48 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$91 per night for two people
>> Check current Punta Cana resort and package deals

Montego Bay, Jamaica

  • December avg high: 85°F/29°C
  • December avg precip: 1.6″/4.0cm

cheap travel places in december

Montego Bay’s busy airport has cheap flights from most major hubs including many in Europe, so it’s one of the easier places to reach as well. If Montego Bay itself doesn’t sound perfect then you might instead consider  Negril  or  Ocho Rios , both of which are about 90 minutes from the same airport and each has a different feel. Two of our 11 best luxury all-inclusive resorts in the entire Caribbean are in Jamaica, and one is near the Montego Bay Airport so it’s easy to reach.

It’s worth noting a couple more points about Jamaica if you are considering a visit. On a positive note, many people enjoy the fact that it’s a place where all of the locals (and therefore the hotel staff) speak English. In Mexico and the DR you’ll find that only the key hotel employees can speak English very well. On the other hand, Jamaica has a pretty bad reputation for aggressive vendors on beaches and sometimes even in shops. If that bothers you then Jamaica will probably be more annoying than most other places in the Caribbean.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$83 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$209 per night for two people
>> Check current Montego Bay resort and package deals

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

  • December avg high: 86°F/30°C
  • December avg low: 64°F/18°C
  • December avg precip: 0.9″/2.3cm

cheap travel places in december

The December weather is pretty much perfect and dry, and airfares and hotel rates are very reasonable up until Christmas itself. If you are in California you might also consider Los Cabos (see below), although Puerto Vallarta is more interesting and usually cheaper as well. This is definitely one of the best places to go in December if you are anywhere near the Pacific Ocean.

It’s worth noting that while the hotel prices listed below are real, those are not typical of larger chain hotels on the beach. If you want to stay in, say, a Marriott on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, you are going to be paying much closer to US$200 per night for two people if not more.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$35 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$64 per night for two people
>> Puerto Vallarta prices and travel tips >>> Check current Puerto Vallarta resort and package deals

Mexico City, Mexico

  • December avg high: 69°F/21°C
  • December avg low: 44°F/7°C
  • December avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

cheap travel places in december

As Christmas approaches the city will fill up much more, so if you can go early in the month you’ll be much better off. But even if you can’t go before the last week of the month you’ll still find Mexico City to be a tremendous bargain compared to pretty much anywhere else in North America. It’s a great shopping destination, and not just for goofy souvenirs, so that’s something to think about as well.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$61 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$72 per night for two people
>> Mexico City prices and travel tips >>> Check current Mexico City hotel and package deals

Los Cabos, Mexico

  • December avg high: 80°F/27°C
  • December avg low: 58°F/15°C
  • December avg precip: 0.6″/1.4cm

cheap travel places in december

Los Cabos is the name for the whole area, but it’s really two towns that are also quite different. Cabo San Lucas is in the west and it’s built around the large and somewhat glamorous marina. This is also where you’ll find the famous Land’s End arch that is in every photo of Cabo. About 30 minutes away by car to the east is San José del Cabo , which has a newer and more modern town center and is close to the airport. There are also really nice beach resorts stretching along the coast between the two towns, so if you don’t want to go bar hopping or do much shopping, you might be better booking at one of the stand-alone resorts in between.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$55 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$163 per night for two people

>>> Check current Cabo resort and package deals

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

  • December avg high: 91°F/33°C
  • December avg precip: 0.5″/1.3cm

cheap travel places in december

Tamarindo and Smara are two of the most popular beach areas, but there are other good choices in the area as well. This part of Costa Rica is known for large chain resorts on the beach, and the 4-star resorts can be pricey, while the more traditional 3-star hotels are still very reasonable. Costa Rica is obviously one of the hot countries in December in both temperature and popularity, so book early. Each of the beach towns also has smaller and cheaper family-run hotels that also have the advantage that you can try different local restaurants for every meal. They are very different experiences and you probably know which one suits you better.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$65 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$179 per night for two people
>> Guanacaste prices and travel tips >>> Check current San Jose hotel and package deals

Cartagena, Colombia

  • December avg low: 76°F/24°C
  • December avg precip: 1.3″/3.3cm

cheap travel places in december

Cartagena is becoming a very popular winter beach destination for people from North America, and it’s still a fantastic bargain compared to better known places, but it might not stay that way forever. As Colombia gets more popular (and as long as it stays safe) then prices should keep going up at these resort towns. The gorgeous and historic walled city in Cartagena makes for a great cultural and culinary visit, and there are nice beaches just a few blocks away. Very few tropical destinations have both in one place.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$71 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$119 per night for two people
>> Cartagena prices and travel tips >>> Check current Cartagena hotel and package deals
  • December avg high: 76°F/24°C
  • December avg low: 66°F/19°C
  • December avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

cheap travel places in december

The food, including its famous ceviche dishes, is a particular highlight here, and the tourist district of Miraflores is packed with interesting and cheap restaurants. Basic and cheap hotels are in the same neighborhood, so it’s a better alternative to the historic center of Lima for most people. By the way, the rainy season in  Cusco  starts in December, so the trails can sometimes be cut off, although many people go anyway.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$52 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$83 per night for two people
>> Lima prices and travel tips >>> Check prices on Peru hotels and resorts

Santiago, Chile

  • December avg low: 54°F/12°C
  • December avg precip: 0.1″/0.3cm

cheap travel places in december

It’s true that Santiago is not considered a top-flight destination by everyone, but it’s a fantastic base for a trip involving several stops in Chile, especially this time of year. There’s the Colonial town of  Valparaiso  and many adventure towns in the mountains, so you can get a bit of everything in at very reasonable prices.

  • 4-star hotels from: US$97 per night for two people
>> Santiago prices and travel tips >>> Check prices on Chile hotels and resorts

Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • December avg low: 65°F/18°C
  • December avg precip: 4.1″/10.3cm

cheap travel places in december

Hotel prices definitely go up in around Christmas so it’s best to come early in the month if that’s possible, but it’s still a pretty good bargain even during the peak weeks. Book early if you can because the better and cheaper hotels will fill up first, of course. Also consider a side trip to the  Mendoza wine region , Patagonia, or the amazing water falls of Iguazu.

In 2023 the Argentine peso continues to drop and local inflation is very high, but the entire country remains incredibly cheap for foreigners. Better still, if you read up on the “blue dollar” and how to bring US dollars and exchange them in Argentina for the current rate, everything will cost about half what it would otherwise. If this is the first you are hearing of it you probably think it sounds very shady or like a scam, but it’s very normal in Argentina where they are desperate to get currencies that don’t evaporate like their peso does for the last decade or so.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$33 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$52 per night for two people
>> Buenos Aires prices and travel tips >>> Check current Buenos Aires hotel and package deals

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • December avg high: 88°F/31°C
  • December avg low: 72°F/22°C
  • December avg precip: 5.1″/12.8cm

cheap travel places in december

As with most on this list, hotels get very full and more expensive just before the Christmas holidays, so it’s better to come early in the month if possible. That way you’ll have your pick of places at some surprisingly good room rates, even at some high-end places on the famous beaches. If you are coming during Christmas then book a hotel NOW because they’ll be full and will keep getting more expensive the longer you wait.

Brazil was one of the more expensive countries in Latin America as of a few years ago, but its currency has dropped and stayed lower so it’s quite a bargain again for foreign visitors.

  • 4-star hotels from: US$67 per night for two people

>>> Rio de Janeiro prices and travel tips >>> Check current Rio de Janeiro hotel and package deals

From December through February there are literally no European cities that could qualify as having “great weather,” except for the Canary Islands, which is listed below. So during the winter Europe is all about cultural tourism, and lower hotel prices make it especially appealing for those who like to stretch their travel budgets and avoid crowds at the same time.

If you are thinking about a city break instead you should check out our  recommended cheap London hotels , our  recommended cheap Paris hotels , and our  recommended cheap Amsterdam hotels ,  recommended cheap Rome hotels ,  recommended cheap Prague hotels , and  recommended cheap Berlin hotels .

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

  • December avg high: 71°F/22°C
  • December avg low: 61°F/16°C
  • December avg precip: 1.7″/4.3cm

cheap travel places in december

Even if you can’t sunbathe, the weather is still reliably pleasant all the time, with almost no rain. Weekly and monthly apartment rentals here are very popular, but there are plenty of hotels and hundreds of restaurants for those coming for shorter periods. If you want to be with the most English speakers you’ll want to focus on the southwest area of the island around Los Cristianos and Playa de la America.

It’s also worth mentioning that Tenerife is only one of the Canary Islands and there are sometimes even better deals on the others including Gran Canary, Lanzarote, and La Palma. They are usually all shown together when searching ‘Canary Islands’ for hotels, but in Europe they are usually listed separately so you have to check each of them out on your own.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$58 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$79 per night for two people

>>> Tenerife prices and travel tips >>> Check current Tenerife hotel deals

December is ideal in much of Africa, though Morocco might be a bit too cool by this time. The list below is quite incomplete due to how few cities we cover in the region.

Cairo, Egypt

  • December avg high: 68°F/20°C
  • December avg low: 50°F/10°C

cheap travel places in december

Fortunately, it rarely rains at all in Cairo, so even though December is one of the wetter months, that means nothing and you are unlikely to see even a drop of rain. Hotel prices do reach their peak in Cairo starting late in December, so it’s best to go early in the month if possible. Egypt is definitely one of the cheapest places to travel in December, and the weather is surprisingly nice as well.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$36 per night for two people
>> Cairo prices and travel tips >>> Check current Cairo hotel deals

Cape Town, South Africa

  • December avg high: 77°F/25°C
  • December avg low: 59°F/15°C
  • December avg precip: 0.7″/1.8cm

cheap travel places in december

This is a fairly cheap city compared to Europe or North America, so at least bargains are not hard to find on the ground once you get there. The flights are of course long and usually a bit expensive, so the whole trip will add up for sure. Hotels will be cheaper in early December than during Christmas week, of course.

>>> Cape Town prices and travel tips >>> Check Cape Town hotel deals

Middle East

December is cool and even a bit rainy in most of the Middle East. An exception is Dubai and  Abu Dhabi , which both have perfect sunny weather.

  • December avg high: 79°F/26°C
  • December avg precip: 0.6″/1.5cm

cheap travel places in december

The December weather is actually warm enough to sit on the beach, but most people who come to Dubai tend to just relax and do a lot of shopping at one of the enormous and modern malls here. The restaurant scene is very interesting as well, and you can eat cheaply if you follow the local workers, or go to one of the hotel restaurants and get world-class cuisine.

>>> Dubai prices and travel tips >>> Check current Dubai hotel deals

December is an ideal month in most of Southeast Asia, except for much of the coast of Vietnam, which gets rain this month. Crowds, of course, get big just before Christmas, and hotel prices go up accordingly. It’s too cold in China, Korea, and Japan to make this list.

For a longer list see our best  December destinations in Asia choices , which includes some of these but quite a few more.

Boracay Island, Philippines

  • December average high: 82°F/28°C
  • December average low: 75°F/24°C
  • December avg precip: 7.1″/17.8cm

cheap travel places in december

If you are looking for something far less developed than Phuket or any other Thai island, Boracay might be for you. This gorgeous strip of sand is a bit out of the way, but partly because of that it still feels somewhat undiscovered. You’ll spend your days relaxing along White Beach or walking up and down the sandy paths that serve as the only real form of transport for most people. Many visitors come every year, and quite a few of those never seem to leave.

The hotel prices here might seem a bit high for Asia at first glance, but that’s because the island is long and thin so almost every hotel is literally on the beach or within a block or maybe two of it. The value is very good and food is a bargain here as well.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$72 per night for two people
>> Boracay prices and travel tips >>> Check Boracay resort deals

Bangkok, Thailand

  • December avg low: 69°F/21°C
  • December avg precip: 0.4″/1.0cm

cheap travel places in december

There’s a massive range of quality and prices when it comes to hotels in Bangkok, and the city is enormous as well, so you really want to do your research for this place. Most people are happier paying a bit more to stay near the river and all the tourist attractions, or even in the infamous Khosan Road backpacker district, which is cheap and fun, if tacky. If you like to shop then Bangkok is a slice of heaven. There are close to 15 large malls in the Siam Square area, which is also central and convenient since the elevated metro system cuts right through it.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$38 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$48 per night for two people
>> Bangkok prices and travel tips >>> Check current Bangkok hotel deals

Phuket, Thailand

  • December avg low: 75°F/24°C
  • December avg precip: 2.3″/5.8cm

The prices given here are on the low side, especially during the winter season, so you are going to pay more unless you are willing to stay in one of the simple hotels in Phuket Town. It’s not a beach resort, but it’s a fun place itself, cheaper than the beaches, and allows an easy way to cheaply visit multiple beaches during a visit. My favorite beaches are Kata and Karon beach, which are both a bit south of the adult-oriented Patong Beach area.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$45 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$62 per night for two people
>> Phuket prices and travel tips >>> Check Phuket hotel and resort promotions

Chiang Mai, Thailand

cheap travel places in december

Hotels in Chiang Mai are among the world’s greatest travel bargains, with decent private rooms available for under US$15 per night in the city center. Pay more and you get a lot more, so it’s fun to feel like a big shot in a US$30 room that is almost like a suite. It gets crowded around Christmas so prepare for that and book early.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$27 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$55 per night for two people
>> Chiang Mai prices and travel tips >>> Check current Chiang Mai hotel deals
  • December avg precip: 0.3″/0.8cm

cheap travel places in december

Not surprisingly, the weeks around Christmas and New Years are literally the busiest of the year in Goa, so either book a hotel way in advance or be flexible once you arrive. Some towns, like Calungute, are lined with package hotels that fill up completely, but other towns, like Anjuna and Vagator, are usually booked in person or by email, so you can often find a place just walking around. If you are in the mood to tour around, Mumbai has great weather during December, and Delhi has warm days but cool evenings this time of year. Goa has some of the best beaches in December in all of Asia, so give this one a serious look.

>> Goa prices and travel tips >>> Check current Goa hotel deals

Luang Prabang, Laos

  • December avg low: 58°F/14°C

cheap travel places in december

Hotel prices definitely jump up around Christmas, so this is yet another place where you should come in the first half of the month if possible. Most people visit along with a trip to Bangkok and Siem Reap, but other cities in Laos are worth a stop as well, especially Vang Vieng (if you are a backpacker type) and Vientiane.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$54 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$61 per night for two people
>> Luang Prabang prices and travel tips >>> Check current Luang Prabang hotel deals

Siem Reap, Cambodia

cheap travel places in december

Those temples are all outdoor for the most part, so cooler and dryer conditions mean you can spend more time touring the temples and still being comfortable. Almost any other month of the year and you’ll be better off going back to your hotel for a few hours in the afternoon, but in December you can carry on all day if you like. The town of Siem Reap is a delight in itself, but of course it fills up near Christmas.

  • 4-star hotels from: US$54 per night for two people
>> Siem Reap prices and travel tips >>> Check current Siem Reap hotel deals

Hanoi, Vietnam

  • December avg low: 60°F/16°C

cheap travel places in december

Hanoi is actually one of the cheapest tourist cities in the world according to our Backpacker Index, and that’s partly due to beer and museums being incredibly cheap. In reality, you’ll want to spend more money than the minimum because everything is great value. There are hundreds of family-run hotels with 10 to 20 rooms and a breakfast room in the basement serving surprisingly great food included in the rate. They tend to be spotless and well run, so it could be worth skipping a chain hotel and saving some money in the process.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$29 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$65 per night for two people
>> Hanoi prices and travel tips >>> Check current Hanoi hotel deals

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • December avg high: 87°F/31°C
  • December avg low: 71°F/22°C
  • December avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

cheap travel places in december

HCMC is not quite as cheap as Hanoi, and it’s not as nice to look at either, but it’s definitely worth a visit for a combination of history and culture. This is a huge and sprawling city so it’s important to choose the location of your hotel carefully. During Christmas things do fill up and prices go up as well, so book early if possible.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$46 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$75 per night for two people

>>> Ho Chi Minh City prices and travel tips >>> Check current Ho Chi Minh City hotel deals

Auckland, New Zealand

  • December average high: 71°F/22°C
  • December average low: 57°F/14°C
  • December avg precip: 3.6″/9.0cm

cheap travel places in december

You can also rent a car and drive to the same places where you can stay in cabins in holiday parks/campgrounds, and small hotels and guest houses are reasonably priced as well. But renting a campervan is the classic way to see New Zealand and it can be surprisingly cheap since you’ll only be paying a small fee to park for the night in the abundant campgrounds. You’ll also be cooking many of your own meals, which is helpful because New Zealand doesn’t have many cheap restaurants or take out joints outside of the bigger cities.  Queenstown  on the South Island is the adventure sports capital of New Zealand and not to be missed.  Rotorua  on the North Island is also very much worth a stop.

  • 4-star hotels from: US$81 per night for two people

>>> Auckland prices and travel tips

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26 Cheap destinations in 2023 with great weather in December " --> All Comments

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family of 4 want to travel from Seattle to somewhere we can enjoy beach and city it can be a 2center destination what do you suggest we want to travel in mid december 2024Comment*

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From Seattle and especially if you’d like at least a bit of a city in addition to a beach, I’d head for Puerto Vallarta. The historic center has a lot of great restaurants and interesting sights and things going on, and the nearby beaches are great. Los Cabos is another option, but from your short message I’d just go to Puerto Vallarta. I hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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To celebrate his High School Gaduation, the hope is a father/son trip during his winter break from college ( 7 days between 16 Dec – 23 Dec). I’m a 100% disabled vet on a budget, so your counsel is most welcome. Thanks!

I’ll be happy to help and I’m sure we can find some great options for you. But first I’ll need to know your starting location and whether you’d like a beach, a city, or something else? If you are starting in the US I’d probably look at Mexico first, but it kind of depends on which city you’d start in. -Roger

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Comment* I’m leaving from DFW or Lovefield. Yes I love beaches. We are trying to travel in December 8 to the December 11

If you are looking for great weather and an affordable beach I’d recommend Cancun that time of year. There’s lots more information on my article about Caribbean islands for all-inclusive resorts from cheapest to most expensive , including a video I just uploaded that explains it all. -Roger

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Diana, NZ has perfect traveling weather in December, however bear in mind that it is the end of our academic year early/mid December and school goes back in February. This is a peak time of travel for families. But definitely a great time to visit 🙂

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I read the questions and responses.

Do you still recommend New Zealand for December? Have your recommendations changed since 2014? Do you have blog? Where can I find more of your articles? I’m planning on a two week trip in December 2019 from Miami, FL. Thank you Diana

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Yes, and interestingly enough, I just added that New Zealand thing to this article yesterday (5-August) so that is all fresh advice. I’ve added and changed quite a few entries on these lists and I update them each year, so everything is current. This IS my blog actually. So if you go to the homepage you’ll see links to many articles that contain links to many more articles and I’ve written almost all of them.

I lived in Miami myself a few years ago (in Midtown) and I’m still a big fan. New Zealand is almost the other side of the world so it wouldn’t be fast or cheap to get there, but it’s really lovely and it can be done at a reasonable price once you get there, especially if you focus on nature and the camping and RV scene. I’m happy to help if you have other questions. -Roger

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This is a great blog! Stumbled upon it 2 hours ago and found it very informative. (I’ve spent 2 hours reading everything:)). My husband and I travel every year around the last 2 weeks of December. We’re based in Bangalore, India. We did Cambodia & Vietnam last year and really liked it there. This year we’ve really been wanting to go to Turkey. We’re ok to handle 8-10 degree weather. However, still debating if it’s a good time to go considering rains, availability of attractions etc. We’re very interested in culture, history, food and people. It would be great to know if you think December might be a good time to do Turkey? Thanks

Thank you so much for the kind words and I’m always happy to hear that people find this information useful. As far as Turkey in December is concerned, I wouldn’t recommend it. I actually lived in a small town near Antalya on the Mediterranean for a bit over a year and I was surprised by the fact that almost everything closed down around 1-November and didn’t start opening again until March or April. Actually, I think Istanbul would still be enjoyable in December and so would Bodrum or any of the other larger cities including Antalya. But anywhere on the coast will be a ghost town and I’m pretty sure that Cappadocia would also be mostly shut for the winter. Ephesus probably stays open, but similar to Cappadocia, the attractions are all outdoors and they can get pretty fierce rainstorms in winter.

So long story short, if you want to visit Istanbul and perhaps another city, I think December could be okay. But for almost anywhere else in Turkey I just don’t think it’s worth it. Fortunately there are plenty of other places to choose from and hopefully you can find time for Turkey another time of the year. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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I am travelling from Nigeria looking to take a break this december with my brother. I am looking for a cheap destination, rich in activities and shopping (apparal). Any suggestions please?

For a cheap destination in December that has great clothes shopping opportunities I can only think of two really good options. The closer of the two is Dubai . I’m not sure if you’ve been there before, but it has some of the best shopping in the world with every store imaginable and very good prices because duties and taxes are low. In spite of its reputation, Dubai can actually be visited quite cheaply if that is important. It’s famous for expensive hotels, but it’s got hundreds of more affordable hotels that can be pretty nice.

The farther, and cheaper, option is Bangkok . A flight would cost more and you might end up having to change planes in Dubai on your way, but once you get there you can find nice hotels starting around US$25 per night, although paying more for a better place is probably worth it. The whole central area of Bangkok around what is called Siam Square is surrounded by about 15 or 20 large shopping malls, many of which focus on clothing. It’s mostly chain stores and prices are good, although it’s not like they are much different from Europe except taxes are a bit lower. You can get locally made clothes at local markets for much lower prices than the chain stores in the malls. Also, Bangkok is a really fun city with plenty to see and do. For what it’s worth, alcohol is much cheaper in Bangkok than in Dubai, and much easier to get as well. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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Hi.. We(2adults) are planning a trip by mid december(after15th). Can you suggest me some good places? My starting point is Cochin International Airport,Kerala.

December is a great month in most parts of southern Asia, so starting in India I would focus there. Here’s an article about the 16 best Asia destinations in December that should help more than the one above. If none of those are interesting you’ll need to give me more details about what you are looking for. -Roger

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Hi…I want to travel in December(after 15th) for a month somewhere where it will be cheap to travel around the country. I am interested in beaches and scenic beauty and also places with a history like Machu Pichu and Greece. Can you recommend a good place?

I’ll be happy to try to help, but I’d really need to know your starting point because there are cheap places in different corners of the world, and it’s not worth flying halfway around the world to try to save US$20 per day. In mid December through January for beaches you should consider Thailand and perhaps also Vietnam. I’ll give you more information once I know where you are starting from. -Roger

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Hi Roger, Appreciate you on your excellent and informative blog.

I am from India and I would be celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary in 2nd week of december 2018. We are family of four (2 adults and 2 kids aged 3 and 7) planning for a 5-7 days trip. Can you please suggest some good places where I can visit and also my kids feel involved too.

Regards, Bharth

If you’ve got 5 to 7 days and are starting in India I don’t think you want to fly halfway around the world, so it’s probably best to go somewhere between Dubai and Bali. Dubai has cheap flights from most places and it’s very family oriented with large play parks inside shopping malls and that sort of thing. You could get an apartment there in one of the many apartment-hotels for a reasonable price, and the December weather should be pretty good as well.

Another option is Thailand, and Phuket has the most family-friendly beach areas. You could get a family hotel room at one of the many beach resorts that has a Kids Club in addition to swimming pools and the beach itself. Those are my top suggestions for a family trip that is also suitable for an anniversary. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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Hi Roger, Appreciate your detailed and helpful input on all travel destinations. I’m planning to go in the first two weeks of December to Hawaii from Canada. Family of 4 (kids 3 and 9). Can’t figure out which island of 4 to choose. Looking for the best not crowded post-card looking beach, prefer to stay in small resort/condo. Would like to drive around island to see the culture. Don’t want to stay in big hotel in Honolulu. Any input on weather or islands is greatly appreciated.

This is a really interesting question. If you want to avoid crowds then you have already figured out that it’s best to avoid Honolulu and I would avoid Oahu completely. The Big Island is very interesting because of the volcano and some of the other scenery, but the most beautiful islands are Maui and Kauai. I haven’t made it to Kauai yet, but everyone I know has been there and they swear it’s the most photogenic, which looks right based on the photos I’ve seen. Maui is also really gorgeous and all islands other than Oahu are uncrowded even in high season. I drove all over Maui in a rental car and loved it and I don’t think there is as much to see on Kauai. So either of those will be great choices and the weather should be almost perfect in December with warm (but not scorching) temperatures and almost no rain. Have a great trip and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

20 Cheap Warm-Weather Winter Destinations For December

Flamingos on the beach in Aruba

Winter blues got you down? There's a cure for that. From white-sand beaches to bustling markets and ancient ruins, escaping to a warmer climate during the colder months of the year might just be what the doctor ordered. That said, jetting off to a warmer destination doesn't always mean breaking the bank — especially with a lot of careful planning, scanning flights, and making the most of off-peak rates.

We've compiled a comprehensive list of destinations — from Mexico to Spain — brimming with culture, adventure, and warmth that won't break the bank, even if you're on a budget . So, whether you're dreaming of a Caribbean beach or the historic streets of a European city, there's a destination waiting to help you shed off the winter layers and slip into something a little lighter instead.

In order to gain a general understanding, the flight prices below are estimated for departures from New York City. Keep in mind, however, that ticket and hotel prices can vary unexpectedly. That said, it's recommended to book in advance and compare prices on multiple platforms — such as Google Flights and Google Hotels — before securing a reservation.

1. Antigua and Barbuda

Nestled in the heart of the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda are twin islands that wear their history with pride. The preserved forts — remnants of British colonization — stand as a testament to centuries of historical importance. Every corner — from the bustling local markets brimming with handmade crafts and exotic fruits to the narrow streets of harbor towns — tells a story of ages past.

The islands also boast over 365 beaches, ensuring that every day of the year has its unique sandy retreat. While sun-worshippers can kick their feet up and soak up the rays, the more adventurous can try their hand at everything from snorkeling to swimming with stingrays or ziplining. Plus, with temperatures ranging between 73 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit, December provides a perfect balmy backdrop.

A ballpark figure for flight costs ranges from $375 to $700 for a roundtrip. Hotel accommodations — varying from luxury resorts to quaint inns — can average around $124–$326 per night.

2. Cancun, Mexico

Located on Mexico's eastern coast, Cancun is a beachside gem. On one hand, the region's scattered Mayan ruins  — like Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World — showcase the area's rich past. On the other, its famous beaches and clubs — from Coco Bongo to Mandala Beach — provide the perfect spot for relaxation during the day and lively entertainment at night. Additionally, adventure seekers shouldn't miss the cenotes — natural limestone sinkholes filled with fresh water — that make for a scenic day out.

With an average temperature of roughly 80 degrees Fahrenheit, December is one of the best months to visit Cancun. With warm days, cooler evenings, low humidity, and conveniently outside of the region's hurricane season — you simply can't go wrong.

Hitching a round trip to Cancun can set you back between $250 and $670. In terms of accommodation, you can find hotels from $49–$129 per night. Want to make your money last a little longer? Opt for street food — which costs between $1 and $4 per meal — and make sure you always pay in the local currency (Mexican pesos).

Set against the backdrop of the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica is a tropical haven that promises a peek into the country's cultural melting pot of African and European influences. However, it's the beaches — think Seven Mile Beach and Sandals Montego Bay Beach — that beckon travelers to soak up the sun or indulge in water sports.

With a climate hovering around 82 degrees Fahrenheit in December, Jamaica offers a warm escape. For thrill-seekers, the island has attractions like Dunn's River Falls and cliff-jumping spots such as Rick's Cafe in Negril. Plus, local dishes like jerk chicken and patties aren't just delicious but also pocket-friendly, ranging from $2 to $6.

Considering a flight to Kingston? Budget between $350 and $700 for a round trip, with prices higher around New Year's. As for accommodations, Jamaica's diverse range of lodgings means you can secure a room anywhere from $70 to $185 per night.

Peru offers a captivating blend of history, nature, and culture. Nestled in the Andes, cities like Cusco and Lima balance colonial architecture with indigenous influences, telling stories of a past where empires met empires. Beyond the cities, the Amazon Rainforest is enchanted with its rich biodiversity. However, the real star of any trip to Peru is the legendary Machu Picchu — a testament to the ancient Inca civilization.

December in Peru — especially in destinations like Lima and Mancora— hits a comfortable 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. As for the Amazon region, visitors can expect highs of around 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, in high-altitude areas like Cusco, temperatures range from 45 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. While December also marks the start of the rainy season — ensuring a lush, green landscape — travelers still have plenty of opportunities to explore its many treks, water sports, and jungle escapes.

Flight prices typically fall between $430 and $1,200 for a round trip. Meanwhile, typical hotel prices range from $30 to $150 per night, depending on location and amenities.

5. Seville, Spain

Located in the heart of Andalusia, Seville is a city of passion — from its fierce flamenco rhythms to its intricate Moorish architecture and mouthwatering local dishes. Iconic landmarks like the Alcazar Palace and the Seville Cathedral stand testament to its rich history. Additionally, the Santa Cruz neighborhood, with its narrow alleys and vibrant squares, encapsulates the city's soul.

In December, Seville offers a mild climate, with temperatures hitting 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. For a taste of Spain, tapas bars dotted across the city offer small dishes at around $3 to $8 each. And for sangria lovers, a glass of this wine-based cocktail will set you back roughly $6.

With December being peak season for visitors, direct flights to Seville can range from $450 to $1,000 for a round trip. Accommodation-wise, travelers can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $170 for a night's stay in the city's hotels.

6. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

On the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas combines scenic beauty and vibrant nightlife. From its iconic El Arco rock formation to its golden beaches, this destination offers both relaxation and adventure while helping you stay within budget. The marina, lined with luxury yachts and bustling eateries, is the city's pulsating heart.

In December, temperatures reach 81 degrees Fahrenheit — making Los Cabos a sunny escape from the winter chill. As for dining, street tacos can be savored for $1 to $3 each, while dining at a restaurant can cost anywhere from $15 to $25. As for tours and experiences, budget around $35 for a boat trip to El Arco, around $100 to indulge in an Instagram-worthy camel ride, and $90 for an ATV adventure — just to name a few.

Flights to Cabo San Lucas generally fall between $330 and $530 for a round trip. Hotels — depending on their proximity to the beach — can range from $115 to $300 per night.

Vintage cars, pastel-colored buildings, and pulsating salsa rhythms set the scene in Cuba. Coupled with Havana's Old Town colonial architecture and the UNESCO World Heritage site tobacco fields of Viñales, a visit to this magical country feels like stepping back in time.

Visiting Cuba during December means the weather will be pleasantly warm, with temperatures hovering around 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This is also in the middle of the country's dry season, which means unexpected rains won't dampen your plans. For meals on a budget, paladares (home-run restaurants) offer typical dishes — like ropa vieja and arroz con pollo — for $8 to $12. Meanwhile, you can also find plenty of street food for under $1. When it comes to exploring the city streets, almendrones — the country's picturesque vintage cars — are both an experience and a cost-effective mode of transport.

Flights to Havana can be budgeted between $300 and $600 for a roundtrip. For lodgings, consider casas particulares (private homes), where prices range from $20 to $80 per night.

8. Puerto Rico

As an island territory of the U.S., Puerto Rico seamlessly blends Caribbean charm with modern amenities. Old San Juan — with its cobblestone streets and Spanish forts — contrasts with the tropical rainforests of El Yunque — the only tropical forest in the United States — and the bioluminescent bays of Vieques, known as the brightest in the world.

In December, Puerto Rico's temperatures hit around 83 degrees Fahrenheit, transforming the island into a sun-kissed paradise. While the local beaches are a sight to be seen — especially Flamenco Beach in Culebra — there are plenty more things to keep you busy. Love rum? Head to Casa Bacardi — one of the island's top attractions — for a 90-minute guided tasting tour priced at $75.

Flights into San Juan are typically priced between $150 and $500 for a round trip. In terms of accommodations, prices can vary greatly. Ranging from $90 to $200 per night, costs depend on the area and hotel grade.

9. Cartagena, Colombia

Located on Colombia's northern coast, Cartagena's walled city exudes colonial charm with its colorful buildings and cobblestone streets. Dominated by the iconic Clock Tower and surrounded by centuries-old fortifications, this vibrant city is brimming with excitement, award-winning cuisine, and beautiful street art around every corner.

December sees Cartagena basking in warm tropical weather, with averages of 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you're looking to savor local delicacies like arepas and empanadas from street vendors — costing only $1-$3 — or settling in for a meal at one of Latin America's top 50 restaurants, Celele , with an average price of $33 per person, dining in Cartagena is an experience of its own. Meanwhile, the Rosario Islands — a short boat trip away, with boat ride prices ranging from $16 to $25 — offer pristine beaches, luxe accommodations, and coral reefs worth exploring.

Round-trip flights to Cartagena vary between $295 and $700, and accommodations in the historic district typically range from $40 to $170 per night.

10. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana — synonymous with beach resorts and palm-lined coastlines — is an idyllic Caribbean retreat. However, beyond its beaches, you'll also find plenty of other attractions like the Reserva Ecológica Ojos Indigenas — a private reserve comprised of 1,500 acres of land — and the lively Coco Bongo nightclub, a hotspot for tourists looking to let loose.

In December, you can expect temperatures to remain around 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Apart from lounging on a beach chair and working on your tan with a cold drink — cocktails cost around $8 at a beach bar, while beers sit comfortably at $6 — consider joining a locally guided trip such as a buggy adventure ($40 per person), an Isla Salona excursion ($75), or a Santo Domingo city tour ($95).

Flights to Punta Cana cost between $250 and $800 for a round trip. Meanwhile, hotels range from $100 to $400 a night, depending on how close they are to the beach.

11. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is nature's playground. From lush rainforests to active volcanoes and serene beaches, this Central American gem is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're a nature buff or a city slicker, the country's most popular activities include hitting up the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, climbing the Arenal Volcano (starting from $59 per person), visiting the Monteverde Cloud Forest (tours average $40 per person), checking out Costa Rica's national parks , and exploring the bustling streets of San Jose, Costa Rica's capital city.

December in Costa Rica is warm at around 86 degrees Fahrenheit near the coast and about 72 degrees Fahrenheit in the mountains. To travel around, local buses are both affordable and sustainable — just make sure you book your tickets beforehand. In terms of food, prices vary depending on where you dine. While a full-course meal can cost between $10-$20, a simple dish at a soda (local restaurant) is more likely to cost about $5.

Round-trip flights to San Jose average between $150 and $650, and accommodations span from eco-lodges at $40 to beach resorts at $120 per night.

12. Savannah, Georgia

Draped in Southern charm, Savannah boasts antebellum architecture, verdant squares, and a ghostly allure. Crowned as one of the most haunted cities in the country, this stateside gem offers a myriad of experiences: from wandering the cobblestone streets for a touch of nostalgia — especially along River Street — to hopping on a trolley tour, signing up for a haunted pub tour, or exploring the vibrant Forsyth Park.

While December brings cooler breezes, the temperatures remain comfortable at around 64 degrees Fahrenheit. To delve deeper into the city's history, consider taking a horse-drawn carriage tour or visiting the iconic Midnight Garden of Good and Evil spots. Then, indulge in Southern classics like shrimp and grits or peach cobbler at local diners for an average of $23.

Looking to escape the cold? Round-trip flights to Savannah can be budgeted between $98 and $350. With crowds lessening around December, historic inns and B&Bs range from $100 to $250 per night.

Affectionately referred to as "One Happy Island," Aruba boasts turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and the rugged landscapes of Arikok National Park, which takes up almost 20% of the island. Among sunbathers and nature lovers, some of the most widely-visited spots include Eagle Beach — hailed as one of the best in the Caribbean — and the famous California Lighthouse, which allows for 360-degree views from the top.

December sees Aruba enjoying steady trade winds and temperatures around 86 degrees Fahrenheit. If you feel like ditching the sun loungers for a more active day outside, renting a bicycle can be a great way to explore the coastline and hit up some of the island's most iconic attractions. 

Flights to Aruba fall between $300 and $600 for a round trip, while accommodations, depending on the location, range from $90 to $250 per night.

A tiny country along Central America's beautiful Caribbean coast, Belize offers a unique blend of jungles and shores. Some of the country's most spectacular sightseeing highlights include the ancient Mayan ruins of Xunantunich and the world-renowned Great Blue Hole, a hotspot for diving.

With December temperatures averaging 82 degrees Fahrenheit, Belize is both alluring and pleasant. This is especially true when hopping aboard a sailing tour to one of the neighboring cayes or relaxing on one of the country's many pristine beaches — both top activities for tourists. In terms of dining, local meals — like rice and beans, stew chicken, or fresh seafood — are easy to find and range from $5 to $15, depending on where you eat.

If you're flying to Belize City, you'll find that round-trip tickets are typically priced between $500 and $1,000 — with steeper prices around the end of the month. As for lodging options — whether you're looking for jungle lodges or beach huts — prices range from $70 to $180 per night.

15. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores, Alabama, is a picture-perfect blend of Southern charm and coastal beauty. The city's white sandy beaches are perfect for sunbathing or picnics, and the warm Gulf waters beckon visitors for a quick swim. In terms of activities, children and adults can enjoy a fun day out at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo , getting up close and personal with different animal species. Meanwhile, The Wharf — in Orange Beach — boasts a range of retail outlets for the shopaholics alongside a range of restaurants to satiate every palate.

December temperatures hover around a mild 62 degrees Fahrenheit — a welcome reprise from colder climates in the North, without being too hot or humid. For a taste of local flavors, the local seafood is a highlight — with dishes like po'boys and gumbo ranging from $8-$18. Plus, active travelers might enjoy a bike ride along the coast — with rentals available for as low as $20 a day.

Flights to Gulf Shores hover between $200 and $500. Accommodation options like beachfront condos and hotels generally range between $80 and $180 per night.

16. Panama City, Panama

A bustling metropolis that offers a delightful mix of old-world charm and modern sophistication, Panama City is booming. The historic Casco Viejo — with its cobbled streets, colonial buildings, and sprawling plazas — serves as a live testament to the city's storied past. In terms of sightseeing, you can't miss the Panama Canal — a modern marvel linking two oceans and a symbol of human innovation.

While December sees average temperatures around 88 degrees Fahrenheit, Panama City's coastal breeze makes outdoor exploration a joy. Plus, after a day of sightseeing, the neighboring beaches —   inner-city beaches aren't swimmable — provide a serene spot for relaxation. A ferry to the popular Taboga Island, for example, will set you back around ​​$24.

A round-trip flight into Panama City can cost between $540 and $1,000. Depending on where you choose to stay, accommodations range from $40 to $200 per night.

17. Key West, Florida

At the southernmost tip of the continental U.S., Key West promises both adventure and relaxation. Historic homes — such as the Hemingway House — give a peek into the island's intriguing past, while sun-kissed beaches — like favorites Smathers Beach and Fort Zachary Taylor — are havens for beachgoers and sun enthusiasts looking to work on their holiday glow.

The average temperature in December — a pleasant 77 degrees Fahrenheit — makes outdoor activities like snorkeling, diving, and fishing particularly enjoyable. In terms of dining, local eateries serve up fresh seafood and the iconic Key lime pie — which is said to have originated in the area around the late 19th century — with main dishes averaging $15 to $25.

Flights to Key West range from $70 to $490 for a round trip, while accommodations — given the popular tourist nature of the place — can cost anywhere between $224–$591 per night.

18. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentina's capital is a whirlwind of culture and history. The historic San Telmo district and the upscale Puerto Madero offer contrasting views of this diverse city: cobblestone alleys and colonial façades in the former, and shimmering skyscrapers and modern eateries in the latter. During the winter months in the North, the southern hemisphere welcomes summer — meaning that locals and tourists alike flock to parks, open-air cafes, and plazas for a touch of warmth.

In December, Buenos Aires enjoys temperatures around 82 degrees Fahrenheit. While dance enthusiasts can experience the passionate tango at local milongas, art-loving travelers can soak up vibrant murals in Palermo or explore avant-garde exhibitions in Recoleta. Don't miss a stop by El Ateneo Grand Splendid – one of the world's most beautiful bookstores, set in a converted 1920s theater.

Flights to Buenos Aires are relatively steep – ranging from $1,000 to $1,700 per round trip. However, its affordability once you've landed more than makes up for the price tag. Meanwhile, hotel prices may also vary, but expect them to be between $30 and $130 per night.

19. San Diego, California

Often dubbed "America's Finest City," San Diego offers an enticing mix of sandy beaches, vibrant urban life, and cultural richness. Its coastline, with renowned spots like La Jolla and Coronado, beckons visitors for a day of sun, surf, and relaxation. Away from the water, the San Diego Zoo offers an immersive experience for families and solo travelers alike, with single-day tickets starting from $59 for children and $69 for adults.

In December, daytime temperatures average around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, making outdoor exploration a pleasure. Foodies will be happy to know that the culinary scene won't disappoint. Especially notable is the fresh seafood, which fits in nicely inside an average food budget of $45 per day.

When planning a trip, travelers can expect flights to San Diego to be in the ballpark of $200 to $500. As for accommodations, these cater to a range of budgets, with nightly rates spanning from $90 to $300.

20. Quito, Ecuador

Perched high in the Andes at an altitude of 9,350 feet, Quito offers breathtaking views and a moderate climate despite its proximity to the equator. The city's historic center — declared a UNESCO Heritage Site in the late 70's — is a well-preserved architectural gem. Meanwhile, just outside the city, the Middle of the World Monument calls out to visitors keen to straddle both hemispheres. Tours to visit the attraction range from $15 for basic transport, to $120 for a full-day trip with other stops along the way.

Daytime temperatures in December average around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, providing a comfortable environment to explore the city without breaking a sweat. From Quito, visitors can also head out to neighboring destinations like Otavalo — famous for its market and crafts — and Cotopaxi, which is well-known for hosting the Volcan Cotopaxi, the second-highest point in the country. Both of these are easily reachable by taking a local bus, and you shouldn't expect to pay more than $3 to reach Otavalo or $20 for a return trip to the volcano checkpoint.

Flight prices to Quito usually range between $350 and $800 for a round trip. Accommodation, depending on the location and luxury level, can cost between $25 and $150 per night.

Cheap Places to Travel in December: 10 Affordable Getaways from Tennessee to Colorado

n the warm waters in an underrated beach town off Florida’s Gulf Coast to getting immersed in Civil War history in southeast Tennessee, a getaway in December doesn’t have to break the bank . We’ve combed through all our trivago data to help you find the most affordable cities across the country this month.

If you’re in need of some extra bang for your buck as you plan your upcoming winter vacation , here are 10 inexpensive places to travel in the USA this December.

*Flexibility is critical during times like these, and if you do need to travel, browse deals with free cancellation on trivago. The prices were checked in November 2021 and might change according to search and booking dates.

10. Have Family Fun in Bowling Green, Kentucky

From all-American car-centric museums and high-speed go-karting to underground cavern boat tours and Civil War heritage trails, the charming southern Kentucky town of Bowling Green has something to offer every member of the family. Best of all? It’s one of the US’s best cheap places to travel this December.

Where to stay

An indoor pool makes year-round swimming a welcome reality for guests checking in to the Sleep Inn Bowling Green in the winter months. Set right off the interstate, this casual property is convenient for exploring some of Bowling Green’s major attractions, including the National Corvette Museum—free for kids four and under—and the NCM Motorsports Park and Kartplex, which are less than two miles away.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Kentucky

9. experience the best of powder country in south fork, colorado.

Experience the best of powder country with the kids in tow at South Fork, one of our favorite cheap places to travel in December. At 8,209 feet, the tiny southern Colorado town comes alive in the winter months as snowbirds descend upon the area—it’s just 20 miles from Wolf Creek Ski Area that’s known for its record-breaking annual snowfall levels.

Whether you’re heading to the pistes, snow-shoeing, or in search of the best alpine lakes to go ice fishing, the South Fork region has it all. Thanks to the lack of crowds , travelers can expect a winter vacation filled with endless serene hiking trails through thriving wild forests, plus sledding and ice skating.

From rustic wooden cabins to spacious lodge suites, The Spruce Lodge is affordable for both solo travelers and large families looking to experience the best of Colorado’s winter activities without breaking the bank.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Colorado

8. explore the wonder of the black hills in rapid city, south dakota.

Known as the gateway to Mount Rushmore, Rapid City serves as a great, affordable base for travelers looking to explore South Dakota’s stunning Black Hills .

Get off-the-beaten-track at one of our preferred cheap places to visit in December with a (free) trip to Chapel in the Hills, a replica of a renowned 12th-century Norwegian chapel. For an Instagram-worthy selfie, check out the murals and graffiti that adorn Art Alley in downtown Rapid City.

Less than an hour’s drive from Mount Rushmore, the Cambria Hotel Rapid City is excellent for family-friendly getaway s. Pull-out sofas at this all-suite property offer extra space, while an indoor pool and hot tub are ideal for warming up after a day outdoors. A complimentary airport shuttle provides easy access to the Rapid City Regional Airport, conveniently located 10 miles away.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - South Dakota

7. hop on a panoramic train ride to the grand canyon in williams, arizona.

When it comes to cheap places to visit in December on the West Coast, the historic Wild West town of Williams is one of the best. Located an hour from Grand Canyon National Park , this economical Arizona option may be referred to as a gateway to the Grand Canyon – however, it’s also rich in pioneer history.

For a literal walk back in time (the town was originally founded in 1876 by sheep and cattle ranchers), sign up for a historical walking tour through downtown Williams that was once part of the renowned Route 66. Tired of hiking? Hop on the Grand Canyon Railway for a scenic train ride to the Grand Canyon.

Choose from converted caboose and railcar-themed suites at the Canyon Motel & RV Park , a conveniently situated Route 66 motel. Set on 13 acres of pine forest, this sprawling property also offers a heated indoor pool, fire pits, and garden patio, allowing guests to have a cozy vacation no matter the time of year.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Arizona

6. soak up the sun in carlsbad, california.

While inexpensive isn’t typically synonymous with California, a trip to Carlsbad will convince you otherwise. With endless days of sunshine and uninterrupted ocean views, this Southern California city is one of the best cheap places to travel in December with the entire family.

Apart from soaking up the sun, keep the kids occupied with a day full of guaranteed adventure and fun at LEGOLAND . For nature enthusiasts, the San Diego Botanic Garden features a first-hand look at succulent gardens, bamboo groves, and the West Coast’s largest interactive garden for kids.

A nine-minute walk from the nearest beach, the Motel 6, Carlsbad Beach offers guests excellent value for their money, especially when traveling with the little ones—kids 17 and under stay for free. An outdoor pool, coin-operated laundry, and free Wi-Fi all make for an inexpensive West Coast winter family vacation .

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - California

5. learn civil war history in monroe, tennessee.

The charming Southeast Tennessee community of Monroe is another one of our favorite cheap places to travel in December. With the rugged mountains serving as a striking background, visitors can choose to spend their winter vacation snow-shoeing or cross- country skiing in Cherokee National Forest, taking a scenic drive along the 43-mile long Cherohala Skyway, or digging into some dry-cured country ham, the area’s specialty.

Where to Stay

Checking in to Overton Motel means easy access to the surrounding parks and hiking trails – including Dale Hollow Lake and Cummins Falls State Park, which are a 30-minute drive. For the Civil War buffs, the Overton County Heritage Museum is only a two-minute drive from this simple stay.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Tennessee

4. increase your winter vitamin sea intake in redington beach, florida.

An underrated beach paradise on Florida’s Gulf Coast , Redington Beach is an ideal inexpensive December destination for travelers looking for a beach getaway minus the crowds. With afternoon temperatures averaging in the mid-70s throughout December and nary another soul in sight, this charming beach town makes for one of the best cheap places to travel in December.

After a day spent frolicking in the emerald Gulf waters, head to The Conch Republic Grill or Seabreeze Island Grill for a taste of fresh Key West shrimp and oysters on the half shell. This idyllic oasis is also the perfect choice for a Christmas getaway—annual celebrations include holiday boat parades and fireworks.

Offering privacy and convenience, this contemporary 1-bedroom vacation rental is within walking distance to the nearest beach along the Gulf of Mexico. A private yard and full kitchen are ideal for more extended stays, especially when traveling with toddlers.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Florida

3. immerse in a winter wonderland in aurora, colorado.

With December highs averaging in the mid-40s all month long, Aurora serves as one of the most affordable places to travel in December for powder enthusiasts. Just an hour from the nearest ski resorts, this Gateway to the Rockies town transforms into a winter wonderland as the temperatures drop.

After an exciting day hitting the slopes, head back into town where an evening of ice skating at The Pond at Southlands (the region’s largest outdoor skating rink) awaits. Nature-lovers shouldn’t miss stopping by the Morrison Nature Center, a sprawling 250-acre nature preserve offering full moon hikes and wildlife watches—sightings of deer, cougars, and bald eagles are common occurrences in the winter months.

Complimentary breakfast, coffee, and parking all make the Comfort Inn Denver Southeast Area a fantastic budget option for exploring not just the greater Denver area, but the quintessential Colorado outdoors. Opt for the suites for full kitchens and separate living areas.

2. Explore the Historic Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona

A year-round temperate climate makes Kingman the perfect winter weather destination for East Coast travelers looking to escape the heavy snow. If you’re looking for a mix of outdoor adventure and museum hopping, this northwest Arizona town is one of our favorite cheap places to travel in December.

Offering a comprehensive look at the history of America’s most famed road route—also known as the Mother Road—the Arizona Route 66 Museum is not to be missed. An underrated destination for oenophiles, Kingman boasts several local wineries such as Cella Winery, Little Old Wine Drinkers Winery, and Stetson Winery – all offering wine tastings and tours.

Just off the historic Route 66, El Trovatore Motel provides easy access to the area’s best attractions—the Powerhouse Visitor Center, Bonelli House, and Mohave Museum of History and Arts are all within a three- minute drive from this classic motel.

You’re also sure to never get lost—its 100-foot-long neon sign has served as a beacon in the night sky for weary Route 66 travelers looking for a quiet place to rest their head since first opening in 1939.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Kingman

1. find plenty of beach fun in lake worth beach, florida.

Situated on Palm Beach island, Lake Worth Beach rounds out our list of cheap places to travel in December. With temperatures averaging in the late-70s all month long, this quiet Florida town is perfect for travelers looking for a beach getaway minus the crowds—and price tag—of Miami .

Tee off at Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course—with views of the Lake Worth Lagoon, it’s one of the area’s most scenic golf courses. Whet your appetite for fresh seafood and island-themed cocktails at Dave’s Last Resort & Raw Bar. Serving up some of the area’s best oysters for over two decades, the conch ceviche, garlic steamed clams and clam chowder are not to be missed.

Guests can expect a full kitchen, a dedicated parking spot and flat- screen TV during their stay at Peacock Paradise , a centrally-located 1- bedroom apartment rental . Set in downtown Lake Worth Beach, this cozy property is within walking distance to several of the town’s renowned restaurants and bars, as well as the beach and Lake Worth Lagoon.

Take Off With Me

Best places to travel in December on a Budget

  • August 13, 2023
  • Updated March 12, 2024

Are you one of those who want to use the winter break to get away from the traditional celebrations and go on a vacation? December is one of the best months to travel to many parts of the world. Explore some exotic beach destinations, hit the ski slopes of a fairytale Alpine ski resort, or enjoy the spring in the warm Southern Hemisphere – there are so many different options to make the most of your holiday season.  Unfortunately, December is not the most affordable month to travel. Travelers planning a year-end holiday must deal with a heavy rush, exorbitant airfares, and obnoxious hotel rates.

December is abuzz with festivals, vacations, sales, and celebrations in all parts of the world. If you plan your vacation in the last week of December, the only way to get affordable options is to book months in advance. However, if you skip the peak holiday week from Christmas to New Year, costs are quite manageable. Airlines and hotels are on the lookout to woo customers before the holiday rush and you can find plenty of bargains around.

We have curated a list of stunning places where you can travel in December without breaking the bank. One of the major costs of an international vacation is f light tickets . Keeping that in mind, we have listed destinations from all parts of the world. You can choose a location closer to your home and cut down on airfare costs.

THAILAND IN DECEMBER

cheap travel places in december

Thailand is a budget destination all year round and December is no exception. Turquoise clear waters, sultry beaches, gorgeous islands, buzzing nightlife, artistic temples, and relaxing messages make Thailand a coveted destination for travelers worldwide. December is one of the best months to visit Thailand as days are pleasant with lots of sunshine and there is little or no rain. You can take your pick from the gorgeous Thai islands like Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi Island, Koh Samui, etc., or just enjoy the vibrant Bangkok.

Christmas and New Year are celebrated with full gusto and everything is brightly lit and festive. Musical events, galas, and celebrations are organized in all parts of the country. There is no dearth of budget hostels and hotels in Thailand. If you consider the affordable flight options, lip-smacking street food, inexpensive massages, and dirt-cheap shopping – you should have no problem having a whale of a time in Thailand, and that too within your budget .

Recommended Places to Visit in December : Bangkok, Krabi, Phi Phi Island, Chiang Mai, Phuket

INDIA IN DECEMBER

Munnar, Kerala Itinerary - 7 Days

From the snow-covered mountains of North India & the historical regions of Rajasthan /Agra to the scenic beaches of Goa & lush landscapes of Kerala – December is one of the best times to visit India . If the north is freezing with sub-zero temperatures, south India is witnessing the best time of the year with warm sunshine and non-existent rains. The temperature and climates keep changing as you move across the huge, well-spread-out country, so plan accordingly.

India is always affordable as there are multiple options for budget accommodations, reasonable restaurants, and an efficient public transport system. Rates in Goa will be hitting the roof during Christmas and New Year, but the rest of the country will see marginal spikes as most cities have low-key Christmas and New Year celebrations.  December-end is a holiday season in India , so  make your reservations in advance if you want to find reservations and stay within your budget.

Recommended Places to Visit in December : Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan , Agra, Delhi, Gujarat , Karnataka, Varanasi, Andamans

DUBAI IN DECEMBER

cheap travel places in december

The architectural marvels, ultra-cool vibes, unlimited shopping options , extravagant lifestyles, fun attractions, and world-class infrastructure make Dubai popular amongst people of all age groups and nationalities. The city keeps reinventing itself, and you’ll always discover exciting new attractions to explore anytime you go. December is the best time to visit Dubai – streets are bustling with festivities, the entire city is illuminated, malls are buzzing with offers and temperatures are much cooler (16°-26°C). Staying in Dubai during the New Year can be expensive, but you can witness the brilliant and grand display of fireworks at the iconic Burj Khalifa.

Dubai is the hub for Emirates, one of the biggest airlines in the world. So, you can easily find good airfare deals if you keep checking. There are abundant eateries and hotels/serviced apartments in Dubai that cater to all budgets. If you are a shopaholic, the shopping offers and discounts should compensate for the extras you end up spending when you choose to holiday in Dubai during the peak season.

PHILLIPPINES IN DECEMBER

cheap travel places in december

If you are looking to avoid the crowded Southeastern countries, you can plan a vacation to the Philippines – an archipelago consisting of more than 7000 tropical islands. The picturesque islands, with white-powdery beaches, lush rainforests, stunning waterfalls, and smoldering volcanoes, are largely unexplored and untouched. The trendy nightlife, welcoming locals, and abundant adventure activities add to the charm of the amazing country.

In December, all parts of the Philippines are fully accessible.  Days are sunny with minimal rainfall, humidity is manageable and temperatures range from 22° to 32°C. Christmas is celebrated with lots of fanfare and preparations start as early as September . The Philippines can be explored on just about any budget as there are lots of cheap options for lodging, food, and transport.

Recommended Places to Visit in December: Boracay, El Nido, Chocolate Park, Siargao Island Coron, Cebu, and Palawan.

NEW ZEALAND IN DECEMBER

cheap travel places in december

As New Zealand is located in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the start of summer in this breathtaking paradise with temperatures ranging between 20°-30°C. The country is peppered with tranquil lakes, snow-capped mountains, mysterious volcanoes, and picturesque glaciers. With flowers in full bloom, the countryside looks enchanting, and every turn reveals more stunning views. Days are long and warm. You have the option to relax on the white-sand beaches, swim in the Pacific Sea, experience endless adventure sports , or just soak in the spectacular panoramic views.

December gets merrier and festive around Christmas. Schools close before Christmas for the summer holidays and the tourist spots are buzzing with domestic and international travelers. Perfect time to soak in the festive spirit in the sunny warm weather away from the harsh winters of the Northern Hemisphere. It is best to book well in advance if you want to travel during the last week of December. The other ways to regulate your budget are to rent a car, stay on the outskirts, and keep your adrenalin rush under control. Adventure sports are really expensive and can mess up your estimated expenses.

Recommended Places to Visit in December : Queenstown, Rotorua, Auckland, Bay of Islands, Wellington

PRAGUE IN DECEMBER

cheap travel places in december

If you are looking to travel in December and can stand the freezing temperatures (-3° to 4°), Prague is a very good option. The city is known for its Baroque architecture, old-world charm, cobbled streets, deep-rooted history, and quaint bridges. In December, Prague becomes a Winter Wonderland with sprinkled snow, outdoor Christmas markets , illuminated streets, festive euphoria, and delicious food. The city is cold but the rainy season is over and Prague is incredibly beautiful, romantic, and magical.

Prague is known as a budget-friendly European destination and during December the city gets affordable. Flights tickets are rock-bottom, accommodations are reasonably priced and there are fewer people around. Perfect winter destination to enjoy the festive season and that too within your budget . If you visit around the 20th of December, you will see the entire city illuminated with Christmas lights, bright colors, lively music, and endless celebrations. Use the opportunity to visit the rest of Eastern Europe . 

SPAIN IN DECEMBER

cheap travel places in december

Like the rest of Europe, Spain will be frigid in the winter, with temperatures ranging from 6° to 15° C. Because of its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, Spain is regarded as having the warmest climate in Europe . Spain is a large country with varying climates depending on the place you visit. If you want to enjoy the sun, the Canary Islands and Costa del Sol are excellent choices, while Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, and Granada are ideal for learning about Spanish culture and history.

During Christmas and New Year, the entire Spain is lit up, celebrations are in full swing and the country looks magical. If you need more, there is amazing food , lively locals, and stunning landscapes. December is considered a low season in Spain so you have fewer tourists, cheap accommodations, and bargain fares. At the moment, visitors need to access the Spain Health Control Form before arriving in the country. This measure will help reduce the spread of viruses by asking visitors to fill out a health questionnaire online.

Recommended Places to Visit in December : Seville, Barcelona, Granada, Canary Islands, Madrid

EGYPT IN DECEMBER

Egypt Travel Guide

One country that manages to find a place on everyone’s bucket list is Egypt . It has some of the world’s most resilient and well-preserved monuments, which continue to perplex researchers. The Pyramids of Giza , the enigmatic Mummies, The Valley of Kings, and the Tomb of Tutankhamun have fascinated travelers for decades. In recent years, tourists have discovered the idyllic beaches and swanky resorts of the Red Sea.

December is one of the best times to visit Egypt. The temperatures are pleasant throughout the day with occasional showers. You might need a light jacket if you plan an early-morning or late-night outing. Due to cooler climates and the approaching holiday season, the attractions and Bazaars are crowded, the nightlife is buzzing and you can feel the festivities in the air. The hotel rates and airfares would spiral during the festive week. But the rest of December is quite affordable, especially for people coming from the Western part of the world.

Recommended Places to Visit in December : Giza, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Sharm el-sheik, Hurghada, Abu Simbel 

MEXICO IN DECEMBER

cheap travel places in december

The rainy season is over, days are sunny, the sea is warm, and temperatures are pleasant – December is an ideal time to visit most parts of Mexico with temperatures around 24°-28°C. The beautiful, warm, diverse, fun-packed, and energetic Mexico is always a most sought-after destination and December has many positives. It is one of the best seasons for experiencing traditional Mexican festivals, watching the excellent wildlife, relaxing on the pristine beaches, and enjoying myriad water activities.

The later part of December would see big celebrations, holiday crowds, and steep prices. It would be prudent to travel at the beginning of the month if you are looking for bargains and discounted rates. If the end of December is the only time you can spare, you should avoid Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and other popular resort towns. Head to towns like Mexico City, Cozumel, Tulum, and Oaxaca that provide unique cultural experiences and are easy on the pocket.

Recommended Places to Visit in December: Rivera Maya, Cozumel, Tulum, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas

CARIBBEAN ISLANDS IN DECEMBER

cheap travel places in december

The Caribbean is one destination that has plenty of sunshine throughout the year and visitors in December are in for perfect weather (19°-30°C). Days are dry and sunny, evenings are cool, and the threat of hurricanes is over. You can lounge on the pristine beaches , explore the dense rainforests, try your luck in the casinos, spot the vibrant coral reefs, enjoy the famed nightlife, or indulge in some holiday shopping.

It is not easy deciding where to holiday amongst the 7000 enchanting islands of the Caribbean Sea. Jamaica, Belize, Dominican Republic, The Bahamas, and Puerto Rico are some of the islands that are most sought after in December. Multiple flights, affordable lodging, live music, cultural events, scrumptious food, and non-stop celebrations – everything needed for a scintillating, enjoyable, and affordable vacation. The region starts filling up before Christmas and room/flight rates escalate, so target the first three weeks of December if you have a limited budget.

Recommended Places to Visit in December: Aruba, Turks And Caicos Islands, Barbados, Dominica, Anguilla, Puerto Rico, Belize, St. Kitts

MOROCCO IN DECEMBER

cheap travel places in december

Visiting Morocco in December can be a rewarding experience, especially if you enjoy cooler weather and want to explore the country without the sweltering heat of summer. Coastal cities like Casablanca and Rabat typically have milder temperatures, but inland towns like Marrakech and Fez would be slightly colder. The Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert can get quite cold and snowfall is possible in higher elevations. Morocco is a developing country, so you can find affordable prices all year. Since it is the off-season, December has some of the year’s best deals.

Morocco is known for its maze-like colorful alleys, age-old customs, lively markets, exotic scents, intriguing past, and the Moroccan Desert. You can click all you want as vivid surprises and ancient history await you around every corner. Popular tourist destinations include the Medina of Marrakech, the coastal town of Essaouira, the ancient cities of Fez and Chefchaouen, and the breathtaking landscapes of the Sahara Desert and the Atlas Mountains. 

The Sahara Desert can experience significant temperature drops in December, so if you’re planning to go, be prepared for cooler evenings and mornings. However, this also means that activities like camel trekking and stargazing will be more comfortable. Morocco is predominantly Muslim, and locals celebrate the Islamic New Year (Hijri New Year) and the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday in December.  

Recommended Places to Visit in December : Marrakech, Fez, Chefchaouen, Casablanca

CAMBODIA IN DECEMBER

Best places to travel in December on a Budget

Cambodia, one of Southeast Asia’s more affordable destinations, is ideal for long-haul winter sunseekers on a budget. Cambodia enters its dry season in December, considered one of the best times to visit the region due to the favorable weather conditions. The country is known for its ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples, beaches, lush countryside, incredible art, bargain-filled bazaars, and succulent street food. Most tourists visit the amazing country to explore the jungle-entwined temples of Angkor Wat – the spectacular ruins of the mighty Khmer Empire.

Cambodia also offers a variety of other attractions, such as Phnom Penh’s enticing riverfronts and imposing palaces, Battambang’s colonial towns, the never-ending rice fields of Mondulkiri, and the tranquil dense forests. While Cambodia’s coastline may not be as well-known as that of other Southeast Asian destinations, it is still a good time to visit beach towns like Sihanoukville and nearby islands. Clear skies and pleasant temperatures make it a great time for beach activities. December is also the month of the Water Festival, also known locally as “Bon Om Touk.” This festival commemorates the end of the rainy season and the reversal of the Tonle Sap River’s flow.

Recommended Places to Visit in December : Siem Reap , Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Kampot, Battambang, Kep

Have you been to any other country in December that you feel should be added to the list? You can use the comment section to give some options.

This Post Has 4 Comments

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I love visiting Spain around Christmastime! They always seem to go all out of the festive lights which I absolutely love 🙂

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Finding an affordable destination is not easy in December. Good suggestions

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We are looking for a family holiday trip to one location after ur valuable and affordable package from the following destination pls. MALDIVES, MAURITIUS, SINGAPORE, NEPAL, INDONESIA, THAILAND, MALAYSIA, BHUTAN, VIETNAM,MYANMAR Kindly send me with Hotel 3*, Flight Ticket, Visa, Tour location transpsort…………etc

Mob: +91 8281813985

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Hi I just give travel tips and ideas. Not a travel agent, so wont be able to help you there.

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The 12 Best Places to Travel in December

By Caitlin Morton

Santiago Chile

When thinking about the best places to travel in December, you may be tempted to view the month through the lens of Christmas—which is understandable, given the wealth of cities that go all out for the holidays . And while we’re always down for a European Christmas market or dazzling lights display, there are plenty of reasons to travel this month outside of the holly and the jolly.

Whether you want to get a jumpstart on ski season or escape the winter doldrums in the Caribbean, here are the 12 best places to travel in December.

This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

Miami

Miami, Florida

Many people head to Miami in early December for Art Basel Miami Beach , a glittering, four-day confab (scheduled for December 8–10 in 2023) that lures both the fashion and art worlds. The lineup of artists includes 24 first-time participants (out of 277 total) hailing everywhere from New York to Seoul, plus several guest lectures and dining experiences.

There are plenty of reasons to visit Miami beyond the final moments of Art Basel, of course—namely a booming high-end hotel scene. The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort is an art destination in and of itself, with geometric metal walls and massive sculptures hanging from the lobby ceiling. Other luxurious amenities, like private butlers and a gourmet burger bar, make this the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. For a beachier (but just as luxurious) stay, head to The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne , located about 15 miles from South Beach. Its ocean views and tequila-stocked restaurant are great any time of year, but this December welcomes a slew of holiday-themed perks, like eggnog in the lobby and peppermint pedicures in the spa.

Yellowstone in winter

Yellowstone National Park

If you haven’t visited Yellowstone in the dead of winter, you are missing out on one of the most incredible travel experiences out there. Not only will you escape the typical summer hoards that make it nearly impossible to see wildlife and popular sites like Old Faithful—starting in December, the park is closed to cars and will only allow snowcoaches and snowmobiles to enter—but the relative quiet and icy chills of winter make our oldest national park feel even more like a mystical wonderland. Just imagine: sleepy bison with snow-dusted beards, bright blue pools set against a blanket of white, and boardwalks billowing with steam from the surrounding thermal features.

There are only a couple of in-park lodges open in the winter, but luckily they are incredibly cozy and convenient. Located in the heart of Yellowstone, Old Faithful Snow Lodge will get an extra dose of holiday magic this December, with trees set up throughout the hotel, in-room Christmas sweets, cookie decorating stations, and visits from Santa. Guests can also book several outdoor excursions from the lodge, ranging from guided snowshoe tours to wildlife photo safaris.

Azores

The Azores, Portugal

This once-overlooked archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic is tailor-made for adventurers—think whale watching, hiking calderas, and rappelling down waterfalls. (The island of Terceira is home to the only volcano in the world where visitors can explore a chimney and secondary magma chamber, sitting side by side.) And while tourism has caught up to the Azores within the past decade, visiting during the winter gives you a glimpse of what Eden once looked like.

December isn’t chilly here, despite the archipelago’s Atlantic location—the Gulf Stream keeps the year-round temperatures surprisingly balmy, with the mercury rarely dropping below 60 degrees or so. The island of Santa Maria generally boasts the warmest climate, though swimming may be off the table in the winter. If you’re craving water time, pay a visit to a geothermally heated hot spring instead.

Best Places to Travel in December Salzburg at Christmas

Salzburg, Austria

Germany tends to get most of the attention when it comes to Christmas markets (for good reason), but neighboring Austria can be just as festive and charming—especially in the city of Salzburg. It’s not a surprise that the UNESCO World Heritage -listed Old City, which served as the backdrop for The Sound of Music, also fills its famed Christkindlmarkt with song.

With roots dating back to the 15th century, the market’s sing-alongs and traditional wind music are as much a part of the festivities as the mulled wine and stands selling ornaments and fluffy socks. We’re not mad about the bauernkrapfen (fried pastries), either. The market earns extra points for being just steps away from Hotel Goldener Hirsch , one of the world’s oldest luxury hotels and a perfect spot to warm up between outdoor shopping sprees.

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Just down the Caribbean coast from the Yucatán with a fraction of the tourism, Belize has transformed from a backpacker haven into a luxury destination over the past few years. (Bonus: It’s only a five-hour flight from New York.) Along with world-class reefs for diving and Mayan ruins for exploring, the country is known for its conservation efforts, particularly when it comes to protecting ocean life. Many hotels and resorts have jumped on the eco-friendly bandwagon, including Turneffe Island Resort , which goes to great lengths to support the population of Antillean Manatees in the nearby Turneffe Atoll. Guests may get a chance to spot the gentle giants while staying on the resort’s 14-acre private island, while gift shop purchases go straight to the Belize Manatee Conservation Program.

Aside from offering an indulgent, adults-only stay on a true white-sand beach, Matachica Resort & Spa provides interactive workshops to learn about the Belize Barrier Reef, including guided scuba diving trips and helicopter tours. Given that December 4 marks World Wildlife Conservation Day, we say there’s no better time to pay these forward-thinking hotels a visit.

Switzerland

Switzerland

Switzerland is always one of the world’s most beautiful countries, but it becomes downright magical come winter: city squares dusted with snow and mountainsides transformed into the best ski slopes on the planet. It can be hard to pick just one Swiss destination to visit in December, which is why hopping on the Glacier Express is the perfect introduction to this wintery wonderland.

The Glacier Express is an eight-hour train ride that connects two of Switzerland’s biggest mountain resorts—Zermatt and St. Moritz—but it’s really more about the journey than the destination here. The train passes over 290 bridges, delivering panoramic views of landmarks like the Oberalp Pass and Matterhorn, and it even includes three-course meals to really help you enjoy every second of the ride.

Charleston South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

If you want an immersive Christmas experience but aren’t a fan of cold weather, Charleston is the perfect destination for you. In fact, we’d argue that winter is one of the best times to visit, when temperatures hover around the 50s and 60s. Holiday attractions this year include the 34th Annual Holiday Festival of Lights (November 10–December 31, 2023), featuring an estimated 2 million twinkling lights, and Holiday Swing (December 2, 2023), a concert of reimagined Christmas carols courtesy of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra.

The city has no shortage of fabulous hotels, but some notable properties go all out for the holidays. The French Quarter Inn , voted one of the best hotels in Charleston by our readers, will be fully decked out with a Christmas tree and free gingerbread cookies in the rotunda, while the Sleigh Bell Suite comes with even more festive amenities: an in-room eggnog bar, freshly-baked cookies served by the fireplace, holiday movie screenings, and a special reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas from Santa himself. Over at The Spectator Hotel , personal butlers assigned to each guest can transform your room with personalized Christmas decorations, plus bring you any treats and drinks you request.

Whistler Canada

Whistler, Canada

If you’re desperately seeking slopes, you can’t do much better than the largest ski area in North America. With 8,171 acres of skiable terrain and hills ranging in difficulty from green to double-black, the twin peaks of Whistler Blackcomb truly have something for every winter sports enthusiast. Both the Big Red Express lift and Creekside Gondola were reworked a couple of years ago to hold more people, meaning the mountains will feel far less congested and visitors can enjoy even more rounds of powder.

Once you pack up your poles for the day, soak up all the après glory at Whistler Village. Here you’ll find the resort area’s largest concentration of bars and restaurants, ranging from the buzzy high-end seafood restaurant Wild Blue to the upscale yet relaxed Braidwood Tavern . In terms of hotels, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler looks (and feels) like a true fairy tale castle, nestled at the base of Blackcomb.

Santiago Chile

Santiago, Chile

​​Travelers often overlook Chile’s capital city in favor of splashier South American destinations like Rio or Buenos Aires—but we encourage you not to make that same mistake. Santiago is not only a superb base for outdoor adventure, thanks to its location between the Andes and the Pacific, but it’s an excellent standalone destination for anyone who loves great food, great wine, and plenty of shopping opportunities.

After exploring the city’s coolest neighborhoods, tack on a side trip to Valparaíso—the former seaport home of Pablo Neruda and current headquarters for the Chilean Navy. It’s just a two-hour drive here from Santiago, but you’ll want to plan to stay overnight (and not just because you’ll be drinking a lot of wine). With its colorful hillside houses and abundance of museum-worthy street art, Valparaíso is not an easy place to say goodbye to.

Antarctica

If you’re anything like us, emerging from two years of lockdowns and closed borders has inspired you to finally book that once-in-a-lifetime trip you’ve always dreamed about—like an expedition to Antarctica , for example. The white continent is at its best from December to March, when wildlife is active and the sun shines for nearly 24 hours a day. And while trips like these typically require a lot of advance planning, there’s still time to book a spot on an expedition cruise ship before 2023 wraps up (although you may want to use this time to start researching for next year).

Ponant has about a dozen sailings available through the end of December, with trips ranging from 10 to 15 nights and including stops in South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Another great option is Quark Expedition’s “Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent” voyage, an 11-day trip with six departure dates within the month of December (plus many in 2024). Each sailing includes the typical stops, but Quark also started offering a majorly cool add-on a few years ago: alpine heli-trekking, in which guests board a helicopter (just imagine those views) and fly to typically inaccessible terrain to enjoy hiking or snowshoeing.

Moskito Island British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands

Made up of more than 60 tropical isles, the British Virgin Islands are easily one of the best places to travel in December. The archipelago is the epitome of Caribbean relaxation with white-sand beaches and lush rainforests—not to mention some of the best hotels in the entire region. Richard Branson’s Necker Island is arguably the most famous resort, freshly reconstructed with an emphasis on sustainability. New wind turbines join the existing solar farm so that the resort runs on 90 percent renewable energy. Even the staff uniforms are made from recycled plastic.

Recent years saw the arrival of two new private island resorts, both of which appeared on our 2022 Hot List . Off the northern end of Virgin Gorda, Saba Rock ’s nine-bedroom boutique hotel boasts a bustling rooftop bar, spacious guest rooms, and a seemingly endless supply of water sports. Meanwhile, Branson struck gold again with Moskito Island , located just two miles away from Necker Island. Guests with deep pockets can choose from three private estate rentals, each with its own distinct style. Amenities like private chefs and house managers available to help 24/7—plus the chance of running into Branson himself on the tennis courts—offer a true taste of a billionaire’s vacation.

best places to travel in december Paris

Paris shines extra bright during the holiday season, from the lights along the Champs-Élysées to store window displays that rival museum art installations. This year is a particularly great time to plan a trip, with inexpensive nonstop flights with French Bee (France’s first low-cost carrier ) and a crop of new hotel openings. Be one of the first to stay at Bulgari Hotel Paris or Hôtel Madame Rêve , housed in a former 24-hour post office—or choose from one of the many established hotels in the city.

For an extra-special holiday experience, book a spot on the “ Paris at the Holidays ” group trip (November 30–December 7) from specialty planning company French Affaires. Curated by France travel expert Elizabeth New Seitz, the trip includes an evening tour of the city’s Christmas lights, a private tour of the Louvre, a Buche de Noel (yule log) cooking class, and French afternoon teas at some of the city’s top palace hotels.

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Best places to visit in december 2024.

Planning a vacation in December can feel overwhelming alongside holiday shopping and year-end festivities. But you'll thank yourself later if you squeeze in time for a trip before the new year. U.S. News considered prices, events, accessibility and seasonal crowds to decide the best places to visit in December. Whether you're seeking a warm-weather hideaway or want to experience the holiday spirit in a snow-covered town, you'll find it in these destinations. Vote for your favorite spot below to help decide next year's list.

London, England

U.s. virgin islands, french alps, torres del paine national park, hawaii - the big island, new york city, rio de janeiro, quebec city.

cheap travel places in december

London is abuzz with holiday-themed activities in December. Holiday pop-ups transform attractions like Hyde Park and the London Zoo, while Christmas ballets and concerts take over the city's legendary entertainment scene. What's more, "Harry Potter" fans can opt for a festive tour during the Hogwarts in the Snow event at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. Chilly temperatures in the 40s and rainy conditions mean it's the perfect time to don your coziest jumper. Plus, London's rainy day standbys like the Tower of London and the British Museum are typically less crowded at this time of year.

cheap travel places in december

If you're seeking palm-fringed festivities without the need for a passport, look no further than the U.S. Virgin Islands. December is the start of the dry season in this Caribbean island chain, and average temperatures in the 70s and 80s are perfect for lounging on beautiful white sand beaches like Magens Bay or snorkeling in Virgin Islands National Park. Plus, you'll get a taste of the islands' vibrant culture during the Crucian Christmas Festival, which takes place on St. Croix at the end of the month. Partake in the merriment with parades, music competitions and more.

cheap travel places in december

Snow-capped mountains, quaint villages and mouthwatering cuisine (much of which involves some form of melted cheese) make the French Alps a classic winter getaway. Most ski resorts open by early December, so you can get an early start on the slopes for the season, or just take part in the lively après-ski experience in iconic destinations like Val d'Isère and Chamonix. What's more, many villages like the châteaux-studded Annecy amp up the charm with cozy Christmas markets throughout the month. Winter in the Alps is never cheap, but try visiting earlier in the month before school holidays for the best room rates.

cheap travel places in december

Make the trek to the Finnish Lapland for the ultimate Arctic experience. Finland's northernmost region promises a deep layer of snow all winter, perfect for skiing or sledding down the longest toboggan run in Europe. Most flights to this region land in Rovaniemi, home to Santa Claus Village, where you can meet the man in red, step across the Arctic Circle or embark on a reindeer sleigh ride. Though you'll only see about four hours of daylight, this makes for prime conditions to view the dazzling aurora borealis from the comfort of one of the glass hotels in the region.

cheap travel places in december

December is one of the most popular months to visit the Bahamas – and for good reason. By the time this month rolls around, the threat of hurricanes has passed, making it terrific time to enjoy the outdoors. Spend your days lounging on one of the Bahamas' many beaches, snorkeling or diving in the crystal-clear water or taking a boat tour to a private island . What's more, if you're visiting around the holidays, you'll catch the travel-worthy Junkanoo festival , which celebrates Bahamian culture with parades and festivities on Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

cheap travel places in december

Although Phuket, Thailand, offers a consistently warm climate year-round, its dry weather and calm water in December make this month a great time to visit. Plan on spending most of your time sunbathing, swimming, scuba diving and more at beautiful beaches like Nai Harn and Kata Noi. But remember, December falls within Phuket's peak tourist season, so you won't find many deals for flights and accommodations during this month. Avoid a holiday visit in late December for slightly better rates.

cheap travel places in december

Located in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is a backpacker's dream due to its breathtaking landscapes and unmatched preservation. The remote kingdom's focus on cultural and environmental sustainability means heritage sites like the cliff-clinging Paro Taktsang and the riverside Punakha Dzong are never overcrowded. But cooler winter temperatures (averages range from the 30s to the 60s, depending on elevation) mean you'll encounter even fewer tourists. While a trip to this intriguing destination won't be cheap, a low-season visit can drive down the price of lodging and tours.

cheap travel places in december

Nestled in southern Chilean Patagonia, this national park offers travelers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hailed among hikers as one of the most scenic destinations in the world, the park is home to turquoise lakes and dense forests, plus massive Grey Glacier and the towering granite of Cuernos del Paine. December offers up to 17 hours of daylight, allowing plenty of time for extensive hikes. But even though December is part of Patagonia's peak summer season, temperatures drop dramatically after nightfall, so visitors will want to pack layers.

cheap travel places in december

This Hawaiian paradise is the perfect place to escape winter's onset. Weary travelers can thaw on colorful beaches like Punalu'u Beach (which has beautiful black sand ) and Papakolea Beach (a unique green sand option), while more adventurous types can go for a hike in 'Akaka Falls State Park or catch a glimpse of the more than 4,000-foot-tall Kilauea volcano at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. You'll likely contend with other snowbirds in December, but you'll find that hotel prices on the Big Island are still consistently lower than those on neighboring isles.

cheap travel places in december

If Old Man Winter has you dreaming of warming things up, consider a trip to the Spice Island. Grenada, a tiny island in the Caribbean known for its aromatic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, boasts steady temps in the 80s. And since December sits just between the rainy season and high tourism season, it's the perfect time to catch some rays without the crowds (or cost) of the months to come. Spend your days lounging on Grand Anse Beach or sampling the island's rich flavors at local markets or the House of Chocolate.

cheap travel places in december

It's not surprising that dozens of holiday movies are set in New York. Dazzling sights like the iconic Christmas tree and ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center, decked-out window displays at Macy's and horse-drawn carriages in Central Park conjure up holiday cheer throughout the city. And while this metropolis offers plenty to do throughout the year, festive shows, Christmas-themed pop-up experiences and even the nip in the air make December one of New York's most magical months. Just be prepared for a bit of sticker shock; the holiday season is also one of the most popular (and expensive) times of year to visit.

cheap travel places in december

If you're willing to brave the cold, travel to Prague for a fun and festive winter vacation. The city turns into a winter wonderland in December, with snow-dusted buildings and Christmas markets selling everything from locally made jewelry to toys to Christmas ornaments. Those with little ones in tow should try to arrive in early December when the annual St. Nicholas Eve event takes place. During this traditional celebration, you'll see Czechia's version of St. Nick, along with his angel and devil guides, hand out candy and other treats as they walk around the city.

cheap travel places in december

While the Northern Hemisphere transitions to winter in December, Rio de Janeiro enters its peak summer season. And although this is one of the wettest times of the year here, you'll still enjoy optimal warmth and mostly sunny conditions. As such, there will be plenty of opportunities to see must-visit sights like the Christ the Redeemer statue or Sugarloaf Mountain. If you're keen on experiencing Rio's lively party scene during your visit, be sure to time your trip around Réveillon. This popular New Year's Eve celebration on Copacabana Beach draws millions of people annually with its music, dancing and fireworks.

cheap travel places in december

The holiday season in Germany's fourth largest city can only be described as magical. Cologne hosts a handful of Christmas markets, including the popular Advent village at Cologne Cathedral, which boasts 150 stalls. When you're not taking in the city's imposing architecture or getting into the jovial spirit with a glass of Kölsch beer (a Cologne original), pop into Museum Ludwig to view modern art or the Chocolate Museum for tasty samples. Combat the dreary weather – average highs are in the low 40s and rain is common – by soaking away the chill at a thermal spa such as Neptunbad or Claudius Therme.

cheap travel places in december

It's easy to fall in love with this Canadian destination, especially when it's covered in fresh snow. You'll be enchanted by Old Québec's sights and sounds as it transforms into a Christmas village. Shop for gifts (or for yourself) in Quartier Petit-Champlain, home to one of the oldest shopping streets in North America. Plus, with its 17th- and 18th-century architecture, French-speaking Quebec City allows you to soak up European culture without dropping the cash for a flight across the pond. Just be sure to bundle up; temperatures can drop to the single digits in December.

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cheap travel places in december

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cheapest places to travel in December in the USA

  • Cheap Travel
  • travel tips

14 Cheapest Places to Travel in December, in the USA!

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  • Posted by by Elle-Rose
  • September 19, 2023
  • 7 minute read

Are you looking for the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA?

If so, i’ve put together some great ideas for you here.

December is one of the most popular times of year to take a vacation, but it can also be one of the most expensive times of year to travel too.

If you’ve found yourself craving a vacation, but your budget is tight, hopefully my list of the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA will give you many fun ideas.

And don’t worry! Whilst many places in the USA do increase in price in December, many places cater to the more budget-conscious travelers too.

cheap travel places in december

Oh, and another great reason to travel in December to these locations I’ve chosen (aside from the cheap rates) is the festive and holiday events! I’ve tried to include lots of options for what to see and do where possible too!

So, here are some affordable options for the where to travel in December in the USA.

Now let’s get into it!

Here are the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA…

New orleans, louisiana.

cheap travel places in december

First up on my list of the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA, it’s New Orleans.

New Orleans offers a unique blend of culture, history, and a festive atmosphere during December, so it’s a fantastic place to check out during the winter.

In December, I recommend checking out the French Quarter, enjoying the live music, and savoring the delicious Creole cuisine.

But don’t forget some of the more seasonal events too!

  • Krampus Dark Christmas Market
  • The Roosevelt New Orleans Waldorf Wonderland Lobby Lighting
  • Porter Lyons Sparkling Holiday Soirée
  • Deutsches Haus Christkindl Market
  • LPO Holiday Spectacular
  •  St. Nick Celebration

Because December is one of the low-season times in New Orleans (peak season is February – May, in case you were wondering) you’ll get cheaper prices at hotels during the winter, making it one of the most affordable places to travel in December in the USA.

San Antonio, Texas

cheap travel places in december

December also tends to be a quieter month in San Antonio , so it’s a great choice for this list!

Peak months in San Antonio tend to be during the summer – and winter tends to attract fewer crowds. This means cheaper rates for you!

So, why visit San Antonio? Well, it’s is known for its rich history and affordable attractions, meaning there’s always something interesting and fun to get involved with.

And don’t forget the festive events and holiday-themed events going on December:

  • SeaWorld San Antonio’s Christmas Celebration
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ Holiday in the Park
  • Zoo Lights! at The San Antonio Zoo
  • The Rotary Ice Rink at Travis Park
  • Christmas at the Caverns
  • The San Antonio River Walk holiday lights

Visit the Alamo, stroll along the River Walk, and enjoy the city’s holiday lights and festivities.

Read more travel ideas: 15 most walkable cities in the USA

Las Vegas, Nevada

cheap travel places in december

Las Vegas is next on my list of the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA. And one of the most fun too!

There is tons to do in Las Vegas, from shows, concerts, restaurants, and gambling, to Grand Canyon day trips!

Whilst Las Vegas isn’t exactly cheap mid to late December (Christmas and New Year mean rates shoot up) it is definitely more affordable at the start of December.

Because of the colder weather, early December is a budget-friendly time to visit Las Vegas. You might also be able to grab some cheaper deals on hotels at this time, especially if you have any member benefits or reward programs.

For the cheapest hotel rates during December in Las Vegas, look at weekdays (instead of weekends). Rates will be lowest at this time and most competitive.

Read more about Las Vegas: 22 Christmas things to do in Las Vegas in December!

Albuquerque, New Mexico

cheap travel places in december

Albuquerque is my next suggestion for the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA.

This lesser-known city hosts the River of Lights holiday event during December, featuring beautiful light displays. It’s a lovely activity and definitely a reason to visit during December.

Additionally, the city offers various affordable outdoor activities and cultural experiences to enjoy in December, making it a really fun and affordable place to visit in December.

Read more travel ideas: 20 romantic getaways in Colorado

Austin, Texas

cheap travel places in december

If you’re a foodie looking for the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA, then Austin is a great shout!

Austin is a vibrant city with live music, great food, and outdoor activities, and the relatively mild temperatures in December make it a fab choice for affordable vacations in the winter.

How would I spend my time? Well, aside from eating my way around the entire city, I’d explore the city’s parks, enjoy food trucks, and experience the lively nightlife.

I’d also want to experience lots of the December events that happen during winter too!

  • Miracle on 5th Street cocktail pop-up
  • German-Texan Heritage Society Christmas Market
  • Ballet Austin’s festive show
  • Austin Trail of Lights
  • Ice Skating On The Plaza at Whole Foods
  • Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
  • Driskill Grand Lobby Tree Lighting

Portland, Oregon

cheap travel places in december

Next on my list of the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA, it’s quirky and cute Portland.

If you’re not too bothered about the weather being warm or dry (because the weather in Portland isn’t known for being particularly great at this time of year!) then Portland could be a great choice for you!

Portland is a haven for nature enthusiasts, with many outdoor activities available. (parks and hikes are right on the doorstep).

But Portland is also fantastic for people who simply love soaking in a city’s vibe. Of which, Portland has a great one.

Visit many of the city’s breweries, food carts and markets, and enjoy being one of the quirkiest and coolest cities in the USA. There are also plenty of seasonal events in Portland in December too!

Read more travel ideas: Romantic getaways in Georgia!

Phoenix, Arizona

cheap travel places in december

Phoenix in Arizona is my next suggestion for cheapest places to travel in December in the USA.

Pheonix offers pretty good and mild weather during December, making it a fantastic destination for December vacations.

And with all the amazing outdoorsy activities in Pheonix, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy those outdoors activities.

Here are some of the winter events you can look forward to:

  • Devour Culinary Classic
  • Arizona Strong Beer Festival
  • Reduced golfing rates at many courses
  • Arizona Cardinals home games!
  • Arizona Coyotes home games!
  • British Wheels on the Green Classic Car Show
  • Christmas at the Princess

Memphis, Tennessee

cheap travel places in december

Memphis is next on my list of the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA.

Obviously, one of the most compelling reasons to visit Memphis in December is its affordability, but there are so many other reasons to love it here too.

Beyond the cost savings, Memphis is steeped in rich cultural and musical heritage, and the temperate December weather allows for pleasant outdoor exploration.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the soulful rhythm of Beale Street, tour the iconic Graceland, or delve into the city’s profound civil rights history at the National Civil Rights Museum.

Here are some other seasonal events to look forward to:

  • St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend
  • Memphis Botanic Garden’s Holiday Wonders
  • Memphis Christmas Parade
  • Memphis Holiday Market
  • Ice skating at the Memphis Zoo

With fewer crowds and reasonable prices, December in Memphis offers a remarkable blend of history, music, and value for every traveler.

Kansas City, Missouri

cheap travel places in december

Next up on my list of affordable travel locations in December, it’s Kansas City !

If great food and great music is your kind of thing, then I think you’re going to love it here because Kansas City is known for its barbecue, jazz music, and affordable attractions.

Here are some of the best winter activities on offer in December too:

  • Dazzling lighting ceremonies
  • Evergy Plaza Lights 
  • Union Station lights and decorations
  • Christmas in the Park light display
  • The Soul of Santa

How would I spend my time in Kansas City? Well, I’d be sure to explore the local museums, enjoy lots of live music, and (obviously) savor the local cuisine.

Read more travel ideas: Birthday trip ideas for your next birthday vacation!

Nashville, Tennessee

cheap travel places in december

How could I write a list of the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA, and not include the iconic Nashville ?

Nashville is ‘off-peak’ in December, so it’s one of the most affordable times of year to visit this musical city.

As you probably already know, Nashville offers a vibrant music scene and rich history, which can pretty much fill up an entire itinerary!

But alongside the year-round attractions, there are lots of fantastic seasons events too:

  • Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center Christmas lights
  • Bass Pro Shops Santa’s Wonderland
  • “Dickens of a Christmas” event
  • “The Dancing Lights of Christmas” event
  • Holiday lights at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
  • Festive tour of Belmont Mansion

But you can also spend time exploring the city’s iconic landmarks strolling along the Cumberland River, and trying local breweries too!

Santa Fe, New Mexico

cheap travel places in december

Another wonderful suggestion for the affordable places to travel in December in the USA, is Sante Fe in New Mexico .

Santa Fe is known for its unique Pueblo-style architecture, art galleries, and rich Native American and Spanish heritage.

It’s one of the cities that people absolutely love visiting, because it has such a distinct energy, appearance and vibe.

The city is also really well-known for it’s vibrant art scene, so if you consider yourself a bit of a creative, I think you’re going to find lots to love in Santa Fe!

Charleston, South Carolina

cheap travel places in december

If you’re looking for cheap places to travel, that are also super cute and charming, look no further than Charleston.

Charleston, South Carolina, is a delightful destination to discover in December , and it also offers a budget-friendly experience for travelers at this time of year too!

As well as being affordable during December, the city is also adorned with festive decorations, creating a magical atmosphere perfect for the holiday season.

Here are some festive events you can expect to experience:

  • Light the Lake at Colonial Lake
  • Holiday Festival of Lights
  • Charleston Holiday Market
  • Life-size gingerbread house inside Hotel Bennett
  • Miracle on Market Street

And I don’t know about you, but one of the main reasons I love traveling in December is because I love feeling festive!

When you visit Charleston, you can stroll through historic streets adorned with twinkling lights, visit historic sites (with reduced winter rates), and enjoy the many cafes and restaurants too.

Read more travel ideas: 20 inexpensive weekend getaways in the USA

Tampa, Florida

cheap travel places in december

Tampa is next on my list of affordable locations to visit in December!

Florida, in general, isn’t the cheapest destination in the US during December because people tend to flock there for the warm weather.

But, saying that, some cities in Florida tend to be much cheaper than others. Where Orlando and the Keys will be very pricy, Tampa tends to be much more affordable in comparison.

Tampa has everything you’d expect from Florida. Great weather, lovely beaches, lots of amenities, shopping and much more.

Here are some of the more festive events you can experience during December:

  • Busch Gardens Christmas Town
  • Tampa River Lighted Holiday Boat Parade
  • Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park
  • Oakdale Christmas House

Read more travel ideas: 15 best places to travel in your 20s, in the USA

cheap travel places in december

Last, on our list of the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA, it’s Santa Rosa.

If you’re looking to explore wineries and vineyards as part of your December vacation, then you can absolutely find some great deals with Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa is one of the biggest cities, closest to the Napa Valley wine region, and because it’s a large city, you can find quite competitive hotel rates (especially in December).

Of course, in terms of things to do in Santa Rosa, you have all the stunning wineries withing an hour’s drive. Perfect for any wine lovers!

But you also have some stunning landscapes and scenery to enjoy too around the city!

Read more travel ideas: 15 best places in the USA for solo female travelers

Hopefully, my list of the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA has given you plenty of ideas!

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Elle-Rose is the owner and editor of The World and Then Some! She has been a professional travel writer for over 12 years, writing for many different publications, including this one. Elle-Rose is a city break expert, and she specializes in popular locations such as NYC, London, Las Vegas and Dubai, regularly visiting to stay on top of new attractions, restaurants and hotels. Elle-Rose is super active on TikTok (@theworldandthensome), and loves filming video content in the cities she visits - so go and say hello!

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20 Best Places to Visit in December, According to Travel Experts

Check out these top destinations for a winter wonderland or warm-weather retreat.

preview for Beautiful Places That Look Magical in Snow

Holiday tourism is hot . Christmas markets, Santa-themed attractions, hotels that give off hygge vibes, light shows and festivals are popping up everywhere. In fact, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers , 47% of Americans are expected to travel this holiday season, and travel-related spending is expected to increase 12% over last year.

We plowed through a blizzard of options to land on these holiday-inspired places to visit in December, and then we added a couple of beachy, warm-weather spots in case that's more your vibe. Our picks are truly next level: Some long weekend locales will blow your kids' minds and cement their belief in Santa, while others are cozy couple's retreats where you can act out your Hallmark movie fantasies. A few even perfectly align with the brilliant trend of vacationing somewhere over the holidays rather than exchanging presents.

While tickets and rooms are still widely available now, it's likely that many of these places will sell out, so dash off to request your PTO!

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego

hotel del coronado, san diego

Ice skating with an ocean view? Not only is it a thing, it's an epic holiday tradition at Hotel del Coronado, winner of a 2022 Good Housekeeping Family Travel Award. Skating by the Sea returns to the historic property from November 17 to January 7. After your 90-minute skating sesh, reserve seating with firepits (mmm, s'mores) at the Frostbite Lounge. Other holiday happenings at The Del include a light show and beachside igloos.

Old Edwards Inn & Spa, Highlands, North Carolina

old edwards inn spa, blue ridge mountains

Give yourself an early holiday present — the gift of a couple's or girlfriend's getaway to Old Edwards Inn & Spa. The adults-only destination in the Blue Ridge Mountains oozes cozy vibes. For a special deal, book its Comfort & Joy package, available Sunday to Thursday, November 1-17 and November 28-December 15.

It includes two nights of lodging, a three-course dinner for two and two 50-minute spa treatments. Lodging options range from an intimate historic room to a two-bedroom suite (perfection for the girls' trip).

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Santa Barbara, California

street in santa brabara with mountains in the background, california, usa

Not only does Santa Barbara get decked out for the holidays, it's also whale-watching season! Migrating Pacific gray whales pass through the Santa Barbara Channel as they head back to Baja California. Visitors can spot them on one of the town's many whale-watching tours. Fortunately, you won't feel too frosty on the boat or at the city's 37th Annual Parade of Lights on December 10.

Stay at The Steward , an all-suite property offering guests a secret hideaway tucked between the ocean and mountains on California's idyllic central coast. Not only does it boast a heated outdoor pool and sweet porch swings, but the hotel also offers many sustainable touches like solar-powered lights and water-filling stations.

Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth, Texas

fort worth stockyards

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the Christmas celebrations. In its 22nd year, Christmas in the Stockyards on December 3 spreads cheer with a massive ice skating rink, photos with Cowboy Santa, strolling carolers and a holiday parade. Even if you can't make it that day, most of the activities (minus the parade) are available throughout the rest of the season. Stay at the nearby Hotel Drover , which will also be decked out for the holidays.

Nashville, Tennessee

nashville, tennessee downtown skyline at twilight

The holiday season really makes the Music City sing. Both the iconic Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry feature festive concerts with superstar performers like LeAnn Rimes, Amy Grant and Vince Gill. As you explore Nashville's neighborhoods, one million twinkling lights can't help but put you in the holiday spirit.

If you're bringing the kids, stay at the Gaylord Opryland Resort , home to an elaborate Polar Express-themed ICE! attraction where kids can zoom down frozen slides. For a more grown-up adventure, stay at the Bobby Hotel. After a show, indulge in warm craft cocktails at the Rooftop Lounge where you can rent a heated igloo while taking in an incredible view of downtown Nashville from 14 stories up.

Salt Lake City, Utah

salt lake city with snow capped mountain

With spectacular mountain views at every turn, Salt Lake City wows winter sports enthusiasts and foodies alike and has incredible seasonal events to boot. Throughout December, visitors can stop by the holiday art market at Alta Ski Resort , hop on a full moon lift ride at Snowbird or take a self-guided tour of the ten striking murals by some of Salt Lake’s most renowned local artists.

Restaurants like downtown's SLC Eatery and White Horse have imaginative menus. Stay nearby at Le Méridien or Element downtown. "The two hotels are under one roof and we enjoyed them both," says a Good Housekeeping staffer who recently visited. "The Element is more kid-friendly and includes free breakfast while Le Méridien is high-end and has a rooftop bar."

Biddeford, Maine

biddford, maine the lincoln hotel

A hidden gem about a half hour south of Portland, Biddeford's downtown gives off Hallmark movie vibes. Come for the annual Holiday Festival on December 1, which includes a tree and menorah lighting, caroling and even free desserts prepared by the local cultural center. Make it a weekend with a stay at The Lincoln Hotel , which fills its lobby with Christmas trees and has gas fireplaces in every room. Don't forget to stop for lunch at the Palace Diner in a vintage railcar and the oldest diner in Maine.

shoal bay east

Tucked away in the Eastern Caribbean, Anguilla is known for its magnificent beaches and easygoing atmosphere. With 33 beaches, most boasting soft, white sand, it's an undeniable paradise in December. From fun family activities like glass floor boat rides to romantic beachside dinners, the island has something for everyone.

Visitors can stay at the Frangipani Beach Resort , a luxury boutique resort set in the middle of Meads Bay, one of Anguilla’s most renowned beaches. Featuring 23 rooms and suites, travelers can take advantage of the plentiful amenities like beach and poolside service and complimentary water sports such as tubing and kayaking.

Tulum, Mexico

mayan ruins of tulum, mexico

There’s more to Mexico than burritos and mojitos. Tulum's legendary ruins are a historic wonder and the third-most visited site in Mexico. What's more, Tulum’s breathtaking flora and fauna make it a prime destination for those who appreciate natural beauty.

Stay at an all-inclusive beach resort that appeals to all ages: the Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort . With eight pools, 13 restaurants and bars, a luxury spa and an exclusive Family Zone, it has everything you need to be a home away from home. A Good Housekeeping staffer who recently visited with her family said, "The resort is beautiful and there are nice nightlife things for parents to do while the kids are in the kids club."

Snowflake Lane, Bellevue, Washington

snowflake lane, bellevue washington

Pick up gifts for everyone on your list and see a magical nighttime parade all in one place! That's multi-tasking at its finest. Every night from November 24 to December 24, a holiday parade with nearly 200 performers, floats and faux snow transforms this shopping and entertainment mecca near Seattle into a veritable winter wonderland. You can even stay overnight in the heart of the festivities at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue , which has an indoor pool and an amazing breakfast buffet.

Sydney, Australia

view of sydney harbour, australia

With summer heating up in the Southern Hemisphere, December is the perfect month to take a trip down under. For travelers who enjoy nature and wildlife, take an immersive walking tour with knowledgeable, indigenous guides to explore the city’s living world.

During your trek, visitors might get a glimpse of cute koalas sitting in treetops, spot a hopping kangaroo or experience other unforgettable creature encounters. For those who’d rather relax, the city has plenty of brilliant beaches to lounge on and sunbathe.

Beyond nature, Sydney is teeming with iconic sights and cultural attractions like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, which offers kids' programming throughout the month.

Charleston Place, South Carolina

charleston place

Visions of sugar plum fairies will be dancing in your kids' heads if you stay at the Charleston Place, which is embracing the Nutcracker as its holiday decor and programming theme for 2023. To say that the hotel goes all out for Christmas is an understatement: Decorations include more than 100 wreaths, 139 trees (including one that's 41 feet tall) and 10,000 ornaments. Local ballet companies even put on mini performances in the lobby. Sweet dreams are practically guaranteed.

Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania

hersheypark

Oh, what fun it is to ride at Hersheypark! Families can take a spin on select rides and attractions, including the newest coaster, at Christmas Candylane on select dates from November 10 to January. Santa and his nine reindeer also make special appearances at the park. Make it a weekend by staying at Hotel Hershey or Hershey Lodge , which also have a lineup of holiday-themed activities. Many involve chocolate, of course!

The Logan Hotel, Philadelphia

the logan hotel holiday lodge, philadelphia

Celebrating the holidays in Philly? Book a suite that's already decked out for the season. The Logan Hotel's Holiday Lodge Suite will get you in the spirit with its twinkling lights, seasonal bedding and fully decorated tree. Room service is also included — a cart with hot chocolate and eggnog is rolled right into your suite, so your family can customize their own beverages. While you're in town, be sure to check out the Reading Terminal Market and the Christmas Light Show at Macy's.

Alexandria, Virginia

mount vernon virginia

This historic town just outside of Washington, D.C. packs in the festivities all month long. It'll be tough deciding when to go — a Holiday Boat Parade of Lights takes place on December 2, while Christmas Illuminations with fireworks at George Washington's Mount Vernon light up the skies on December 15 and 16. Stay at a hotel in the Old Town area so you'll be near many locally owned shops and restaurants. The Alexandrian boasts a great location and an indoor pool.

sunrise palapa

It's never a bad time to visit Belize, but escaping the bustle of the holiday season for a place with pristine jungles, rainforests and exhilarating adventures sounds like a dream. Stay at Cayo Espanto , a private island that's an enchanting escape. With villas equipped with a personal butler, private dock area and customized meals, guests won’t soon forget the experience. To get in the holiday spirit, the resort even offers a holiday photoshoot for couples or families. Say, cheese!

Little America Hotel North Pole Experience, Flagstaff, Arizona

little america north pole experience

If it's possible to get your kids even more hyped for the holidays, the North Pole Experience will do it. The attraction transports families through a "magical portal" to the North Pole where they'll feast their eyes on Santa's Workshop, a Toy Hall of Fame, the North Pole mailroom and even the famous sleigh. It's about an hour and forty minutes of pure magic! Stay at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, where the magical portal opens (via trolley service) for the journey "up North" on select days from November 17 to December 24.

Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

walt disney world

If you're not sure what to get the kids for the holidays this year, may we suggest a trip to Disney? Instead of spending money on more stuff, put it toward a trip over the holidays where you can make lots of memories.

Float the idea by the kids to see if they're on board, and, if it's a go, start planning your trip, including tickets to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (shown), which runs through December 22. Other holiday must-sees including the gingerbread display (and cookies to purchase!) at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and the Epcot International Festival of Lights (running through December 30.)

Brussels, Belgium

girl buying chocolate in brussels christmas market belgium

European holiday markets are a bucket-list experience — and wouldn't it be marvelous to stop at several without schlepping your luggage (and souvenirs!) all around? The solution: Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is launching a luxury river cruise from Brussels that includes stops at five holiday markets, plus chocolate tastings, cave tours and more. The boutique cruise line also offers options starting in Germany and Switzerland.

Great Wolf Lodge

great wolf lodge

This indoor waterpark chain with 20+ locations goes big for the holidays with storytimes, nightly snowfalls, crafts, Santa visits and decorations galore. The location in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania recently opened stylish woodland villas — a first for the brand and a boon for mult-gen families.

The villas can sleep 8 to 20 guests and have bunk-bed rooms for kids. Other thoughtful touches include hooks in the bathroom to hang wet bathing suits and outdoor tables that double as tic-tac-toe boards. The table idea is the brainchild of designer Nate Berkus, who masterminded the outdoor space.

@media(max-width: 64rem){.css-o9j0dn:before{margin-bottom:0.5rem;margin-right:0.625rem;color:#ffffff;width:1.25rem;bottom:-0.2rem;height:1.25rem;content:'_';display:inline-block;position:relative;line-height:1;background-repeat:no-repeat;}.loaded .css-o9j0dn:before{background-image:url(/_assets/design-tokens/goodhousekeeping/static/images/Clover.5c7a1a0.svg);}}@media(min-width: 48rem){.loaded .css-o9j0dn:before{background-image:url(/_assets/design-tokens/goodhousekeeping/static/images/Clover.5c7a1a0.svg);}} Welcome, Winter!

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15 Most Affordable Places to Travel in the U.S. in August

We've gathered some of the most affordable places to travel this August so you can plan your next summer vacation.

cheap travel places in december

Sean Pavone/Getty Images

While August is one of the most popular travel months, that doesn’t necessarily mean your trip has to cost a small fortune — especially if you know where to go.

To determine the most affordable places to travel in August, we tapped the pros at Kayak to pull flight and hotel data between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31, 2024. The prices listed for each destination below include a combined average for round-trip economy airfare and rate for one overnight stay in a standard double hotel room. “Among the cheapest destinations to fly this August are southern hotspots with major airports like Orlando, New Orleans, and Miami,” says Cara Johnson, Kayak’s consumer travel trends expert. “While these southern destinations come with a lower price tag (and warmer temps!), if you want something on the cooler side, try Denver or San Francisco.”

Additionally, it’s worth noting that all but one of these destinations are located in the mainland United States, making for an easy long weekend escape . So, whether you’re craving a serene beach retreat or an action-packed city adventure, the below destinations offer something for every type of traveler — and, best of all, they won’t break the bank.

Here are 15 of the most affordable places to travel in the U.S. this August.

Orlando, Florida

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

Average cost (including round-trip flights and a one-night hotel stay): $519

A trip to Orlando is always a good idea — especially in August. While the weather’s hot (tip: be sure to pack plenty of SPF and lightweight clothes), you’ll be rewarded with fewer crowds. And while the city is best known for its theme parks — looking at you, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando — budget-conscious travelers may choose to take advantage of Orlando’s many free activities and attractions , including the UCF Arboretum , the Dr. P. Phillips Community Park, and live performances and movie screenings at Lake Eola Park. We’d also be remiss not to mention the city’s burgeoning food and drink scene: There are nearly a dozen Orlando restaurants that have earned the coveted Bib Gourmand designation from Michelin — which highlights top-notch cuisine at excellent value — including Sushi Saint , Otto’s High Dive , and Zaru .

Where to stay: There are countless accommodation options in the Orlando area — check out the Disney and Universal websites to find special seasonal offers to save money. Disney's Pop Century Resort and Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort offer great value for people planning to spend time at the theme parks.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Peter Olsen Photography/Getty Images

Average cost: $520

New Orleans is famous for its Creole culture and cuisine, vibrant music scene, and abundant festivals — making it nearly impossible to be bored. Throughout the month of August, NOLA offers a handful of free and fun-filled events, including Satchmo SummerFest at the New Orleans Jazz Museum , NOLA Pickle Fest , and Red Dress Run . Travelers can also beat the scorching heat at one of the city’s many museums, including the New Orleans Museum of Art , The National World War II Museum, The Sazerac House, and the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture . Finally, cool off with a refreshing daiquiri at the Big Easy Daiquiri or New Orleans Original Daquiri .   

Where to stay: The upscale Omni Royal Orleans hotel is within easy walking distance of top sites like Jackson Square, the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum , and the iconic Cafe Du Monde . The property’s rooftop pool, which offers sweeping city views, is the ideal place to cool off in style. Plus, guests can snag up to 20 percent off summer stays of three nights or longer.

Miami, Florida

Stephanie Pollak/Travel + Leisure

Average cost: $538

With its beautiful beaches, buzzy nightlife, incredible architecture, and captivating arts and culture scene, Miami offers something special for every type of traveler. Best of all, you don’t need to break the bank to have a good time. Many beaches, including the world-famous South Beach, are free, as are parks like the waterfront Lummus Park and Flamingo Park, which offers a swimming pool, playground, and baseball field. Alternatively, take a self-guided tour of the city’s Art Deco Historic District or the eclectic Wynwood neighborhood, which boasts colorful street art, graffiti, and murals at nearly every turn. August also marks the return of Miami Spice Restaurant Month , in which patrons can enjoy three-course meals at some of the city’s top restaurants from $30-$35 for lunch and $45-$60 for dinner.

Where to stay: August is a great time to score a deal on a Miami hotel, so we've rounded up the best hotels in Miami Beach , from five-star resorts to charming boutique properties, so you can find your ideal home base.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Average cost: $540

You may equate Fort Lauderdale with spring breakers, but the truth is this bustling South Florida city by the sea — just 30 miles from Miami or 40 minutes by car — is a great summer vacation destination for beach lovers. Moreover, with nearly 25 miles of golden-sand shores, travelers will have plenty of room to roam along the ocean. Beyond the beach, travelers can stroll along the shop- and restaurant-lined Las Olas Boulevard , wander along the scenic Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk , and pop into one of the many museums, including the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and the Museum of Discovery and Science . Foodies, meanwhile, can take advantage of Dine Out Lauderdale 2024 . Kicking off Aug. 1, the culinary event features multi-course meals at some of the city’s best restaurants at can’t-miss prices.

Where to stay: You can’t go wrong with a stay at the chic Kimpton Shorebreak Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort . The property is just one block from the beach and offers complimentary beach chairs plus two on-site swimming pools. Value-packed amenities abound, including a nightly wine and cheese hour, morning coffee and tea, daily beach yoga, bike rentals, and the use of boogie boards. Bonus: Pets stay for free (read: no hidden fees).

Denver, Colorado

John Coletti/Getty Images

Average cost: $553

Denver is teeming with things to see, do, and explore, from scenic hiking to brewery hopping and beyond. Speaking of the former, top spots include Mount Galbraith Park, Bluffs Regional Park Trail, and Chavez and Beaver Brook Trail Loop, all within a half-hour drive of downtown. Post-hike, grab an ice-cold beer at one or more of the breweries on the Denver Beer Trail , including Great Divide Brewing Co . and Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery . The city’s River North Art (RiNo) District is teeming with art galleries, concert venues, and eclectic eats, and you can easily spend an entire afternoon exploring the neighborhood. Additionally, no summer trip to Denver is complete without catching a concert at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre or watching the Rockies play at Coors Field . Pro tip: Purchase a Denver CityPASS to save up to 43 percent on attractions like the Downtown Aquarium , Denver Art Museum , Denver Botanic Gardens , and more.

Where to stay: Art lovers will feel right at home at the Acoma House . Situated just south of downtown in Denver’s Golden Triangle District, this property offers 24 custom rooms, each distinctively designed in collaboration with a local artist. Amenities include 24-hour check-in, bike rentals, and kitchenettes.

Washington, D.C.

Victoria Chamberlain/Travel + Leisure

Average cost: $565

Those craving a history-filled summer getaway won’t want to sleep on our nation’s capital . Here, you’ll find an abundance of complimentary attractions and sites, including the National Mall , the Smithsonian museums , the National Arboretum , the National Archives Building , the National Gallery of Art , and, last but not least, the largest library in the world, the Library of Congress . Free Tours By Foot offers — you guessed it — free walking tours, too. Be sure to also carve out enough time to stroll through picturesque Georgetown , known for its charming cobblestone streets plus dozens of shops and restaurants. Located along the Potomac River, The Wharf is among DC’s hippest haunts, with ample shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, special events, and activities like boating and bike rentals. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the Metro (D.C.'s subway system) makes it easy to get around the city, and it’s much more affordable than taxis or rideshares.

Where to stay: The trendy Yours Truly D.C . is about halfway between Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle. The design-forward hotel also offers a buzzy on-site restaurant, barber, and record shop — along with prime people-watching opportunities.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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Average cost: $586

This summer vacation destination — considered one of the country’s most affordable beach towns — is especially popular amongst fun- and sun-seeking families. Myrtle Beach and its surrounding towns boast a whopping 60 miles of wide, sandy beaches, all of which are free to the public. Should you need a break from the beach, consider exploring the tranquil Brookgreen Gardens or the fascinating Ripley’s Aquarium ; otherwise, check out one of the city’s museums or mini golf courses . Visitors can also catch one of several free performances , ranging from magic shows and comedy shows to concerts. Broadway at The Beach , one of Myrtle Beach’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment complexes, also offers weekly fireworks shows. Last but not least, it’s worth carving out a few hours to stroll the 1.2-mile-long boardwalk, where you’ll find shops, restaurants, and the nearly 200-foot-tall SkyWheel .

Where to stay: Several chain hotel outposts including Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grand Dunes and Hampton Inn and Suites Myrtle Beach/Oceanfront offer brand loyalists the opportunity to cash points in for stays to save even more money.

Atlanta, Georgia

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Average cost: $614

Craving an urban escape? Look no further than Atlanta . Visit this bustling southern city in August to enjoy minimal crowds — you’ll almost feel as if you have the entire city to yourself — coupled with discounted hotel rates and less traffic. Retreat to nature by biking all or part of the 22-mile-long BeltLine trail system , which is dotted with plant and art installations, including murals and sculptures, or the 30-acre Atlanta Botanical Garden . The city is also home to one of the country’s largest aquariums, the Georgia Aquarium , which is sure to impress kids and adults alike with over 120,000 animals spanning 200-plus species. Meanwhile, history buffs can visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum . When hunger calls, make a beeline towards Ponce City Market , which is home to an expansive food hall — plus a bustling bar and ample shops. Finally, art lovers need not miss the annual Piedmont Park Arts Festival , a two-day outdoor event taking place Aug. 17-18 that will feature 200-plus painters, photographers, glass blowers, crafters, and more; highlights include artist demos, live music, and a children’s play area.

Where to stay: The Starling in Midtown is less than a 10-minute walk to Piedmont Park. In between sightseeing, guests can cool off on the breezy terrace, which boasts a sparkling swimming pool plus plush cabanas.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Average cost: $621

While you may equate Las Vegas with glitz, glamour, and high-rollers, keep in mind that Sin City can easily be explored on a budget. Travelers can take their pick of free things to do in Vegas , including the water show and botanical gardens at The Bellagio, circus acts at Circus Circus, the wildlife habitat at The Flamingo Hotel, live music at The Fremont Street Experience , the Wynn Lake of Dreams show, and the volcano eruption at The Mirage . Also, score great deals on some of the city’s best eats by taking advantage of happy hour specials. For example, Brera Osteria at The Venetian Resort has half off pizza, cocktails, and wines by the glass every day between 3:00-5:00 p.m., while Jaleo at The Cosmopolitan hosts daily sangria hour from 5:00-7:00 p.m. with $7 sangria and beers, $9 wines, $12 cocktails, and appetizers as low as $4.

Where to stay: Marriott's Grand Chateau is one of (very) few Las Vegas properties without a resort fee. And while it’s not directly on The Strip, it’s less than a mile away.

San Francisco, California

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San Francisco is famous for its vibrant cultural scene, incredible architecture, and top-notch dining, which means the Golden City truly offers something for everyone. And while the city boasts 20 distinct neighborhoods, Chinatown, The Mission, The Castro, Haight-Ashbury, and Fisherman’s Wharf tend to be the most popular among tourists.  It goes without saying, but top sites like Golden Gate Park (home to the majestic five-acre Japanese Tea Garden ), The Painted Ladies (a collection of colorful Victorian and Edwardian-style homes), Alcatraz (a tiny island off the mainland that was once a prison), and The Presidio (a former army post turned national park site) are all must-visits. Music lovers should plan their August trip here around Outside Lands (Aug. 9-11), one of the most exciting music festivals in the entire country.

Where to stay: For a stylish and sophisticated stay near top sites like Union Square, look no further than The Marker . The boutique haunt is housed in a striking Beaux Arts-style building and offers a buzzy on-site restaurant and colorful rooms and suites.

Chicago, Illinois

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Average cost: $628

Come August, Chicago wins travelers over with its warm, sunny weather and ample outdoor events, including the Lollapalooza music festival (Aug. 1-4),  the Chicago Air & Water Show (Aug. 10 and 11), the Great American Lobster Fest (Aug. 19 and 20), the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest (Aug. 16-18), and the Sangria Festival (Aug. 17 and 18). Other highlights include free open-air dance lessons as part of Chicago Summerdance , live jazz courtesy of Jazzin’ at the Shedd , and movie screenings under the stars brought to you by the Millennium Park Summer Film Series . Make your way down the restaurant-lined Riverwalk or Navy Pier , dotted with rides, games, restaurants, and more, before heading out on the water via a boat tour. Also, it wouldn’t be a trip to Chicago without a visit to the (free) Lincoln Park Zoo , the Art Institute , Cloud Gate (known as “The Bean”), or the Chicago Architecture Center .

Where to stay: Located along the Magnificent Mile, the aptly named Aloft Chicago Mag Mile makes a great, affordable home base for exploring. Plus, it’s less than a mile from Navy Pier, the Riverwalk, and Cloud Gate.

Nashville, Tennessee

Average cost: $646

Nashville is world-renowned for its music scene, hence its nickname, Music City. Catch a live performance at the Grand Ole Opry (which also offers tours) or the Ryman Auditorium, explore the Historic RCA Studio B recording studios, and visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum . Come nighttime, head to Robert’s Western World or the Bluebird Cafe to rock out with a drink in hand. For even more fun, bar-hop along Broadway, making stops at the many bars and honky-tonks. Should you need a break from the hustle and bustle, head straight to the 132-acre Centennial Park, where you’ll find a one-mile walking trail, a lake, a sunken garden, and the Parthenon , a replica of the original in Athens. Finally, no trip to Nashville is complete without some hot chicken: Get your fix at beloved haunts like Prince’s , Bolton’s , and Puckett’s .

Where to stay : The new Tempo by Hilton Nashville Downtown offers sleek rooms, a rooftop pool, and a convenient location close to Broadway. 

New York, New York

Average cost: $674

While many New Yorkers ditch the city in favor of nearby beach towns in The Hamptons , out-of-towners can soak up the sun and the warm weather from one of the Big Apple’s many parks, including Central Park , where picnicking and people-watching opportunities abound. Bryant Park offers free movie nights , yoga , and live performances. And while Manhattan is wonderful, it’s worth exploring the city’s other four boroughs. Head to Queens to catch a Mets game or explore Flushing’s Chinatown, visit Brooklyn to hit the beach and the amusement park rides at Coney Island, check out the Bronx to eat your way through Little Italy or watch the Yankees in action, and take the ferry over to Staten Island and admire lush flora in the Snug Island Culture Center and Botanical Garden .

Where to stay : We've rounded up 10 of the best affordable hotels in New York City so you can find a perfect spot that won't break the bank, like the Cambria Hotel New York — Chelsea.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Average cost: $680

The Puerto Rican capital of San Juan was previously deemed the most affordable beach vacation destination for U.S. travelers . And while the stretches of sand and crystal-clear waters here are stunning, it’s the city itself that truly stands out. In Old San Juan, travelers can visit historic sites like Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristobal ; stroll along quaint cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings; and sip cocktails at some of the Caribbean’s best bars (looking at you, La Factoría ). Additionally, the Condado neighborhood is especially popular among tourists thanks to its prime oceanfront locale and abundance of hotels and restaurants, as is Isla Verde.

Where to stay: Guests at La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort enjoy resort-style amenities like three outdoor pools, a casino, a pristine beach area, and eight bars and restaurants, including a swanky Italian eatery and a beach bar and grill. The stylish rooms and suites have a beachy-chic aesthetic and many feature ocean views.

Los Angeles, California

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Average cost: $686

This sprawling SoCal city is teeming with historic attractions, beautiful beaches, scenic hiking, swanky restaurants, and some seriously incredible shopping, which means there’s something for everyone here. And you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a good time: Trek to the world-famous Hollywood Sign, admire the sweeping city views from the Griffith Observatory, window-shop along Rodeo Drive, and check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You’ll also want a few hours to explore the laid-back Venice neighborhood, where you can hit the beach, stroll along the canals, go surfing, and explore Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which is dotted with bars (don’t miss The Brig , which dates back to 1952), galleries (Yiwei Gallery, which spotlights emerging Asian artists, is a favorite), and restaurants, including the oh-so-trendy Gjelina .

Where to stay: The Hoxton Downtown LA is one of several great affordable hotels in Los Angeles ; the city is also a great place to splurge with credit card or hotel loyalty points.

Related Articles

cheap travel places in december

7 Scenic, But Affordable Summer Vacation Spots For 2024

  • Don't break the bank on summer vacations! Hunt for deals & find cheap international destinations for under $1,000 per week.
  • From Greece to Indonesia, scenic & luxurious destinations like Zakynthos & Bali offer beauty without the high price tag.
  • Explore affordable gems in 2024 like Istanbul & Hi An for picturesque views, rich cultures, and budget-friendly travel experiences.

Gone are the days when week-long summer vacations would cost a fortune. A big part of travel in 2024 is hunting for the best deals and offers and unearthing cheap last-minute international vacation destinations for summer that give you the best value for your money. In fact, there are several international vacations you can take that will cost less than $1,000 per week !

Whether you're looking for a dreamy island getaway in the US or a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe or Asia, you'll be surprised by the number of cheap places to travel to in 2024 that are equally scenic and luxurious. Still not sure what destination to pick? Here are some ideas for scenic, but affordable summer vacations in 2024!

7 Affordable Towns In Western Europe I Loved Staying In During The Summer

Zakynthos, greece, average cost to visit: $331 per week.

Yes! You can visit Greece without spending thousands of dollars! Zakynthos is a beautiful island in Western Greece that is famous for its crystal-clear waters, secluded beaches, and beautiful villages.

One of the many great things about Zakynthos is that you can enjoy the beautiful beaches for free.

In addition to swimming and sunbathing, you can also go snorkeling, sea kayaking, and even scuba diving. For more budget-friendly activities, you can take a hike to the top of Mount Skopos or visit the heavily photographed Shipwreck Beach for stunning views of the coast.

7 Cheap International Family Vacations This Summer

Istanbul, turkey, average cost to visit: $882 per week.

For those who are seeking insanely picturesque views and an entirely new and rich culture to dive into this summer, Istanbul, Turkey is the perfect budget-friendly option. Because of the lira exchange rate in Turkey, you can travel here for a very low cost.

There is so much to see and do in Istanbul on both the European and Asian sides, so it's recommended to spend at least four to six days here to experience everything.

During the summer, beat the heat by visiting Istanbul's numerous beaches or one of the 13 museums in the city that are completely free to visit!

If you're planning to visit the mosques in Istanbul, read up on a guide on what to wear and everything that needs to be covered! The dress code varies for men, women, and children.

Seaside, Oregon

Average cost to visit: $929 per week.

Located on the West Coast of Northern Oregon, Seaside is a beautiful beachy town that's perfect for an affordable summer vacation.

With a three-mile-long beach, seaside promenade, and an adorable downtown, Seaside is never short of fun and affordable activities for all ages.

After swimming in the ocean and relaxing on the sand, rent a bike to explore the town's scenic promenade or go for an evening hike in and around the town to a lookout of the Pacific Ocean.

Seaside is also a next-door neighbor to Cannon Beach, so I highly recommend taking a day trip to see the famous Haystack Rock and enjoy its quirky downtown shops!

Bali, Indonesia

Average cost to visit: $516 per week.

When people think of Bali, turquoise waters, rice fields, and ancient temples are usually what come to mind. But did you know that this tropical island in Indonesia is also extremely budget-friendly to visit?

For an average of $500, travelers can stay in high-quality beach hotels and resorts in Bali for all budgets and enjoy every aspect of the area's rich and inviting culture without breaking the bank.

Bali is every nature lover's dream. The island is filled with beaches and beach clubs, waterfalls, hiking trails , ancient temples, and rice terraces that will keep you busy for days on end!

A great way to immerse yourself in the Balinese culture is to explore the cuisine. Food and drinks in Bali are very inexpensive and even most cooking classes are an average $20-30 per person.

17 Things You Should Know Before Booking A Trip To Bali

Tallinn, estonia, average cost to visit: $712 per week.

Tallinn, Estonia, is Europe's most hidden gem. And not only for its breathtaking views and fairytale streets, but also because of its insanely cheap restaurants, museums, and transportation.

Estonia's capital city sits on the Baltic Sea and is considered one of the most beautiful cities in all of Europe .

Tallinn is also one of the most well-preserved medieval cities. Today, you can wander through the Old Town, walk through the old gates, and explore the museums that feature 17th and 18th-century artifacts. Tallinn also offers free walking tours of the city every day that are worth checking out!

Ferries from Tallinn to Helsinki, Finland are available every day and usually cost around $114.

7 European Vacations Under $1,000

Hi an, vietnam, average cost to visit: $318 per week.

While Hội An is one of the most visited cities in Vietnam, it remains one of the cheapest places to travel in 2024 for summer.

This charming city is known for its ancient architecture, vibrant lantern-lit streets, and mouth-watering street food for an insanely low price.

The cheapest and most efficient way to see Hội An is by renting a bike. For less than $2 a day, you can go on a self-guided tour through the city, the rice fields, and the beaches.

A free activity that everyone can enjoy is the Hội An Lantern Festival , which takes place on the 14th of every lunar month.

Cape Town, South Africa

Average cost to visit: $686 per week.

Cape Town is a beloved city in South Africa that is both a bustling urban center and surrounded by breathtaking nature. Not to mention, it's an ideal place for Americans to visit during the summer on a budget.

The summer months in North America are actually the winter months down in Cape Town, which means fewer crowds, cool temperatures, and great value for low prices.

Plus, the winter in Cape Town means you'll have a great chance at whale watching due to the whale migration at this time of year, and the cooler temperatures make it the perfect season for outdoor activities like surfing, paragliding, and hiking the famous Table Mountain .

7 Scenic, But Affordable Summer Vacation Spots For 2024

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When is the best time to buy flights for summer and Christmas travel?

Puedes leer esta historia presionando aquí.

As almost everyone knows, summer and winter are the most expensive times of year to travel. But they are also the most active because many people only have the opportunity to travel with family during these dates.

So, what are the best dates and techniques for getting flights at the lowest possible price? Here are some tips based on our experience analyzing flight costs at Mochileando.com over the past seven years.

A very common mistake is that people buy flights almost a year in advance, thinking that they will not get a better deal.

Where to go in 2024: The destinations that could see a drop in airfare prices this year

Learn more: Best travel insurance

The essentials: What you need to know for your first time in Japan

Best dates to book international destinations

Generally, if you're traveling to an international destination, the best dates to buy your flights are seven to two months before your travel date.

This means that if you want to travel on dates between July and August, you're more likely to get competitive prices between December and May before your trip. In the same way, if you want to travel during the holiday season, the months where you will be most likely to get the best prices are between April and October, before your trip.

Best dates to book a domestic destination

Unlike international destinations, prices for domestic destinations are likely to be more competitive between five to up to a month before your trip. With the period from four months to a month before your trip being the most likely to see a better price. This means that if you want to travel on dates in July and August, you're more likely to get competitive prices between March and June before your trip. In the same way, if you want to travel during the Christmas season, the months where you will be most likely to get the best prices are between August and November, before your trip.

Save when traveling: How to use low-cost airlines without having to pay too much

It is important to remember that this is not a hard and fast rule. The travel market can surprise us with unexpected offers at any time. The question is, what can you do to avoid missing out on any deals? There are several alternatives.

  • Set alerts to your flight dates in a search engine. Search engines such as Google Flights or Kayak.com allow you to schedule alerts for your flights if you know the specific dates. This will help you get the best price if an unexpected offer comes up.
  • Subscribe to a website or membership that notifies you daily of the best flight deals. Several pages or memberships notify you when flight prices drop to different destinations. This tool is useful if you have not yet decided on the destination you want to travel to. A very cheap price can help you make the decision.

Always keep in mind that what is a competitive price for summer or winter, is not necessarily a competitive price for traveling in low season. For example, if you're going from New York to Madrid in the summer, a great price can be anything under $599.

However, if you go in the low season a great price could be $429 or less. You need to be realistic when looking for the best prices. But if you follow the tips, there's a good chance you'll get the best deals. Safe travels!

Wilson "Wil" Santiago Burgos is the founder of  Mochileando.com , one of the largest travel platforms in Puerto Rico and the Latin American market in the U.S.

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  1. 18 Best Cheap Places to Travel in December

    Charlotte, North Carolina. 18. Puerto Rico. Map of Cheap Places to Travel in December. 1. Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas at sunset. Step into the action with a trip to Las Vegas. Known for its unique atmosphere and non-stop buzz, this desert city takes you from New York to Paris, all in one strip.

  2. 26 Cheap destinations in 2023 with great weather in December

    Montego Bay, Jamaica. December avg high: 85°F/29°C. December avg low: 73°F/23°C. December avg precip: 1.6″/4.0cm. As with other Caribbean resort destinations, the weather in Montego Bay is perfect in December, and the first half of the month is still cheap for flights and resort prices.

  3. 20 Cheap Warm-Weather Winter Destinations For December

    Plus, with temperatures ranging between 73 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit, December provides a perfect balmy backdrop. A ballpark figure for flight costs ranges from $375 to $700 for a roundtrip. Hotel accommodations — varying from luxury resorts to quaint inns — can average around $124-$326 per night. 2. Cancun, Mexico.

  4. 15 Best Cheap Winter Vacations

    Martinique. #14 in Best Cheap Winter Vacations. Thanks to its location in the Caribbean Sea, Martinique offers ideal weather for travelers seeking a warm respite from chilly winters. Temperatures ...

  5. 10 Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

    3. Los Angeles, CA. Another city famed for its near-perfect weather all year round, Los Angeles is one of my favorite cities and, surprisingly, one of the best places to travel in December on a budget. Prices of domestic flights to LA are at the lower end of the scale in December, as are most of the hotels.

  6. The best places to visit in December

    Shokawa Gorge in Toyama Prefecture, Japan. WATARU SATO/GETTY IMAGES. In December, Japan lights up in celebration, offering visitors a magical experience. From Tokyo's Omotesando Illuminations, aglow with around 900,000 lights, to Ashikaga Flower Park's radiant 5-million-light display, the country is a spectacle.

  7. Cheapest Winter Vacation Destinations

    We also have the data on the cheapest winter destinations to book in December for travel in January/February/March: Cheapest Winter Destinations to Book in December Under $500 (International): ... The cheapest winter vacation destinations domestically involve many variables like where you are flying from, the distance of your route, local price ...

  8. Exclusive:10 Cheap Places to Travel in December

    From driving the historic Route 66 to soaking up the sun on Palm Beach island, here are 10 cheap places to visit in December in the USA. n the warm waters in an underrated beach town off Florida's Gulf Coast to getting immersed in Civil War history in southeast Tennessee, a getaway in December doesn't have to break the bank.

  9. Best places to travel in December on a Budget

    The hotel rates and airfares would spiral during the festive week. But the rest of December is quite affordable, especially for people coming from the Western part of the world. Recommended Places to Visit in December: Giza, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Sharm el-sheik, Hurghada, Abu Simbel.

  10. The 12 Best Places to Travel in December

    British Virgin Islands. Made up of more than 60 tropical isles, the British Virgin Islands are easily one of the best places to travel in December. The archipelago is the epitome of Caribbean ...

  11. Best places to visit in December 2023

    At the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi, one degree of latitude north of the Arctic Circle, the sun never rises in the last three weeks of the year. In December, darkness is the dominant state - perfect for watching the Aurora Borealis. Jukkasjärvi is the home of the original Icehotel, where you can spend a night in a bed made of ice.

  12. Best places to travel in December on a budget

    Flights to Goa. 6. Udaipur. Rajasthan is almost on everyone's December travel wish list, thanks to the cool weather and plenty of activities to indulge in. Udaipur, the dreamy city of lakes, makes for an ideal short trip in December without stretching your travel budget. With loads of non-stop flights options, varied stay options and hoards ...

  13. 12 Cheapest Places to Fly in December 2024

    The cheapest airport to fly into is Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. 11. Miami, USA. Miami in December is all about sunny days and cool nights, perfect for enjoying the beach without the intense summer heat. The city is buzzing with art festivals, holiday events, and outdoor dining.

  14. 10 Best Tourist Places to Travel in December on a Budget

    Hostel rates start at around $4 while the most expensive restaurants serve $10 - $12 dishes. December in Cambodia bestows visitors with awesome weather at pleasant 87°F. 2. Chiang Mai, Thailand. Believe it or not, traveling around Southeast Asia on the cheap is possible, even in Thailand.

  15. 15 Best Places to Visit in December 2024

    Hawaii - The Big Island. #9 in Best Places to Visit in December 2024. This Hawaiian paradise is the perfect place to escape winter's onset. Weary travelers can thaw on colorful beaches like Punalu ...

  16. 11 Best Places to Travel in December 2023

    Newport Beach, California. Adrian Rudd/Travel + Leisure. With weather in the 60s and lots of Southern California sunshine, Newport Beach is a great December destination for hiking, cruising the ...

  17. 14 Cheapest Places to Travel in December, in the USA!

    Las Vegas is next on my list of the cheapest places to travel in December in the USA. And one of the most fun too! There is tons to do in Las Vegas, from shows, concerts, restaurants, and gambling, to Grand Canyon day trips! Whilst Las Vegas isn't exactly cheap mid to late December (Christmas and New Year mean rates shoot up) it is definitely ...

  18. 20 Best Places to Travel in December 2024

    20 Best Places to Visit in December, According to Travel Experts Check out these top destinations for a winter wonderland or warm-weather retreat. By Karen Cicero and Karla Pope Updated: Oct 31, 2023

  19. 32 Best Places to Visit in December in the USA

    9. Key West, Florida. For people looking to get away from the winter blues, Key West is one of the best places to visit in December in the USA. The calm waters and the relatively warm weather, neither cold nor hot with average highs of about 75°F, make it perfect for exploring the island.

  20. 15 Cheap Places to Travel in August

    Orlando, Florida. Average cost (including round-trip flights and a one-night hotel stay): $519. A trip to Orlando is always a good idea — especially in August. While the weather's hot (tip: be ...

  21. 7 Scenic, But Affordable Summer Vacation Spots For 2024

    A big part of travel in 2024 is hunting for the best deals and offers and unearthing cheap last-minute international vacation destinations for summer that give you the best value for your money.

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  23. Zheleznodorozhny, Russia: All You Need to Know Before You ...

    Can't-miss spots to dine, drink, and feast. Zheleznodorozhny Tourism: Tripadvisor has 1,133 reviews of Zheleznodorozhny Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Zheleznodorozhny resource.

  24. Apelsin Hotel

    43 reviews. #1 of 4 hotels in Elektrostal. Location. Cleanliness. Service. Value. The hotel "Apelsin" in Electrostal which was opened in December 2012 is the newest hotel in the town. In May 2015 opened the second floor of our hotel. Total number of rooms reached 81.

  25. Book ahead: The best time to buy flights was 1-2 months ago

    Best dates to book international destinations. Generally, if you're traveling to an international destination, the best dates to buy your flights are seven to two months before your travel date ...

  26. SANATORIUM VALUYEVO

    64 reviews. Location 4.2. Cleanliness 3.5. Service 3.7. Value 3.6. The sanatorium "Valuevo" is a historical health resort located in a unique location of the New Moscow on the territory of 30 hectares of the ancient noble estate of Count Musin-Pushkin with a perfectly preserved architectural ensemble and a landscape park, in an ecologically ...