24 Last-Minute, Cheap Winter Vacation Deals to Book for 2020
If you’re looking for an amazing—and affordable—place to go this winter, you’ll love these budget-friendly travel deals you can book ASAP.
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year—for a deal!
Got the winter blues but think it’s too late to book an affordable vacation? We’ve got some really good news for you: It’s not! Not only can you still get a flight at a discount, but you can also get some stellar last-minute hotel deals. We found the best packages for every kind of traveler and every kind of vacation—whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit in a storybook town, see the sights in a big city, or get away from it all in a tropical locale. So, what are you waiting for? These cheap winter vacations are budget-friendly and perfect for the whole family.
Cheap winter vacation to the Cape
courtesy Chatham Bars Inn
During the holidays, rates at the iconic Chatham Bars Inn, rated #2 in Best Cape Cod Hotels by U.S. World and News Report, are slashed to $499 a night—nearly half of what it costs in summer. The winter enchantment at the Inn begins around Thanksgiving when the lobby transforms into the North Pole, complete with a life-size gingerbread house, a gingerbread replica of the town of Chatham, and Christmas trees and decorations everywhere you look. Your kids can create festive keepsakes in Santa’s workshop filled with sand and also enjoy hot chocolate. All this, plus winter bonfires on the beach! If you can’t get enough of the holiday spirit, check out the most charming old-fashioned Christmas towns in America.
Cheap winter vacation in Guadalajara
courtesy AC Hotel Guadalajara, Mexico
This charming city, the second-largest in Mexico, is the birthplace of mariachi music and tequila. If that’s not enough of a reason to visit, AC Hotel by Marriott Guadalajara, Mexico, named one of the coolest luxury hotels in the province by LuxuryHotelGuides.com, has rates of $102 per night. Located next to popular attractions such as the Guadalajara Cathedral, the hotel has a sky lounge, an infinity pool overlooking the city skyline, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and scrumptious Spanish and Mexican cuisine to enjoy after a hard day’s touring. And don’t miss these other cheap beach vacations to take with your family all year long.
Cheap winter vacation in Utah
courtesy Red Mountain Resort
If you’re hungering for a restorative and reflective end to 2019 surrounded by nature, look no further than the Red Mountain Resort nuzzled in Southern Utah’s red rock bluffs, not far from Zion National Park. From Black Friday through Cyber Monday (November 29 through December 2, 2019), the all-inclusive resort will offer $100 off per person if you book a three-night Essential Retreat, which is normally $345 per person per night. This is applicable on stays before February 28, 2020. Included are daily hikes for all skill levels; wellness, nutrition, and fitness classes; and great food. The resort, spread over 55 acres of black lava gardens and mesquite plants, has 82 rooms and 23 villa suites, pools, bikes, a meditation labyrinth, and a spa. Emerge ultra-relaxed and ready for whatever 2020 holds. If you’re taking a road trip to your destination, check out the most scenic drives in America.
Cheap winter vacation in Belize
courtesy Monica Gallardo
Belize equals bliss. This small Caribbean treasure perched between Mexico and Guatemala is home to the world’s second-largest barrier reef, colossal Mayan ruins, and exotic wildlife. Just in time for the holidays, the Belize Ocean Club—a 5-star dive resort, according to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), that’s located on a 78-mile peninsula in Southern Belize near the picturesque village of Placencia—is launching the Family Adventure Package. There is a three-night minimum stay, which includes two-bedroom suites with oversized seaside balconies, a Mayan Sky Combo with ziplining and river tubing (up to four people), and daily dinner with a bottle of wine. Guests can also enjoy the spa, gym, and a large infinity pool with a swim-up bar. Rates are $475 per room per night. However, a code exclusively for Reader’s Digest readers, RDPROMO, nets you an additional $100 off. See? Bliss! Here are more sunny islands you can book for Christmas, including a private island in Belize.
Cheap winter vacation in California
courtesy Kimpton Shorebreak Resort
Huntington Beach, aka Surf City USA, named “the Best Beach of California” by USA Today, is blessed with 10 miles of pristine, uninterrupted coastline and year-round sunshine. An hour from tony Los Angeles, the vibe here is casual and easygoing. Think: beach bonfires, sandcastles, and lazy strolls on one of the longest piers on the West Coast. The Kimpton Shorebreak Resort is a pet-friendly seafront haven with a 40-foot-wide rock-climbing wall and “surf ambassadors,” who ensure guests have an authentic local experience. Around the holidays, the resort is offering an Outlaw the In-Laws deal. Rates start at $199 and include a welcome bottle of wine for stays from November 21, 2019, through January 12, 2020. If you want to stay closer to home, check out the best winter destinations in every state—including yours.
Cheap winter vacation in Nicaragua
courtesy of Selvista Guesthouses, Isla Ometepe
Grab your chance to visit this Central American gem before it becomes as popular (and pricey) as neighboring Costa Rica. Nicaragua features the largest area of primary-growth rainforest north of the Amazon, six active volcanoes, surfing beaches, spectacular wildlife, and Spanish colonial architecture. Selvista Guesthouses—located in a virtual cloud-forest summit on the slopes of Maderas Volcano—offers housing from just $40 to $114 per night. Their adventure packages include $750 for a one-week stay with tours of Ometepe and the Corn Islands. Ometepe boasts twin volcanic peaks rising out of Lago de Nicaragua, while the two Corn Islands, 43 miles off Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast and once a refuge for pirates, is palm-fringed nirvana. Here are some more under-the-radar places to visit before they get too popular.
Cheap winter vacation in Washington D.C.
Come the holidays, you can feel the buzz of excitement in the air as the nation’s capital glows with outrageously dazzling light displays. Perhaps the biggest—not just in Washington, D.C., but in the country—is Enchant Christmas at Nationals Park, while the National Christmas Tree stands stately and resplendent on the White House Ellipse. If you want to immerse yourself in this winter wonderland for a few days, the Swann House B&B has you covered. Holiday rates for this turreted Victorian mansion circa 1883, replete with elaborately carved working fireplaces and a swimming pool, are $269 and up. But if you choose the Holiday Vacation Package, the fourth night is free from November 15 to December 31, 2019, in the Regent, Jennifer Green, Il Duomo, and Blu Sky Room; you’ll also get a complimentary bottle of wine to enjoy by the fireplace. There’s also a Winter Vacation Package, where the third night is 50 percent off. While there, regale friends and family with these wacky facts you never knew about Washington, D.C.
Cheap winter vacation in Hawaii
courtesy Aqua-Aston Hospitality
Aloha to the Aqua-Aston holiday deal that’s almost too good to be true. The hospitality group is offering a Cyber Monday deal of 20 percent off its 40 properties across the Hawaiian Islands if you book between December 2 and 4, 2019. At Aston Maui Hill, a 140-room condo near Wailea, you’ll be treated to dreamy ocean views, and on his big day, Santa will arrive by helicopter to the tune of—what else?—”Here comes Santa Claus.” At the Iilkai Hotel & Luxury Suites, located at the edge of Waikiki, sunset is welcomed every evening by the blowing of the conch. On New Year’s Eve, watch the fireworks from your private lanai (balcony). And yet another option is Aston at the Whaler on Kaanapali, a condo hotel rated among 2019’s 10 top hotels in Maui by LuxuryHotelGuides.com. While all of Hawaii is pretty amazing, here’s why Maui may be the best Hawaiian island.
Cheap winter vacation in Arizona
courtesy Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
It’s easy to see why one of Santa’s favorite stops during the Christmas season is Scottsdale, Arizona. The weather is perfect, the rates are reasonable, and the Yuletide celebrations abound. That’s particularly true at the comfortable but luxe Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, which has six golf courses, six pools, and more than four million sparkling LED lights. For the holidays, this AAA Five Diamond resort features Santa’s Secret Headquarters, Princess Express Trains, a Build-A-Bear Workshop, S’mores Land, Mrs. Claus Corner, and more. The Sip, Savor & Celebrate Holiday Package runs from November 26 through December 31, 2019, and includes a $75 resort credit and up to two adult and three child passes that provide VIP Access to Christmas at the Princess attractions. Rates start at $259. By the way, here are the towns in every state that really know how to get into the Christmas spirit.