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Where to travel this winter when you’re tired of resorts

If you’re looking for a sign to book a vacation this winter, this is it. It is time to start planning your dream winter vacation; deciding where to go can be the hardest part. Whether you plan to escape the cold with a tropical vacation or want to enjoy all that winter has to offer, we’re here with your vacation inspiration.  

For those tired of the same old resort vacation, consider shaking up your getaway plans. While staying at an all-inclusive is a great, easy-going vacation, getting away from the resorts can offer you more. Away from the resorts, you can find your ideal trip away from the crowds, which allows you to enjoy local cuisines and cultures.  

From sand to snow, there is a vacation for everyone that gets you away from resorts. Get more out of your destination when you travel this winter and skip the resorts with these vacations.  

Get the beach away from the resort

Galapagos Sea Lion, Espanola Island, Ecuador
SL_Photography | iStock

If you’re looking to trade snow boots and mittens for bathing suits and sunscreen this winter, but all-inclusive resorts aren’t your thing, look no further. You can still enjoy relaxing in the sun without the all-inclusive.  

Many CAA Members are choosing to cruise rather than stay at an all-inclusive. Cruising allows you to visit more destinations on one itinerary. On board a cruise you get many of the benefits of all-inclusive resorts, and the chance to explore multiple ports along the way. Plus, some cruise lines like Holland America Line, and Royal Caribbean sail to private islands, giving you chance to relax on the beach without the crowds.  

Skip the major beach cities and the resort crowds by booking trips to less-travelled destinations. Costa Rica, Peru, and the Galapagos offer fantastic beaches, and are great options to visit this winter.  

While in Costa Rica, you can blend beach vacations with exploring the lush green rainforests, wildlife, and volcanoes of the country’s national parks. Playa Hermosa, in the northern Guanacaste Province overlooks the Gulf of Papagayo, offers clear water and beautiful views. Enjoy snorkelling, fishing, or a sunset Catamaran. Or explore the lush forests of the nearby national parks. Only 10 minutes away from Playa Hermosa is the village Coco, which offers amazing cafes, bars, and discos.  

While Peru is known for Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, it is also home to fantastic beaches. Menorca is a Peruvian beach town that offers amazing beaches to escape to this winter. The south beaches are filled with vendors, surfers, and tourists, giving it that resort feel. Vichayito Beach offers a quieter place to enjoy the water, and is great for kids, kite surfers and divers.  

The Galapagos are a once-in-a-lifetime destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Not only does this archipelago offer the chance to take in the wildlife and scenery, but it also offers fantastic beaches. Head to the Red Sand Beach on Rabida, where the high iron concentration in this island’s volcanic rock causes the rock to rust, turning the sand and cliffs a brilliant shade of red that contrasts the turquoise waters. Red Sand Beach offers fantastic snorkelling, plus you’ll take in flamingos, brown pelicans and Darwin finches and see sea lions sunning on the beach.  

Don't want to head down south?

Fisherman`s beach in Albufeira, Portugal

If Europe is on your book-it list, winter is the perfect time to go, as it’s the shoulder season. It is often the cheapest time to visit and lets you avoid the crowds. Portugal and Spain are great places to explore in the winter months, offering mild weather, and warm coastlines.  

For a beach vacation, Portugal’s Algarve region on the Atlantic coast offers resorts, Atlantic beaches, fishing villages and sandy coves. A group departure from Together. Groups by CAA is the perfect way to see all that Portugal has to offer. Spend 23 days explore the culture and history of Portugal. You’ll spend 18 nights in Albufeira in the Algarve region, with opportunities to tour nearby cities, head out on a boat cruise and so much more before heading to Lisbon for your final nights, exploring the capital.  

The Long-stay Portugal itinerary allows you to explore one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, embracing local cultures, cuisines, and music. For foodies, Portugal should be a bucket-list destination. Enjoy sipping local wines and eating fresh bread while you watch fishing boats bring in your dinner. You can even take a cooking class to learn traditional dishes. Be sure to try pastel de nata while in Lisbon and indulge in fresh seafood while in Albufeira.  

Embrace cooler cultures

polar arctic Northern lights aurora borealis sky star in Norway Svalbard in Longyearbyen city mountains
BublikPolina | iStock

Not everyone heading on vacation this winter wants to escape the snow. Whether you want to explore more of Canada or experience Europe’s colder climates, a cold-weather vacation is perfect for winter travellers looking for a new experience.  

Travelling within Canada is always a great option for a vacation. This country offers so much to enjoy and explore, especially in the winter. Canada is a cold lover’s paradise, whether you’re chasing the auroras or racing down the slopes. Whistler, British Colombia, offers over 200 ski runs and five terrain parks, with hills for beginners and seasoned skiers. Plus, the skiing season lasts nearly six months, leaving you plenty of time to hit the slopes.  

For those who do not shy away from the cold, winter is a great time to visit northern Europe. With destinations like Norway’s Svalbard or the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, northern Europe offers snow-covered landscapes and amazing chances to see the northern lights.  

Svalbard, located between Norway and the North Pole, is a magical place to visit in the winter. Between November and mid-February, a 24-hour darkness settles over the Norwegian archipelago, making it the best time to view the auroras as they’re visible day and night. Reykjavik offers an unparalleled place to experience the beauty, history, and culture of Iceland. Plus, you’re just a short trip away from the hot springs, volcanoes and glaciers that surround the city, allowing you to take in all Iceland has to offer this winter. 

Looking to travel this winter? Book your winter vacation today

Planning your next vacation has never been easier, thanks to CAA’s trusted Travel Consultants. Book your appointment today. 

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