Looking for a Perfect Winter Getaway? 5 Affordable Trips Trending Right Now

Whistler winter village at dusk. stock photo
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Winter is the season many folks hole up at home and wait for the world to thaw out — which makes it a great time to travel. You’ll find smaller crowds at popular destinations than during the summer and also score good deals on lodging. That’s especially important now, with inflation running at its highest point in decades.

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More than half of U.S. residents plan to travel during the upcoming winter season, according to a new survey from vacation rental management company Vacasa. That’s about the same percentage as last year.

The survey of 1,000 American adults, conducted in conjunction with Allison+Partners, found that the vast majority of winter travelers (91%) said rising travel costs have impacted their upcoming winter and/or holiday travel plans. That might mean booking well in advance to save money (33% of respondents), adjusting travel days to get the lowest price (27%) or meeting family/friends at a half-way point (22%).

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About seven in 10 winter travelers have already booked their holiday or winter trips. Roughly the same number of respondents said they are planning two weekend trips on average (67%) and/or taking trips that will last a week or longer (71%). For those planning longer trips, about three in five (59%) plan to work remotely during their trips to extend the amount of time they can vacation.

In terms of destinations that are trending right now, Vacasa spotlighted five in North America — four in the U.S. and one in Canada. Travelers looking for a bargain will also find affordable options at all five destinations. Here’s a quick look (average prices current as of Nov. 11, 2022):

  1. Atlantic Beach, North Carolina: Located on a barrier island by the mainland, Atlantic Beach is a popular summer destination that offers a more relaxing vibe during the winter. Affordable winter lodging options shown on the Vacasa site include A Place at the Beach 310, a 1-bedroom, 2-bath unit that averages $91 a night; Seaspray 232, a 2-bedroom, 2-bath unit that averages $95 a night; and A Place At The Beach 237, a 1-bedroom, 2-bath unit that averages $99 a night.
  2. Ludlow, Vermont: An excellent destination if you prefer a laid-back experience that is convenient to Okemo Mountain Resort, a popular skiing destination. One affordable winter option that can be split among a larger group of travelers is Sweet Solitude G104, a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bath unit that can accommodate up to nine people at an average of $300 a night.
  3. Mammoth Lakes, CaliforniaYou can hit the slopes at the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area or explore the surrounding wilderness. Affordable winter options include Summit 276 C, which has one bedroom, two bathrooms and a loft and averages $181 a night.
  4. Virginia Beach, Virginia: In addition to the beach, this destination boasts family-friendly attractions and a decent scene for foodies. This is a good place to go if you want to split costs with a large group. Affordable winter options include The Sanctuary – Serenity Now 418A, a 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath unit that can accommodate up to 12 people at an average of $272 a night; and The Sanctuary – Penthouse Paradise 402A, another 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath unit that can accommodate up to nine people and averages $254 a night.
  5. Whistler, British ColumbiaA popular ski destination that earned worldwide fame when it hosted events during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Affordable options include Cascade Lodge 411, which sleeps two and averages $93 a night; and Whistler Peak Lodge 518, which sleeps four and averages $154 a night.

A separate analysis from Forbes found that domestic trips are the most popular choice for holiday/winter travelers this season. For those planning to travel internationally, four out of the 10 most popular are known for their beaches, including Mexico and the Bahamas.

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Similarly, the Vacasa survey found that 75% of travelers plan to stay within the United States this winter. Of these travelers, 31% are traveling more than 1,000 miles away from home.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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