Whether you live where the winters are long, cold, and dark, or in a relatively warm locale, getting through the thick middle of winter can sometimes be a chore.
It’s after the Holidays and still several weeks until Spring revives flagging energy. You might be sick of the freezing mornings and early nights. Your kids might be going a little stir crazy. The snowfall that was novel and invigorating in early December now feels intolerable.
What about a quick getaway to revive your spirits? Here are three approaches to beating the mid-Winter blues, even if you just have a few days to spare.
Stay local, pretend, and pamper. Ever considered vacationing in your own city or state? Higher-end hotels will often offer mid-week discounts or spa package deals during the slower season. If you can’t lounge on a beach — well, at least you can lounge on a massage table, soak in some hot tubs, or get a pampering makeover. If you decide to venture out from the warm indoors, visit the tropical room of a local conservatory, eat Caribbean food, drink piña coladas. Three days of being good to yourself can go a long way in creating a sunny outlook, and it can be fun to explore and be a tourist in your own backyard.
Go whole-hog with Old Man Winter. You know the old saying, If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em? For some people, just diving in and finding fun things to do in the snow and cold can be just the ticket. There’s the standard ski resort, of course. But if you don’t downhill ski or snowboard, there are still great options.
What about renting a small cabin for a few days of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, reading by a cozy fire, home cooked meals, and hot chocolate? Colorado, the Pacific Northwest, New England, and northern Minnesota are all famous for their exquisite, quiet winter getaways. After a long day of taking in the stunning scenery, you can soak your muscles in some soothing mineral springs, like Strawberry Park Hot Springs outside of Steamboat Springs, CO. If you’re looking for a truly exotic winter experience, check out Ten Thousand Waves, located just north of Santa Fe, NM, with its luxury Japanese-style lodging and spa packages, including the availability of private spa suites.
The real thing. If nothing but actual tropical UV rays will do, pick a destination and head south. Caribbean cruises tend to be more expensive during the Northern Hemisphere winter months, but there are still great deals to be had. If you’re flexible in your destination, try GrouponGetaways.com, an affiliate of Groupon, for deep discounts on all-inclusives in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Aggregate sites like Orbitz and Expedia have a great “last minute deals” section if you are open to being spontaneous and aren’t tied to one specific location. And did you know that your Costco membership can get you more than just bulk discounts on 10-pound boxes of Ritz crackers? You can also get great deals on all-inclusive resorts in places like Los Cabos, Aruba, Maya Riviera, and even Fiji.
Getting through winter can be a slog — but with a little planning and an adventuresome attitude, you can find the perfect trip to tide you over until Spring.