Got the winter blahs? With the weather taking a nosedive, escaping the biting cold is probably at the top of your to-do list. Deciding between a beach vacation or snow adventure is one of the hardest decisions you'll have to make this fall. I often daydream about a magical place to simultaneously ski and get a tan with a mai tai, but unfortunately I have yet to find this version of heaven on earth so it's one or the other. Here are some things to consider when planning your perfect winter break.
Know Your Audience
Only you know the personalities of who you're going with - whether it be alone, the fam or a significant other. With shortened kid's attention spans, lying on the beach may bore them. Be prepared to spend a bit of money to engage in water sports like jet skis, wave runners, and para sailing to keep them interested. All the running around may not end up being as peaceful and relaxing as you anticipate.
On the other hand, in a ski area such as Colorado will they complain about the cold? Or will they embrace the challenge to fly down the slopes? The earlier on you learn, the sooner you can start doing tricks and the better you'll get.
When You Are Going
Prices may vary greatly based on tourist and holiday season. The Caribbean and Mexico are much pricier in the winter because everyone wants to flee the temps. Right before Christmas is peak travel season, so consider basing your destination on where you can get a cheap flight. Keep an eye out for deals; as there are always good sales on Expedia, Priceline, Travelzoo and the like if you're flexible on accommodations.
If money's not an issue, escape the crowds by choosing a lesser known island or mountain. Montana and Utah have some of the best skiing in the country without the hype of Vail or Aspen. Likewise, more remote islands like St. Vincent and St. Barth are less touristy than closer flights to the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico.
Which Appeals to You More
Is a steamy ski lodge with a cup of cocoa and a hot tub your idea of romance, or is the hammock at the pool more your style? Not sure? Without letting your mind wander too much close your eyes. What do you see? What says escape from reality more- adrenaline pumping activities that get your heart racing or a massage on sun kissed sands with not a care in the world.
Still can't decide? If all else fails, flip a coin. Or the more fun way to choose a destination, throw a dart at a map.