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9 Affordable Winter Getaways

  • Affordable Winter Getaways - Montreal Canada Lumiere festival
    Alamy

    En español | Sun and sand, sea or snow. Satisfy winter wanderlust without putting a chill on your budget with these enticing vacation ideas.

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  • Kayaking at big cypress national preserve in the everglades, affordable winter vacations
    Corbis

    See Florida in a New Light

    Instead of lying on the beach or hitting the golf course, explore the Everglades by kayak, go birding on Sanibel Island or learn about historic St. Augustine, where Spanish and Portuguese explorers first landed on the continent. These are among options in the roster of educational vacations from Road Scholar, formerly Elderhostel. Programs start at less than $750, including lodging. Meals may be thrown in, too.     

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  • Woman relaxing in a cabana on a beach, affordable winter vacations
    Alamy

    Stay at an All-inclusive Resort

    Everything-included oases can deliver a bang for your buck in warm-weather destinations. Think luxury-style suites, 24-hour room service, pools with swim-up bars, fitness classes and all the food and frosty alcoholic drinks you desire. Prices start at less than $100 daily per person, depending on the property and dates booked. Check out chains such as RIU, Occidental, Bahia Principe and Barceló in destinations including the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico. Look for great all-inclusive deals with airfare at CheapCaribbean.com, Funjet Vacations or AppleVacations.  

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  • skiers ride a lift up a snow-covered mountain, affordable winter vacations
    Corbis

    Slash Ski Vacation Costs

    Though daily lift tickets can soar past the $100 mark, visiting a ski resort doesn’t have to be a slippery slope financially. For instance, a stay in the popular Park City, Utah, area (a hop from Salt Lake City) pretty easy on the wallet if you rent a condo with a kitchen; you can find deals that start in the $150-a-night category on sites such as VRBO and Airbnb. Check for senior passes and consider smaller, lesser-known ski areas. 

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  • People dance and drink on a cruise ship at sea, affordable winter vacations
    Holger Leue/Getty Images

    Cruise With a Purpose

    Travelers who love ordering that second steak or dessert without forking over extra bucks can find deals for under $500 a week on lines like Carnival. Book via AARP to earn discounts and onboard spending credits. On themed sailings, a growing number of offerings at $900 a week (less for shorter cruises) allow you to meet a favorite musical group, learn a new skill or share favorite pastimes with like-minded people. Choose a Bust a Gut comedy cruise, an Ante Up poker cruise with competitive tournaments, or  a “Big Game Getaway,” where fans party and watch the Super Bowl. For one-stop shopping, visit Theme Cruise Finder.

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  • Explore Your World, A A R P Real Possibilities, Colorful sunset reflected in still water. wooden row boat with oars in foreground center

    AARP Offer: Explore Your World

    Explore Travel with our newsletter filled with tips and ideas to plan the ultimate getaway.
    Join AARP today for savings on airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises.
    Click the white arrow on the right of the photo above to continue the slideshow.

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  • Christmas market and large tree at bryant park holiday market in new york, affordable winter vacations
    Alamy

    Shop at a Christmas Market

    No need to raid your retirement fund to experience a European-style Christmas market. Find them from Washington, D.C. to Bethlehem, PA, to Chicago to San Francisco. Even tiny Elkhart Lake, WI, has one, where reasonably priced crafts, bratwurst and glühwein are a gift to the wallet. The Mayberry-like destination is worth a stay anytime for eateries showcasing talented young chefs and homey family-run resorts and B&Bs.

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  • Ice skating at the rink at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, affordable winter vacations
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Holiday in Vegas

    It’s a safe bet that nobody does the holidays with as much over-the-top flash as Las Vegas, where room rates start under $50 and casinos deck their halls with lavish Christmas displays. See the Fountains of Bellagio dance to seasonal songs, tour the grand lighted cactus garden at the headquarters of Ethel M Chocolates. There’s an ice rink at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resort. Hungry? Join the Passport Players Club for free at locals-favorite Ellis Island Casino and Brewery, where you'll get $9.99 sirloin dinner with all the trimmings (or $7.99 with $5 of slot machine play).

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  • Night time view of Montreal and a giant slide, affordable winter vacations
    Alamy

    Celebrate the Strong Dollar

    Montreal rolls out a cosmopolitan French Noël on this side of the pond. December fireworks over the Old Port, shopping options in the downtown Underground City and a favorable exchange rate are pluses. Chase away the chill with piping hot poutine (a local specialty of french fries smothered in savory gravy and cheese curds). In February and March (Feb. 22–March 4, 2018), the giant Montréal en Lumière festival offers cultural and culinary experiences, including free performances.

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  • View of boat in Halong Bay in Vietnam and hills, affordable winter vacations
    Washington County Chamber - Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Revel in Small Town USA

    Make a New Year’s resolution to visit some of America’s lovely, lesser-known towns. One is Brenham, TX, an easy drive from Houston or Austin. Stay in a ranch B&B, sample locally made wine, lunch at Funky Art Cafe in the restored 19th-century downtown and browse through eclectic Leftovers Antiques, where country star Miranda Lambert has shopped for stunning, affordable costume jewelry, gifts and antiques. Are you a history buff? You'll appreciate nearby Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, where you can learn the story of Texas’ proclamation of independence from Mexico in 1836. Grab a scoop and see how the creamy stuff is made at the Blue Bell Ice Cream visiting center

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  • Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site with oxen pulling a cart, affordable winter vacations
    Shutterstock

    Take a Wellness Vacation

    Shed holiday pounds, and make 2018 a healthier year. Destination spas aren’t the biggest travel bargains — but the results can be priceless. The award-winning California Oaks at Ojai, about 80 miles north of Los Angeles, offers stays starting at $265 daily a person [for a double/share room, $350/day for a single/private room] (and only a two-night stay is required). That includes accommodation, three tasty low-calorie meals, a wide range of daily fitness classes and evening programs plus a gym, pool, eucalyptus steam room, hot tub and sauna. Mother-daughter and bring-a-friend specials lower the price further. And you get 50 percent off one night during your birthday month (2 nights required). View more options at Spafinder.

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  • Affordable Winter Getaways - Slash Ski Vacation Costs
    Corbis
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