Budget-Friendly Trips That’ll Keep You Warm This Winter Suzy Guese December 1, 2016 Travel Guide In case you haven’t already had to break out your jacket, gloves, and boots, we feel the need to tell you: winter is coming. Gray skies and dead car batteries can be enough make you want to swear off your chilly town and start the search for a warmer climate to retreat to during the winter months. If you are already dreading shoveling snow and battling icy roads, we have rounded up a few warm weather winter trips to consider getting away to (that won’t break the bank)! Phoenix As America’s sunniest city, Phoenix relishes in the winter months thanks to highs hovering between the 60s and 70s and blue skies throughout the season. With snow being extremely rare in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun, you won’t have to worry about the ice and snow if you choose to escape here this winter. While the nighttime lows can be chilly, the warmer days make up for the bite you’ll feel at night. Visiting in the winter also happens to be one of the most budget-friendly times to head to Phoenix. With hotel bookings lowering, resorts have to stick to more wallet-friendly room rates November through February. You’ll also dodge the inevitable markup that comes for baseball’s spring training in March. Phoenix presents a prime rest and relaxation destination where you can play golf, head to a spa, unwind at a resort, or get out in the great outdoors with a hike up Camelback Mountain. Nicaragua Generally less traveled and less expensive than nearby Costa Rica, Nicaragua appreciates being relatively new to the travel radar. Winter is one of the best times to visit because the rainy season has ended and the Pacific coast has turned lush and green. It is usually not too hot either, as Nicaragua appreciates a tropical and consistent climate. While you’ll want to avoid Christmas and New Year’s if you don’t want to pay a premium for flights and hotels, Nicaragua lends the chance to do the unthinkable: surf down an active volcano or go diving in an underwater cave at reasonable prices. Toss in its many picture-perfect beaches and colonial architecture and you have the makings of a more exotic warm weather winter escape. Cancun Cancun has long been a favorite escape of those seeking warm weather year round. In the winter months, the sunny paradise keeps temperatures comfortable, hovering in the mid 80s with lows in the mid 60s. In the winter months, the city quiets down, giving visitors a bit more peace, silence and lower hotel prices. Early December is your best chance at scoring the lowest prices, but thanks to the wealth of hotel rooms in Cancun, it is almost always possible to find a deal. You’ll be glad you skipped the blizzard back home when you’re exploring the nearby Mayan ruins or strolling the 14 miles of pristine white coastline. New Orleans If you aren’t looking for beaches and high temperatures, New Orleans can be your answer for a warmer winter weather getaway in the US. Outside of Mardi Gras, the city keeps costs down for travelers during the winter months. December brings plenty of holiday cheer and décor and many restaurants offer special menu deals for the festive season. Winter highs usually stay in the mid 60s from November through February. Thanks to the generally mild weather in New Orleans, you can roam the electrifying streets of the French Quarter and Garden District without too much of a chill in the air. New Orleans can also save you a pretty penny on entertainment in the winter when live music isn’t hard to come by over a drink or appetizers. Cartagena Located on Colombia’s northern coast, Cartagena makes for a fine warm weather escape in the winter. With its vibrant and bustling UNESCO-protected Old Town, you can appreciate Spanish-built city walls, colorful colonial architecture, open-air cafes and getting lost down cobble streets. An added bonus for beach seekers in the winter is that the Islas des Rosario, an archipelago of 27 islands, is just one hour from the city. Cartagena can be a budget-friendly destination as it is pretty common to find cheap airfare from the US. December through February is also a good time to visit — it is one of the driest periods for the country. Belize Wedged in between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize always tends to be a good value destination in terms of accommodations, food, and attractions. While the high season does stretch from November to late April, if you avoid the Christmas and Easter periods, it is still possible to score a deal during this popular time. You won’t have to worry about rain getting in the way of your beach time, this is also the dry season for Belize. Once you touch down, you can enjoy Belize’s great natural beauty from rainforest-covered mountains to Mayan pyramids to scuba diving in the world’s second longest barrier reef. Where do you like to escape the cold in the winter that won’t break the bank? Share your budget finds with us in the comments below.