Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

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jharkin
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by jharkin » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:25 pm

Warm destination vacations during the winter can be the best. My wife and I have done Florida a couple times in late winter and its just wonderful - not oppressively hot and less crowded than peak times. Spring gets crowded and August in Florida is just plain TOO hot for our cold New England blood.

bloom2708
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:39 pm

Peter Foley wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:07 pm
We live in Minnesota. I think the answer is yes. :happy We really need a break about this time of year.
My sister calls Jan/Feb in MN/ND "suicide watch" months. :oops: It has been -12 to -18 every morning for about 8 days. Not fun.

We have a looooong way to go before nice weather arrives.

As mentioned, go if you can. Do you have a low cost airline (Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit, SW) that can scurry you off to Florida, Arizona or S. California? Those are about the only 3 safe locations in the US this time of year.

Spring training baseball is close to starting. Those games in the Phoenix area (and Fort Myers, FL area) are quite fun.

Go if you can. Maybe your first trip is part scouting and part relaxation. Then you can find out where you like to go and what interests you.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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Alexa9
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:50 pm

I enjoy winter until about this month. I've learned to just accept it and spring is that much more welcome when it comes.
I wouldn't want to go to an airport/airplane in this flu season. I know why the Chinese people wear masks in public now.

MDfive21
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by MDfive21 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:28 pm

find a card (or two) that offers a substantial signup bonus. (https://thepointsguy.com/cards/ is one place to look, see also flyertalk)
use that card to pay for everything on this trip up to the amount required to get the bonus.
for your next vacation, use the bonus points for flights/hotels.

MathWizard
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by MathWizard » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:59 pm

During winter months, I visit a botanical center once or twice.

Nice to walk around a " outside in a forest" without the winter jacket
in Feb.

Pretty inexpensive.

westie
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by westie » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:38 pm

Florida is expensive this time of year. We've found it more economical to find a 5-7 day cruise leaving from a Florida port for $600-$800 a piece than to rent a vehicle there, rent somewhere to stay, and eating in restaurants for 5-7 days. Florida is no bargain this time a year and neither are spring training games.

hightower
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by hightower » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:19 am

praxis wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:29 am
I was pricing a Na Pali boat tour yesterday for our June Hawaii trip and the price was higher for the summer months because it was during their "high season". I would think Hawaii's high season was the winter months.
Winter is the more heavily visited season in Hawaii. But, boat tours and things involving the ocean are more popular in the summer because that's when the seas are calmer. The water is very rough in the winter and a lot of those tours aren't even running. We were in Kauai last February and had a tour booked to go out to an island off the coast and snorkel for a day and they cancelled it due to rough seas.

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munemaker
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by munemaker » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:56 pm

This is a personal decision based on how much money you have and how much you like warm weather. No one can decide this for you. We usually spend a week in Florida and a week in the tropics every winter, so for us yes, it is worth it.

Caduceus
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by Caduceus » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:11 pm

If you're feeling down because of the cold/lack of sun, I would say it is absolutely worth it. I don't mind having winter weather for two weeks, but that's about the max that I can tolerate.

LawEgr1
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by LawEgr1 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:20 pm

I live in Minnesota.

Yes, I think it’s worth it.

Do you?

/end thread :)

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SquawkIdent
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by SquawkIdent » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:20 pm

Yes, it's worth it. Break up the winter and relax. Go for it. There are so many reasonable priced getaways. Just do your research and book it. Enjoy! :sharebeer

David Althaus
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by David Althaus » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:33 pm

My wife and I spend winter in Hawaii and rent. It's a bit more expensive than FL or Arizona but weather is completely predictable (and after all isn't that what we're all seeking)? Have tried FL. Weather is unpredictable and traffic can be a nightmare. Sounds like you hate winter so at least give one of the places a try. As they say, "we're not getting out of this alive." Would think long and hard before purchasing a place in any of these locations. Ties up capital and can be hard to move--sometimes at any price.

All the best

Sandi_k
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by Sandi_k » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:48 pm

Yes.

;)

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:53 pm

It’s must be worth to a lot of people. My hotel is full. The car rental line is packed. Everybody looks pale, so I know they come from some winter place.

MandyT
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by MandyT » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:20 pm

Even before becoming a Boglehead, one of my guilty pleasures was looking for frugal ways to do fun things. Now that I'm retired, I have more time to strategize.

I'm going to Spring Training for the first time next month--decided to start with a short trip. My round trip flight from the midwest cost $164 and I'm renting a car for two days for $92. Having the rental car gave me the freedom to stay in an Airbnb slightly off the beaten path for $110 total for the two nights. Two tickets for games and batting practice were $90, so, after meals and incidentals, it should cost me between $500 and $600 for two days in early March in Florida.

I will echo the suggestion to try to earn a credit card sign-up bonus or two.

Long story short (if not too late): a winter getaway doesn't have to break the bank, though it helps to plan ahead and be a little flexible. In the unusually cold winter of 2011, I took a long weekend to Orlando. Airfare was $230, I stayed in cheap motels, and I used the city bus to get around. Went to the Universal theme parks for two days. Orlando was overcast and in the 60's, but it was great! Even the short respite from the cold made a big difference.
Last edited by MandyT on Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

tony5412
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by tony5412 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:05 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:39 pm
As mentioned, go if you can. Do you have a low cost airline (Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit, SW) that can scurry you off to Florida, Arizona or S. California? Those are about the only 3 safe locations in the US this time of year.

Spring training baseball is close to starting. Those games in the Phoenix area (and Fort Myers, FL area) are quite fun.

Go if you can. Maybe your first trip is part scouting and part relaxation. Then you can find out where you like to go and what interests you.
There is one but the nearby airport only goes to Vegas (about $300 round trip). It's three nights (afternoon flight there, morning return flight). I wonder if that gives me enough time to make it worthwhile. Would I be able to drive from Vegas to Phoenix and back and catch a game in a day?

tony5412
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by tony5412 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:09 am

MandyT wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:20 pm
Even before becoming a Boglehead, one of my guilty pleasures was looking for frugal ways to do fun things. Now that I'm retired, I have more time to strategize.

I'm going to Spring Training for the first time next month--decided to start with a short trip. My round trip flight from the midwest cost $164 and I'm renting a car for two days for $92. Having the rental car gave me the freedom to stay in an Airbnb slightly off the beaten path for $110 total for the two nights. Two tickets for games and batting practice were $90, so, after meals and incidentals, it should cost me between $500 and $600 for two days in early March in Florida.
How did you find such a cheap flight? Most of the flights I could find are $500+. You are just staying for one night?

ArchibaldGraham
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by ArchibaldGraham » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:55 pm

The negative comments re: spring training baseball are very misplaced for anyone that is even a casual fan. I would even argue that it would probably be a better experience than a regular season game for a non-fan.

Weather has been amazing when I've been down in AZ. Very laid back, fun mix of people young, old, families w/ kids, etc. all on vacation.

Going to the game can be very economical. Sure, if you go the year after your team wins the World Series and want good seats you will have to pay... but many teams offer lawn seats that start around $10, which is what you pay to see a movie. If yon't want to pay for an overpriced hot dog then pack a sandwich (yes, you can bring food into many stadiums) or eat before/after. There's not getting around the beer prices, but if you can afford to go on vacation surely you can afford at least a few $8 beers :sharebeer :sharebeer

4nwestsaylng
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:01 pm

Yes worth it. Start making it a yearly habit.

If you like Hawaii,check out some of the Costco travel packages. Same for Florida and Arizona.

If you want to see some baseball spring training, I would say go to Phoenix area, stay in a nice place. I lived there for years, don't miss the summers, during the winter I was working, and you tend to not notice the weather, except that it is not cold. The snowbirds were having all the fun, I didn't really get it, but that's because they had left the cold.

Check out the hotels in Tempe, there is lots going on in the town and the baseball is nearby. Drive up to Carefree for lunch,or go to Pinnacle Peak area.
Golf is way overpriced. I could never afford winter golf fees, I had to golf in the hot summer.

You can take day trips with a rental car, to Tucson, Tubac, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Old Tucson, maybe some wineries in Sonoita or Patagonia.Forget Tombstone, it is disappointing. Eat Mexican food at El Charro near downtown Tucson, it is in an old house, they dry the carne asada on racks on the roof. Great chimichangas.

I was in Arizona for twenty years, now prefer living up north, but looking back through a snowbird's eyes, it would be a low key place to visit. Forget the $1500 budget, just spend $2000 already and have a good time. From my perch in the Northwest, I would probably go to Southern Cal, I miss the surf and walks on beaches in San Clemente and Newport. But someday I will do a few winter days in Arizona to dry out from the Seattle rain.

warner25
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by warner25 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:42 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:59 am
I think it is worth the money to live somewhere with warm weather.
Exactly what I was thinking... Is it worth the money (i.e. HCOL northern metro areas) to live in cold weather? After living in a variety of places over the past decade (and dreaming about Boston in particular for a long time), I've finally decided that it's not. Being able to go outside year-round and be comfortable walking, bicycling, running, hiking, and letting our kids play is critical to our physical AND mental health.
Last edited by warner25 on Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Freefun
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by Freefun » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:53 pm

Hi! I think it's well worth it if you can swing the budget.

Options may be limited at least minute but consider posting on the Flyertalk forum. Some folks are flying fanatics and may be aware of specials. Like BH they are very helpful. If you post there include city of origin, options for destinations etc.
As mentioned also try Costco, also Travelzoo for specials.

Best of luck!
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

chw
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by chw » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:13 pm

tony5412 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:48 am
I will sometimes travel during the warm weather months but they are road trips less than 8 hours a way. The trips do cost money but are not all that expensive.

It's been a cold winter and I am tired of the winter. I have some vacation days that I need to use up so I thought about getting out of here and going someplace warm.

I have never flown anywhere in the winter and I am well into my 30s. I have thought about taking my first winter trip to a warm weather destination next month. Looking at the costs (flight, hotel, rental, meals, other fees) for a 4-5 day trip to either Florida or Arizona, I'm looking at $1500 which to me is a good chunk of change. The main draw is to see some baseball, however, I ask myself if it is worth spending that much to go to a baseball game that I can catch for a fraction of the cost during warmer weather months. As I am tired of the winter weather, it would be nice to have a few days of warm weather, but that's all it would be, a few days.

Not too many in my social circle travel all that often (either lack of funds, lack of interest, or lack of vacation time, etc) so I've never really been encouraged to travel. I have noticed there are lots of people my age range and younger that travel all over and it seems pretty common these days.

What's the bogleheads take on this?
If you have a yen for the travel- pick a spot and go for it. Try it, and you'll probably like it!

MandyT
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by MandyT » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:39 am

tony5412 wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:09 am
MandyT wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:20 pm
Even before becoming a Boglehead, one of my guilty pleasures was looking for frugal ways to do fun things. Now that I'm retired, I have more time to strategize.

I'm going to Spring Training for the first time next month--decided to start with a short trip. My round trip flight from the midwest cost $164 and I'm renting a car for two days for $92. Having the rental car gave me the freedom to stay in an Airbnb slightly off the beaten path for $110 total for the two nights. Two tickets for games and batting practice were $90, so, after meals and incidentals, it should cost me between $500 and $600 for two days in early March in Florida.
How did you find such a cheap flight? Most of the flights I could find are $500+. You are just staying for one night?
I'm staying for two nights. When I started investigating flights, there were some outbound Tuesday and Wednesday flights for $40, so I built my trip around one of those flights--decided on a Tuesday departure and a Thursday return. A few days later, the $40 flight went down to $27 so I refared. The return flight is $137.

My strategies require some flexibility and lead time, and they work best on Southwest which doesn't have change fees.

bta15
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by bta15 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:06 am

A couple weeks ago I was at my local ski hill in south Central Alaska. A couple next to me at the bar started chatting me up. They left negative double digit temperatures in South Dakota to visit Alaska in the winter. I was at a loss for words.

I leave the cold weather every year shortly after the holiday season for a break from work, family, weather, etc, without these trips the weather/lack of daylight would be unbearable.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by tennisplyr » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:33 am

Yes it's good for you. Something to plan for and look forward to....make it a part of your life. In my sixties and we snowbirded for winter months in FL which evolved to living here. Change is good!
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

tony5412
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by tony5412 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:31 am

MandyT wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:39 am
I'm staying for two nights. When I started investigating flights, there were some outbound Tuesday and Wednesday flights for $40, so I built my trip around one of those flights--decided on a Tuesday departure and a Thursday return. A few days later, the $40 flight went down to $27 so I refared. The return flight is $137.

My strategies require some flexibility and lead time, and they work best on Southwest which doesn't have change fees.
That is awesome! I am sure it helps when you plan well in advance.

tony5412
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by tony5412 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:38 am

I was doing some research and one of the destinations on my list is Vegas. I did not realize how chilly it is this time of the year. Highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s at night! While it seems like an interesting place to visit, I want to get away from the 30 something temps.

Phoenix isn't too much warmer, as it looks like a cold front is moving in, but still pleasant with highs in the 60s over the next couple of weeks.

I have also considered Florida (highs into the 80s). I've never really had much desire to go there but you can't beat the weather.

I'm leaning toward Phoenix but that summer-like weather is tempting.

MandyT
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Re: Do you think it is worth the money to travel to warm weather destinations during the winter?

Post by MandyT » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:46 am

tony5412 wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:31 am
MandyT wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:39 am
I'm staying for two nights. When I started investigating flights, there were some outbound Tuesday and Wednesday flights for $40, so I built my trip around one of those flights--decided on a Tuesday departure and a Thursday return. A few days later, the $40 flight went down to $27 so I refared. The return flight is $137.

My strategies require some flexibility and lead time, and they work best on Southwest which doesn't have change fees.
That is awesome! I am sure it helps when you plan well in advance.
One more comment: if you want to go to Florida, consider checking different airports. Palm Beach airport is closer to where I'm going, but the schedules and fares to Fort Lauderdale were much more favorable. I like to take public transportation whenever it's feasible, but it turned out that renting a car gave me much more flexibility with respect to air travel and lodging.

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