Do you like to take wintertime vacations? It may seem like an odd time of year to go on vacation, but if we go on vacation, this is usually the time of year we go.
So we are a homesteading, homeschool family. This means that we provide as much of our own food as possible which equates to a lot of hard work and farming.
Then we homeschool as well, which equates to a lot of time spent investing in our children’s education.
However, the perks of both, are that we can go on vacation at odd times of the year because we create our own schedule. My husband works a 40 hour a week job, but he has some flexibility, and I can work from pretty well anywhere.
So with that in mind, we travel during the cooler seasons because our farm isn’t producing as much during those months and most people are in school during this time so places aren’t as crowded.
But where can you possibly vacation during winter and have a good time?
Well, here are a few solid suggestions that I think most families would enjoy:
Perfect Winter Vacations
I’ll be upfront and tell you that I am not someone who enjoys skiing. I went one time when I was younger and figured out quickly I couldn’t control anything when going down a hill. I literally almost ran into a small child.
By the time I got to the bottom, I was trembling with fear and fighting back tears. I’ve never attempted skiing again.
But I did enjoy hanging out in the lodge while everyone else in my party finished skiing.
So whether you enjoy skiing or not, it is still a great winter time attraction that could be a fun adventure for some or just a relaxing getaway for the non-skier (like myself.)
Not to mention, you don’t have to go anywhere to camp. If you have land, you can just make camp around your house.
Now, you may be thinking, do I really want to camp in the winter? For us, this is a definite yes! My husband is not a huge fan of cold weather, so he only likes to go camping during the winter months.
Plus, you can start a fire and get plenty of warmth. Also, you don’t have to worry as much about the bugs flying around everywhere.
So camping is a definite easy go-to vacation for the winter months.
3. Great Wolf Lodge
Do you ever get the winter-time blues? You just wish for warmth and a warm place to go play in the water?
Well, then you’ll love Great Wolf Lodge. It is basically a giant indoor waterpark that stays toasty warm all year long. The hotel rooms are meant to look like a cabin setting. It has restaurants, lots of entertainment for the kids, and even a story-hour at bedtime.
But what I love the most about Great Wolf Lodge, is you don’t have to go and stay a long time to have a great vacation. You can actually begin to play in the waterpark before check-in.
So, in most locations, you can access the water park at 1:00 pm the day of check-in even though check-in doesn’t happen until around 4:00 pm.
Then you can check out the next day at 11:00 am, but still, play in the waterpark until close of business that day.
Usually, when we go, we only stay for one night. We go early and stay late. It is ample amount of time to play, and to be honest, I’m more tired when I leave there than I am when I go to Disney World.
Plus, you don’t have to make it an expensive trip. You can pack your own food to eat in the hotel room or leave the hotel to grab dinner.
Also, you can just partake in what is included in your stay, such as the free story hour and the awesome water park. Between those two things, my kids never ask for anything else. It is a great way to warm up over the winter.
You may not be a city dweller, but that doesn’t mean that a quick trip to New York City still couldn’t be a fun way to spend your winter.
Now, realize, it may be colder there than it is where you are at currently. But the city is decorated so gorgeously for Christmas.
Plus, you can get in a lot of sight-seeing and shopping while you are there.
Truthfully, my extended family really enjoys going to NYC. They love to shop, the city life, and all of the hustle and bustle.
Clearly, I’ve been in the country for too long because this isn’t my idea of a relaxing vacation.
But there are people out there that really like to go explore a larger city for a few days and enjoy it. If this is you, then consider taking in NYC when everything is decorated.
5. The Beach
I realize a lot of people go to the beach to actually get in the water and get a tan. My husband and I are not those people.
Actually, we have a family member that has a beach house, and we go to it a couple of times a year. It is in a very small beach town with very little attractions there.
But we take our kids (usually during the winter) so we can walk the beach, collect sea shells, and relax.
Granted, it is a little chilly sometimes with the wind, but we bundle up and absolutely love it!
So if you just like to go to the ocean to take in the scenery, then it is a great place to go during the winter when the beaches are pretty empty.
I had never considered going on a cruise until my husband met a family through his work who cruises multiple times a year.
Truthfully, I always thought going on a cruise was just something way outside of my budget.
Then I started talking to them, and they told me how you can actually afford to take a cruise. They book their cruise once they have the down payment, then they make monthly payments until the cruise starts.
Now, depending on what your budget looks like will determine what type of room you get and also how far out you book the cruise. I looked around online and to afford to take our family of 5, I’d have to book the cruise out by around 14 months.
But it makes it affordable, and we can enjoy warmer weather during the colder months where we live.
Not to mention, cruises are all inclusive usually. This means that you pay one flat fee for your room, food, entertainment, and you can even pay your gratuities ahead of time too.
Plus, don’t think that you can only cruise during the warmer months. You get pretty good deals during the winter, and if you take a Caribbean cruise it is warm weather anyway.
But my parents actually took a cruise to Alaska a few years back and really enjoyed that too.
So check out your different destinations and options. See if it is something you can make work for your budget and enjoy cruising over the winter.
7. Visit Loved Ones
I’ve mentioned before, but most of my family actually lives about 600 miles away from me. This can be hard at times, especially since I have children.
But the hardest part is finding the time to travel to go see them. We do pretty good with meeting halfway to get our children back and forth to grandma’s house.
However, getting our whole family to grandma’s is a different story. We have to schedule it around the needs of our homestead and my husband’s job.
But during the winter both of those situations slow down so we have time to make the trip. This is a great thing to do over the winter.
So if you have loved ones, use your downtime in the winter to go visit with them. It is pretty inexpensive since most people stay with their family.
Also, it is a great way to recharge your batteries. I know when we go visit my mom, my husband and I sleep a lot and are usually able to sneak in a date night because the family is off and running with our children.
So go enjoy your family over the winter!
8. Head for the Hills
The mountains are a great place to visit during the winter months. We actually live in the mountains and love to travel to other mountain areas during the winter months. The reason is the scenery is beautiful, it is a slower pace, and you can piddle around local shops.
One of my favorite places to vacation in the mountains, is Gatlinburg, TN. I love looking at the shops and going to the local shows.
So when our family goes, we all pitch in for a cabin and stay together. It is great for us because it is a halfway point between where we live and where my family lives.
Then we spend the week together and enjoy the sites of the area. This is a great winter time vacation because the mountains are just gorgeous in the winter.
Plus, things aren’t as crowded then either. Keep in mind, everything won’t be open in some mountain locations during the winter because it isn’t the peak season.
But if you are okay with just slowing down and enjoying the scenery, then you should be good to go.
9. Disney World/ Land
When I was a kid, we went to Disney World quite a few times. I’m not a Disney person, but my sister loves it!
So when our kids got old enough, the first thing my sister wanted to do was to take them to Disney World.
Well, our older boys really enjoyed it, but our youngest one is like his mother and wanted to go back to the resort the whole time to play putt-putt.
Plus, we aren’t big on crowds, and we went in the dead of summer when everyone and their brother was there.
However, after we got home, my husband ran into a woman through his work that actually had just retired from Disney World. She told him the best time to go was in the winter, just not during the Christmas Parade.
But any other time it is good because the temperatures are cooler and the crowds are minimal.
So if you are looking for a great time to go to Disney World or Disney Land (depending upon your location) consider going during the winter. You may actually have a much more enjoyable trip.
10. Local Cities
My mom lives in Kentucky. She told me recently how she’d like to take our kids on a trip to Louisville so they could ride a big boat that runs on the river of Louisville, to the Louisville Slugger Museum, and then to one of the local restaurants.
Well, this got my wheels turning because I thought this would make a great wintertime mini-vacation for our family.
So if you live in an area where you have a major city near you, then this might be a great idea for a winter vacation. Most tourists aren’t out and about over winter, usually.
Which means you’d probably have a ton fewer crowds at sight-seeing locations than normally.
Plus, you don’t have to travel to the largest cities in the United States. You could just choose a larger city for your state or a state where a family member lives.
Then explore it! Out of all of the years I lived in Kentucky I never visited any of the places that my mom mentioned taking our kids.
So why not go now?
11. The Biltmore
Finally, if you live in the United States, then you should definitely go see the Biltmore Estate. This is one of the largest homes in America.
But winter time is a great time to go because they have it all decorated for Christmas, which is just beautiful.
Plus, they usually run discounts.
For instance, where we homeschool, we can actually get a discount on the tickets. You can check their website to see what specials they are running.
But visiting this gorgeous estate during the winter months is a great vacation that you’ll probably always remember.
So you now have 11 different vacation options that are perfect for passing the time over winter. Hopefully, one of them will suit your taste and budget.
But I’d like to hear your travel plans. Do you like to travel over the winter? Where is your favorite place to visit?
We love hearing from you so please leave us your comments in the space provided below.