Close your eyes and imagine your dream escape. If you’re like most people, chances are you envision the quintessential summer beach vacation. Toes in the sand. Mai Tais in hand. Waves crashing along the shoreline. For many travelers, it’s nothing short of paradise.
That is until that dream becomes a reality—and the truth sets in. Between the overpriced hotel rooms, sweltering heat and wall-to-wall crowds, you’re instantly reminded of the less than wonderful side of summer vacation. We all want the opportunity to escape, but aren’t there better options?
Absolutely. That’s why the GroupBookd team loves traveling in winter—and we’re not alone. In 2017, winter travel in January has risen 6% from the past year, and according to Australian airline Qantas, approximately 79% of Americans say they’re open to winter trips.
We’re not here to convince anyone to burn those bikinis and sell off the surfboards. Who doesn’t love a good seaside retreat? Still, we’re thrilled that more people are looking beyond the high season and owning an open mind about literally cooler travel destinations.
So what are the perks of a winter trip vs. a summer trip? Let’s look into why traveling during the low winter season is seriously underrated—and often just better.
Skip the Summer Rush
Thanks to people avoiding trips during cold weather, winter travel means competing with fewer tourists for pretty much everything whether you’re traveling with a group or going solo. Expect extra attentive service, smaller crowds, and make more connections with locals who often avoid packed areas during the busy season.
Love everything about intimate, exclusive trips—aside from the prices? During winter, don’t be surprised if you enjoy a private walking tour of Old Town Prague thanks to no one else showing up, or score a table at an impossible-to-book restaurant in Paris without paying an extra penny. Rewards come to those willing to layer up on vacation.
Save Money on Flights, Hotels & More
It’s no secret that traveling is usually more affordable during the colder months. This makes winter an amazing time for budget travelers. Prices are sometimes slashed in half—if not more—with identical international flights that often hit $900 in July plummeting to under $400 in January.
It’s not just flights and hotels that’ll get you bargain prices in winter. Many attractions like museums, tours, theme parks, etc. offer fantastic deals and promotions to those willing to book during the off-season. From ritzier hotels to fancier meals out, imagine the extra splurges now affordable simply by avoiding popular travel dates.
Explore a Winter Wonderland
Vienna’s Christmas Markets. Chinese New Year in Beijing. Skiing the Swiss Alps. These are phenomenal experiences and events that simply can’t be enjoyed any other time of the year. Also, when else can you cozy up with a warm drink of something delicious after a long day of exploring new sights?
Thanks to timeless traditions, seasonal cuisines, and locals letting loose between tourism rushes, winter also creates a fresh perspective of places that even the most well-traveled thought they knew. If you believe you understand a region inside and out, until you’ve been there during the off-season—you really don’t.
Take a Break from the Holidays
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and it’s exhausting! Even if you can’t get enough of the cheer and festivities, who doesn’t need a serious recharge after the new year? If you’re understandably thinking “I could never plan a trip in the midst of the holidays,” worry not and book a guided tour.
From exploring a powder-white Yellowstone by snowshoe, to witnessing the mesmerizing beauty of the aurora borealis (aka the northern lights) in Northern Iceland, savor every moment of a stunning, unforgettable adventure without any of the stress.
All it takes is an idea. Then with online tools like Group Bookd, search from hundreds of available tours and confirm your trip in minutes. With all-inclusive pricing, expertly crafted itineraries, and personalized service, nearly everything is taken care of including transportation, lodging, food, and more. You’re already smart in choosing winter travel, so why not treat yourself to the journey of a lifetime?