As the temperatures drop, we start thinking about one thing (well, besides cozy, snuggly winter accessories, of course) — the perfect family-friendly warm weather destination. If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, too, you’re in for a treat! We’ve compiled a few of our favorite destinations that aren’t just perfect for a mid-winter escape–they’re affordable, too, so you don’t have to break the bank for a brief change of scenery. Grab your suitcases and prepare to hit the road–just don’t forget to send us a postcard!
With its amazing theme parks and easy airport access, Orlando is a perennial favorite vacation spot for families. Want to have a blast at the famous Sea World and Aquatica Theme Parks while you are there? Here are a few discount links! Purchase your Sea World Orlando tickets in advance online and save $10 off Sea World Orlando – a great discount off each single day ticket! You can also enjoy the big three parks, Sea World, Busch Gardens and the Aquatica Water Park, with unlimited visits for a discounted rate online. Get unlimited visits for 14 days (from first use) to all three parks (Sea World Orlando, Busch Gardens and the Aquatics theme parks).
Most hotels in the Orlando area are offering discounted rates this winter, with some offering savings of up to 45% off on nightly rates (such as the Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas, which offers free transportation to all the Walt Disney World theme parks, free Wifi, free parking, miniature golf and 7 heated outdoor pools!). Check out the official Visit Orlando website for more details about all the great hotel deals!
Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort
Over on the Gulf Coast side of the Sunshine State, the beautiful Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort is offering some amazing winter deals. Check out their hot dates and rates page for up-to-date info on current offers. With a variety of amenities and outdoor activities, as well as nearby Village at Baytowne Wharf filled with shops, award-winning restaurants, nightclubs and even ice skating during the winter months, Sandestin is the perfect family vacation destination. Sandestin even offers tuck-in service from Santa himself this winter through December 23, with a portion of the cost going to Toys for Tots.
Looking for a Caribbean vacation destination? The Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island is a unique destination featuring the world’s largest open-air marine habitat, home to over 50,000 sea animals living in 14 exhibit lagoons. Explore Aquaventure, an innovative waterscape of thrilling slides and rides, discover secrets of the lost continent in The Dig and interact with gentle dolphins and sea lions in Dolphin Cay. In addition to gorgeous beaches, families can choose from 20 swimming areas. Looking for mom and dad R&R time? There’s also ample opportunity for spa and casino time, as well as a wide range of dining options including the gourmet cuisines of Bobby Flay, Nobu and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, duty-free shopping at Marina Village and Crystal Court, the nearby 18-hole championship golf course, Atlantis Kids Adventures and CRUSH Teen Club. Atlantis is offering a winter Friends & Family Special via Priceline.com. For a limited time, save up to 60% plus receive up to a $300 instant airfare credit. Nightly rates start at only $184.
Los Cabos is a fantastic family vacation destination with something for everyone, whether you want to lounge poolside or head out to the Sea of Cortez on a catamaran tour of the famous arches. The Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort in Los Cabos is a beautiful beach front resort featuring a new kids area. The Sheraton Hacienda del Mar is offering great packages for December, including a Family Ice Age 4 package. Packages start at $199 a night and include:
- Up to two kids under 12 years old eat free from the kid’s menu for each meal at Tomates and Sirenas restaurants.
- Milkshakes and chocolate cookies served between 7 and 11 a.m. daily in Tomates, the hotel restaurant.
- One pay-per-view in-room movie per night.
- A special Fox Entertainment gift.
- Guest rooms specially designed & decorated with an Ice Age 4 theme throughout the room.
Sheraton Hacienda del Mar also offers a great dolphin encounter package, which is great fun for older kids and teens.
There are plenty of family winter travel deals to be found on all the major travel websites, from Priceline to Travelocity to Southwest Airlines. Or sign up for an email alert service like TravelZoo to get up-to-date information on airline, hotel, cruise and travel package specials, especially handy if you have an opportunity for a last-minute getaway. Book early and don’t forget to pack your sunscreen!
Are you headed on a family vacation this winter? We’d love to live vicariously through your adventures!