Off-season travel to make your wallet happy
Now that the holiday dust has finally settled, it’s time to get back to what you love the most: traveling. And you guys couldn’t have picked a better time. With everyone else heading back to school and work, that leaves some pretty awesome cities uncrowded. And inexpensive. Smaller crowds = lower rates at hotels and even some attractions.
If you really want to get the most out of your budget, check out our top picks for the cheapest U.S. cities to visit in winter.
The majority of Albuquerque’s tourism happens during its famed Hot Air Balloon Festival (held in October). But it’s a vibrant, eclectic, friendly city to visit any time of year. The fact that it’s one of the cheapest U.S. cities to visit in winter? That’s just a bonus!
The days are warm and sunny, so you can actually take advantage of the many outdoor offerings: hiking the nearby Sandia Mountains, mountain biking through the foothills surrounding the city, or just strolling through the Old Town.
If you do encounter any chilly weather, it’s all good. Albuquerque has 19 (yes! 19!) museums where you can enjoy culture and warmth.
There’s a reason why Boston is one of the cheapest U.S. cities to visit in winter: it’s c-c-c-c-cold! Temps are downright frigid, so make sure you bundle up!
That said, there are plenty of indoor activities to keep you warm and cozy. This historic city is full of museums where you can brush up on your American Revolution knowledge. And don’t forget to check out Faneuil Hall, the city’s marketplace. You’ll find it all: food (hello, lobster rolls), drinks, shopping, and even the occasional concert.
Feeling brave? Go for a walk in one of the many snow-covered parks. Even better, head over to Boston Commons for a whirl around the outdoor ice rink.
Music City isn’t exactly warm in the winter months, but it’s nothing you can’t handle! A wool scarf and a cup of hot cocoa are all you need to beat the cold while you stroll around downtown.
Luckily, many of Nashville’s most popular attractions are indoors: check out the Country Music Hall of Fame or catch a show at the Grand Ol’ Opry. And if you really want to keep your outdoor exploring to a minimum, catch a ride on the Old Town Trolley. It has 15 stops all around the city, most of them right by the top must-see sites.
And when evening rolls around, Nashville is packed with live music venues. You’ll warm up in no time once you start tapping your toes!
New York City, NY
Everyone wants to see the Big Apple during the holidays, and who can blame them? From the 5th Avenue shop windows to the Rockefeller Center tree to the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, it’s the quintessential Christmas-y experience.
But once the holidays are over and the throngs of tourists head home, the city slows down. It’s never empty; NYC is always bustling. But you won’t be fighting the same crowds that you would in late December.
That makes it was easier to enjoy the city: better Broadway seats, last-minute restaurant reservations, and uncrowded museums are a treat for visitors. And, since it’s the “off season,” you’ll likely be able to score way better hotel deals.
Yellowstone National Park
Okay, so this one isn’t technically a city, but it’s one of our favorite national parks, and it’s absolutely amazing in the winter! And (bonus): the price of lodging in and around the park dives in the winter months.
The temps are at or below freezing, so Yellowstone in the winter isn’t for the weak. But if you bundle up enough, you can enjoy outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. And if gets to be too much, duck into one of the park’s many warming huts to thaw out for a bit.
Fewer visitors also means more wildlife, since they aren’t put off by the noise and crowds. Get your camera ready, because you might spot gray wolves, bighorn sheep, moose, bald eagles, and more.
Want to save even more on your winter getaway? Ship your stuff to your hotel or Airbnb with LugLess. We’ll get your luggage there for less than the average cost of a checked bag, saving you money and baggage claim hassles. And you can use your winter vacay budget for better things. Like snowshoes. Or endless mugs of hot cocoa.