January is typically the time of year we begin planning vacations in earnest, asking friends and families for recommendations or planning a return trip to our favorite destination. For those of us that live in colder climates, we tend to look for destinations that offer beaches and ample sunshine. Here are some of our favorite warm weekend getaways to book for your winter vacation!
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!
Table of Contents
Warm Winter Vacations That Need to Be on Your Radar
Places to travel in winter in the United States
I might be a bit partial to San Diego because we lived there for seven years, but honestly it has the best beaches in California! Throw in fabulous sight seeing, shopping, and restaurants and it’s a definite winner. Family Travel Magazine shares tips for enjoying a San Diego Vacation with Kids.
Headed to Florida? Obviously there are more beaches than I could ever cover, but How to Survive Life in the Suburbs recommends Bonita Springs and Flashpacker Family recommends several beaches from Miami to Fort Lauderdale in her Perfect Florida Road Trip.
Who wants to visit Disney Aulani? Just about every family I know! Jet Set Family was lucky enough to explore the property and they are dishing all the secrets and travel tips you need to know about this island paradise, while Walking on Travels tells you how to do Aulani on a budget. If you want to see more of the island, why not check out surfers and turtles in Oahu?
There’s more to Hawaii than Disney, right? We’ve got things for you to do in Maui (and one you really shouldn’t), the best luaus in Maui, places to stay in Maui, as well as what to do on all of the Hawaiian islands. And don’t miss these spots on the east shore of Oahu. How can you go wrong with Hawaii?
Winter Getaways in Mexico
With its almost year round sunshine, Mexico seems like a no brainer. The food is delicious, the people are friendly, and there are many vacation deals to be found. If you’re looking for relaxation and ruins, why not head to Isla Holbox on the Yucatán Peninsula where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean? No cars are allowed on the island, and the wildlife is a big draw (swimming with whale sharks anyone?). There’s no need to leave your hotel, you can simply relax and enjoy the sand and sunshine.
Cabo San Lucas
Another great option is Cabo San Lucas. Located on the Baja Peninsula, this resort destination is perfect for active families offering everything from paddle boarding and snorkeling to kayaking and horseback riding. (See the best things to do in Cabo with kids). We enjoyed our stay at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, which offered a central location near the airport and San José del Cabo, and trying the different family activities offered by Cabo Adventures. Whether your family enjoys an active vacation or relaxing at the beach, Cabo is a perfect choice for families.
Caribbean and Central America in winter
One of our favorite destinations in the Caribbean is Puerto Rico. The weather is always warm, it’s easy to travel to, no passport is necessary, and they use the U.S. dollar! There are fabulous Spanish forts to explore in Old San Juan, a rainforest (El Yunque), and bioluminescent bays that are worth kayaking. There’s a strong art and culinary scene, the people are friendly (and most speak English), and the coffee is the best in the world (maybe I am a little biased on this one)! Seriously though, I cannot say enough good things about Puerto Rico, one of our favorite places to vacation.
Turks and Caicos
Another destination that was on my radar for a LONG time is Turks and Caicos. The colors of the water and the beaches are enough to make me want to buy a ticket tomorrow! Here’s why Beaches Turks and Caicos might be the best choice for your family getaway.
Maybe you want to take a cruise? If so, be sure to check out things to know before you book a cruise and consider heading somewhere like Belize where you can try something like cave tubing which comes highly recommended by The World is a Book. They tried it as one of their on shore excursions and have plenty of tips to share. Belize also offers ruins to explore and scuba diving too, so families will have more to do than relaxing at the beach.
Another island you may not have considered is the Dominican Republic. Walking On Travels shares why you should go and Where’s Sharon has things to do in Santo Domingo with kids. Looks like a great trip!
Want to hug a sloth? Then Costa Rica is the place for you! An Emerald City Life shares their experience at the Toucan Rescue Ranch and their cuddle time with the animals. There’s also stunning natural beauty as Walking On Travels shows us the Rio Sucio in all its splendor, and don’t miss the volcanoes, surfing, and fishing! We also enjoyed an action packed il Viaggio tour as well as one with Adventures by Disney to Costa Rica.
If you’re still looking for more ideas, be sure to check out 25 Favorite Beaches in the U.S. for a Family Vacation and Favorite Family Friendly Beaches Around the World, I am sure we have you covered!