With memories still fresh of an unusually frigid December through March of 2013-14, a larger than normal number of Americans in the northeastern and Midwestern states are frantically hoping to escape a similar ordeal in the coming months. But when they make their phone calls to hotels and the like in the south, they too often find that prices for the winter of 2014-15 have skyrocketed. Hotel keepers in Florida and southern California are literally licking their chops over the prospects for one of their best winter seasons ever. Not only are hotels heavily booked, but condos and apartments are, for many dates, also sold out in the more popular seaside locations.
So where can you go for a few weeks to escape the ice, the blizzards, and the driveways blocked with snow? A first option is to escape the United States altogether and head for the Caribbean and Central America. It's no secret that the lesser-known or less popular islands of the Caribbean have numerous still-available lodgings at decent winter rates. Such places as St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Antigua, Curacao and more, are still available with desirable winter space, as are several other of the less-heavily-visited locations. In Central America, Panama still has numerous apartments in recently-built condos that are a hit among the most experienced winter travelers. These locations are not only available through traditional means, but their lodgings are listed in the new (and sometimes controversial) sources of apartments: AirBnB.com, VRBO.com, Homeaway.com, EVRentals, Rentalo.com, Flipkey.com, and still others.
How about Europe for a several-week winter escape? Unfortunately, nowhere in Europe is reliably warm all throughout the winter, and the Europeans themselves head to the faraway Canary Islands when they are absolutely determined to enjoy a few weeks of warmth and sun in the winter weeks. But must you insist on "swimming weather"? If you're content to enjoy a mild--but not hot--climate, you might consider the French Riviera in the winter, emulating the travel patterns of those 19th century Europeans who believed that the Cote d'Azur was the perfect place for winter relaxation. In an area of Europe enjoying remarkable museums and superb cuisine, you can enjoy the enormous hotel space of the Riviera at the moderate rates that many of them charge in winter. Here's an unusual winter vacation, but a fascinating one that can be enjoyed at an affordable price.
Within the United States, you'll discover that the condos and hotels located a twenty-minute drive inland from the Florida coast are often found to offer comparative winter bargains. Staying, for instance, at the sea in a place like Delray Beach, north of Miami, you'll pay top rates, but by driving just twenty-minutes inland from Delray, you'll find that many of the condo complexes that were built for elderly retired persons, are today full of empty apartments during winter at decent rates; many of the retirees that used to occupy them have either passed on or moved. And various coastal rental agents will supply you with many affordable options for a winter's stay in those former retirement areas.
So hop to a phone and make those calls, and you can enjoy a few blessed weeks this winter away from the wintry blasts.