One of my favorite songs that I love to listen to in the winter is "Under the Sun" by Michael Franks. One of my favorite lines in the lyrics of that song is when he says "Snow in my shoes, mid-winter blues, have got me down, just point me south lets go now, the clothes on back are too Pasternak, from soul to crown, where in the hell's the snow plow? Down 95 we'll come alive, and by the time we get somewhere near Savannah, give winter the slip, it's well worth the trip..." Don't we all want to give winter the slip after a few days in the 20 or 30 degree temp range? Palm trees, sand and sun start to call our name.
Well the problem comes in when people come to us, as their trusted travel professionals, and say they are ready to give winter the slip but they prefer to be able to drive to that sunny and warm destination. Or they are willing to leave the Country, but only on a short cruise or a short flight to the Bahamas. Trust us when we say that driving as far south as the Keys or even planning a trip to the Bahamas in January or February will NOT guarantee that you will be giving winter the slip.
I have personally traveled to Florida (by car) and have cruised to the Bahamas twice in December and January and at least 3 trips were met with cool to cold temperatures. There is nothing more disappointing than stepping out on the white sands of the Bahamas in a hoodie. Nobody wants to be packing a hoodie for their winter escape.
So where are some places that you can travel to in the winter where you will be truly giving winter the slip and leaving your hoodies and warm socks back at home? Here are our top 5 based on flight distance from the USA or cruise length.
1. Cancun, Mexico. Even if you get down there and the temps are in the low 80's, no hoodie required. You will be met with white sand beaches, blue Caribbean water, friendly people and a warm sun.
2. San Juan Puerto Rico. Flight times are good from most major airports, easy immigration process for US citizens, and plenty of warmth, sun, and sand. And, it is a destination rich in culture.
3. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Some are thinking...where did you say? This awesome destination is on the Pacific side of Mexico and offers a true winter escape and is a nice change in scenery for those who have been to Cancun more than once.
4.Turks and Caicos. If you look on the map you will see that T&Cs are closer than most other Caribbean destinations from Miami International Airport. If you have not visited this destination yet, it needs to be on your radar before it becomes even more popular and more crowded.
5. 5 Night Caribbean Cruise. Royal Caribbean offers 5 night options from Tampa as well as Port Everglades (Ft Lauderdale). The 5 night cruises will usually take you as far south as Cozumel (short ferry ride from Playa del Carmen and Cancun). 4 night cruises can't get that far south usually unless they sail from Galveston TX and we have our reasons why we are not recommending those cruises. Trust us.
So there you have it. Our top five pics for giving winter the slip without the fear of winter sneaking into your checked luggage. And all of these are not going to require an all-day travel experience to get there.