Ways to Spend January in a Warm, Tropical Place

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Many of you know that Abby and I recently went on our first tropical vacation – a few days in Orlando, and Universal Studios, followed by a 7-day Royal Caribbean cruise. We fell so in love with the beaches and sunshine, we’re already planning our next trip! So, here are a few tips I wanted to share in case you’re doing the same….

Saving money on a tropical vacation

Although there is a lot of temptation to spend your December holidays in a vacation resort, if you want value for your money, consider staying home in December and spending the holidays with your family. Then in January, you should be able to put together a dream package of a vacation that will cost less, because, fewer people are able to travel in January.

As for destinations that are warm and tropical in January, there are many to choose from- including the following:

Manzanillo, Mexico:

Once the homeport of Spanish galleons as well as pirates, Manzanillo came into its own in the modern era when they filmed the movie ’10’ there at a resort that has every building done in white to contrast it with its surroundings. It is also an excellent place to go sail-fishing or enjoy the beach. The weather in January is dry and warm and you are likely to find that you can pay 3 star prices for a 5 star hotel in many cases. The surrounding countryside is full of ranches and horseback riding is also available.

Honolulu, Hawaii:

You wouldn’t think that Hawaii had any downtime because people are typically visiting it year-round. Yet January is an excellent time to look at expert travel sites like Hipmunk to discover the best rates for Honolulu hotels. Hipmunk in particular provides detailed information on Honolulu, making it much easier to plan your trip. The weather in Honolulu in January is not much cooler than it is the rest of the year. The sun will be out much of the day and if you are out on the beach, you will find yourself tan and relaxed by the end of your vacation.

Panama City, Panama:

Mostly ignored as a travel destination, Panama has quietly become one of the most world-class cities in Latin America. After almost 100 years of American occupation to run the Panama Canal, a modern infrastructure was left behind as a base to continue to construct the rest of the city. The results after a few decades are high-rises, restaurants, parks, and beach access everywhere. Day trips out of the city will bring you to either the Atlantic shore or the Pacific shore up the coast from the Canal. What most travelers like about Panama City in addition to its year-round tropical weather is that the costs remain low and it is much safer than many similarly sized cities on the South American mainland.

Orlando, Florida:

Orlando is noted for its many amusement parks and you will likely find that the prices are lower than most other times of year. Of course, in addition to the great weather, January is a great month to visit Florida because fresh oranges are everywhere. Because Orlando has such a sophisticated tourism infrastructure, when room rates are lower, rental car deals and some attractions and restaurant costs may be lower as well.

Although it is non-traditional, January is one of the best months to try and save your travel days for because the resorts that you travel to will be more reasonably priced. You will also find that there is less competition for space in the amusement parks and other attractions that you visit- helping most people to have a more relaxing time than they would when they have to wait hours to go anywhere.

This article was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, the most comprehensive travel search website allowing you to find the best deals on anything from flights and hotels to train rides and Homeaway rentals.

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