January is supposed to be a season of fresh starts, but this dreary weather has had me feeling anything but fresh lately. It's hard to be all "New Year, New You" when you're sporting 17 layers of clothing and the sun seems to be hibernating, you know? If you and your partner are in the same boat and could use a little sunshine and sea air right about now, why not hop on a plane and head towards the Equator on a warm, romantic getaway this winter? Believe it or not, there are tons of cheap flights for beach vacations available right now.
If you're based in the Northeast or Midwest, flights to most of these sunny destinations won't cost more than $350 a pop (which is pretty much my seasonal budget for blankets, scarves, and hot beverages, anyway). So swap the earmuffs and hand warmers for a floppy hat and some sunscreen — next time you've got a long weekend or a few vacation days to spare, head to one of these tropical spots.
While each city and seaside town has its own unique vibe and energy, they've all got one common denominator: Warmth! Here's a look at five destinations where you and your partner can defrost and decompress (without draining your bank account, that is).
1. Miami, Florida
Flying to Florida during the colder months is no new trend — older retired couples do it every year (they're known as "snowbirds" throughout most of the state). Flights from cities like NYC to Miami will only put you out by about $190 or so, and their NBA team is literally called the Miami Heat, so this trip is sure to warm you up.
Perhaps best of all, the Museum of Ice Cream recently set up shop in this Florida city, so you and your SO can spend your mornings relaxing by Biscayne Bay and your afternoons splashing around in a tub of rainbow sprinkles. ¡Bienvenido a Miami!
2. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Nestled along La Costa del Coco (the Coconut Coast) in the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is truly a tropical paradise. If you're looking for a little adventure and a lot of Piña Coladas, this is the spot — the town's known for its zip-lining, sailing, and windsurfing, all along the stunning turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
To sweeten the deal, you won't have to sell any kidneys to afford a luxurious vacation in the DR. Most flights from the US are under $350, and you and your partner can book a room at a beach-front resort (like Whala! Bavaro) or snag a penthouse apartment on Airbnb for just $100 bucks a night.
3. New Orleans, Louisiana
If late-night beignets, jazz clubs, and Hurricanes (the rum-based cocktails made famous by Pat O'Brien's — not actual hurricanes) sound like heaven to you and your SO, make your way to New Orleans this winter.
The city's humid and sunshine-soaked climate will not only warm your frozen bones, but from now until Feb. 13, you can celebrate Mardi Gras Cajun-style in NOLA (i.e. with a whole lot of beads, jazz bands, and dancing in the streets). And even though it's a hopping time of year to head to Louisiana, flights are still under $300 from most northeastern cities.
The southern city's motto is "Laissez les bons temps rouler," a Cajun French phrase directly translating to "Let the good times roll." So go on, let 'em roll!
4. Sayulita, Mexico
Forget The Bachelor Winter Games — jump straight to paradise and head to Sayulita, Mexico, the setting of Bachelor in Paradise.
Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and Sierra Madre Occidental, this village is scenic, romantic, and insanely cheap. Seriously, flights from the Northeast start around $240, and you can snag a hotel room on the beach for as little as $55. Just, make sure you're both in this relationship for the ~right reasons~ before you book the trip, of course.
5. Anaheim, California
Just south of Los Angeles, Anaheim is home to the OG Disneyland (and way cheaper hotels than LA). If you and your partner are big fans of magic and mouse ears, Anaheim is the perfect place to escape gross weather and reality (oh, and it's less than an hour drive from Dana Point beach!). Plus at about $250 per person, transcontinental flights are surprisingly cheap right now.
P.S. If tickets to the parks are out of your price range (a one-day, one-park pass costs about $104), you two can still get your fairytale fix by strolling around the Downtown Disney district for free.
Now migrate south for the winter, you love birds!
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!