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Even if you’re not on the East Coast, you’ve probably at least heard about this year’s huge blizzard happening RIGHT NOW, if not felt a few icy breezes. If you’re not in the thick of it, well lucky you. But the cold is very real for a lot of people, and the only way to forget about how awful and icy it is outside (other than whisky…) is to think of warm places. Why not do your travel planning now while you’re stuck inside anyway? Here are my top choices for lovely, warm places to visit this year:
1. Goa, India
India is my favorite destination, so obviously it had to top this list. Now that you can get an India tourist visa on arrival, it’s easier than ever to make the trip. Goa is a former Portuguese colony on the western coast of India, known for its beautiful beaches, wildlife, and Portuguese-influenced architecture. The best time to visit is late fall to early spring, because the weather can be very wet in the summer.
2. The Florida Keys
One look at the amazing highway that leads through the Florida Keys, and I knew I needed to visit. What could be better than driving basically on water through a tropical paradise? You can enjoy the tropical weather and beautiful wildlife by learning to scuba dive, going sailing, fishing, swimming, or just relaxing by the sea. Sounds like the perfect escape from this polar vortex nonsense. Grab a 30% off hotel deal and use Cheapair.com to save on your trip and car rental.
3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is one of my top dream destinations, but I still haven’t made it there! While it’s snowing outside, just imagine yourself on the sand at Ipanema or Copacabana beaches, soaking in the sun, or climbing the steps (and sweating a bit) to visit the famous Christ the Redeemer statue at the top of Corcovado mountain. Yes, this trip has to happen this year. It might seem far, but booking tickets through sites like Cheapair.com or Student Universe can bring it into the realm of affordable.
4. Melbourne, Australia
When you think of Australia, you probably think of surfer dudes, kangaroos, and the famous Sydney Opera House. That’s certainly what I thought of, until I met a couple of Australians who let me in on a little secret – Melbourne is awesome. With a more temperate climate than Sydney, Melbourne is comfortable more or less year round, and offers a vibrant city culture full of live music, shops, street art, and restaurants representing just about every cuisine in the world. You’ll probably have to splurge on the plane ticket, so save on your stay by booking a hotel through Hotels.com.
Yep, this is another one of my dream destinations. Just reading “Morocco” you feel a warm desert breeze, don’t you? With rich history, beautiful architecture, delicious food, and best of all warm weather, Morocco is a must-visit. Make sure your itinerary includes Fez, Casablanca, Marrakech, and Al Hoceima.
6. San Diego, CA
San Diego is one of the most popular destinations in California, and for good reason. The beaches are great for swimming and surfing, the weather is perfect, and the city offers tons of activities, from beer tasting and biking along the beach to visiting the zoo or going golfing.
7. Oaxaca, Mexico
If you want to visit Mexico not only for the warm weather but also for a little culture and history, forget the beach resort scene. Oaxaca is the place for you. The Oaxaca city (also the name of the state) offers historical landmarks, museums, Zapotec ruins, and many outdoor markets. It’s easy to get there with a connecting flight through Mexico City, or on a first-class bus from Mexico City.