These 10 places are always affordable

Traveling in late November and December from the US and Canada can put a strain on your wallet. It’s peak holiday travel season when many Americans and Canadians travel domestically to visit family or take family trips abroad to celebrate holidays abroad. The increase in demand naturally translates into more expensive flights and accommodation options in many places around the world. However, these 10 destinations remain relatively affordable throughout the vacation and can be the perfect escape for a last-minute getaway.

ten Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is easily accessible from many major travel centers in Canada and the United States, including Toronto, New York, Houston and Los Angeles. This Costa Rican coastal town is the perfect December vacation escape, allowing families, couples, or solo travelers to enjoy sun, surf, and delicious restaurants all in one place. One of the most expensive parts of visiting Costa Rica is car rental, so basing yourself in one town and staying there for the duration of the trip means cutting costs considerably.

9 Riviera Maya, Mexico

Mexico’s Riviera Maya is full of lavish all-inclusive resorts that travelers can enjoy at reasonable prices. The good news is that while prices may increase or availability may be limited during the holidays, spending 5-7 days in this part of Mexico is still affordable during this busy season. From the Riviera Maya, travelers can easily take day trips to Mayan ruin attractions like Chichen Itza or the iconic Isla Mujeres.

8 Salt Lake City, UT

To cut costs when traveling during the holidays, consider staying in the United States, which is affordable for Canadians and Americans. Flights from Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles and New York to Salt Lake City remain reasonable during this time. It’s not as popular as other big cities in the country, but it still has plenty of things to do in December. Watch a ballet performance at the Capitol Theater and admire the Christmas lights displayed around the city.

seven Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is an affordable year-round travel destination, so even during the holiday season, it’s a great option for families, couples, or solo travelers to escape the cold. Soak up the sun, snorkel, horseback ride, or swim at one of the many resorts around Punta Cana.

6 Montego Bay, Jamaica

Jamaica is another Caribbean gem that remains affordable in November and December. In particular, Montego Bay is an ideal destination for travelers looking for all-inclusive hotels at reasonable prices. The weather is unbeatable, with average temperatures in December ranging from a comfortable low of 22°C to a balmy high of 30°C.

Related: Everything you need to know to plan a vacation in beautiful Montego Bay

5 Banff, Canada

Canada can be an expensive country to travel to, but avoiding the big cities of Toronto and Vancouver can help visitors keep a realistic budget. In December, a beautiful getaway to the Rocky Mountains of Banff National Park is a fantastic option that offers incredible opportunities for hiking, sightseeing, and hot spring bathing. Book accommodation well in advance to beat the seasonal rush and avoid price hikes due to limited last-minute availability.

4 Mexico City, Mexico

Travelers who want to experience an authentic side of Mexico without staying at a resort during the holiday season will love exploring Mexico City. The country’s capital, Mexico City, is a common stopover destination for many airlines that fly passengers to other cities in Mexico and Central America. For travelers with a layover, consider extending it to make the most of the time there, or simply plan a full trip around this affordable and bustling Mexican destination. There are many neighborhoods to choose from, but one of the cheapest and trendiest places to book an Airbnb in Mexico City is La Condesa or nearby La Roma.

Related: Visit Banff on a Budget (With Points and Rewards You Already Have)

3 Havana, Cuba

Havana is a bustling city in Cuba that deserves more international attention. While many travelers choose to stay at resorts in Varadero or Cayo Coco when visiting Cuba, they might find these packages more expensive while on vacation. To avoid the tourism rush, travelers can instead book a flight to the capital, Havana, and stay in a budget Airbnb. Explore the city with a local guide, take a food tour, and see a side of Cuba that people staying in resorts can’t experience.

2 Porto Rico

Puerto Rico remains an economical travel destination for people departing from Canada and the United States in the evening during the holidays. Flights are easy to find for less than $350 round trip from travel hubs like New York or Toronto. A trip to San Juan means buzzing bar scenes, gorgeous beaches, casinos, nightclubs and more.

1 Las Vegas, Nevada

It’s always a good time to visit Las Vegas, and the holiday season is no exception. Traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada, between Thanksgiving and Christmas may mean slightly higher airfares and larger crowds, but the highlights of this destination remain the same. Accommodation in Las Vegas is relatively affordable since the cost of living there is lower than that of other cities in Nevada, such as Henderson or Boulder City.

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