Best Winter Vacations to Escape or Enjoy the Cold - Travel Squad Podcast

Best Winter Vacations to Escape or Enjoy the Cold

We’re giving you the top 10 winter vacation destinations if you want to be a snow bunny and enjoy crispy temperatures or if you want to escape the cold and travel somewhere warmer during winter months. The best winter vacations can be warm or cold depending on what you like and what kind of vacation you’re looking for. 

If you live somewhere where it snows a lot, I’m sure you’re looking for warm winter vacation ideas. But if you don’t live in the snow I’m sure you’re open to skiing and tubing and hot springs in the snow and you need winter vacations where you can enjoy those snowflakes and mountain air!

Winter break vacation ideas often involve the kiddos who are out of school and let adults take advantage of holiday time off of work to visit family or go somewhere cool.

These are the best winter vacations to take no matter which type of trip you’re looking for.

Best Places to Visit in Winter for Cold Weather:

  1. Chamonix, France 
  2. Boise, ID
  3. Lake Tahoe, CA
  4. Vienna, Austria 
  5. Japan

Best Places to Visit in Winter for Warm Weather:

  1. Thailand 
  2. US Virgin Islands
  3. Hawaii
  4. Quintana Roo
  5. Mexican or  Caribbean Cruise

Best Winter Vacations – Episode Transcript

1 (41s):
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today’s episode is diving right into our top 10 Winter Destinations for you to visit

2 (1m 7s):
Winter is coming and we have some of the best places to travel to this winter, to escape the cold and to enjoy those winter wonderlands I don’t personally love the cold and love the snow, but I do love a quick weekend visit to make a snow angel, maybe a snowman here or there.

3 (1m 23s):
You know, what’s really funny is I can’t tell you how many times that we’ve tried to plan things in the winter to Kim, and you’re just like, I don’t want to go, it’s going to be too cold. I’m just like, you need to embrace it. I love the cold. So I’m actually really excited about this episode. You know, we had a previous episode number 85, where we talked about the top summer destinations. And as a matter of fact, that was one of our most popular episodes that we actually had this year. But those summer destinations we mentioned, talked about like non-cliché summer places to visit and really go to escape the heat. But in this winter edition episode that we’re doing, we’re switching it up a bit and giving you guys a mix of places to escape the winter and embrace the winter season, which I’m all about.

1 (2m 3s):
So we have it broken up into two categories, five places to embrace the winter vibes and five places to escape the frigid temperatures and to soak in the sun.

2 (2m 13s):
So let’s get the frigid out of the way. First, let’s talk about winter vibe,

3 (2m 17s):
Winter vibes, number one right here. One of my favorite places that we’ve ever visited. Shawmanee France. It’s actually located in the French Alps. It’s tucked in the corner between Italy and Switzerland. And it’s a great mountain town to go to. If you are in Europe to embrace those winter vibes, it almost reminds me of a Aspen or Vail type place to visit here in the United States. Temperature wise, it has an average high in the forties, lows in the thirties, and it’s tucked in this beautiful little valley. They have these beautiful gondolas that you can go up and embrace. And I just loved traumatized.

1 (2m 53s):
Yeah. When we were in Shawmanee, we stayed in a really nice hotel and it had an indoor swimming pool because Ooh, you know, you’re there during winter and

2 (3m 2s):
Did it have a hot tub

1 (3m 3s):
Too? It did have a hot tub too. And then all of the windows around it were like a Florida ceiling windows. And you can look out and see all of the snow, which was like super cool, very romantic Sharmini is a favorite for skiing. A lot of people go there during the winter to ski there, but they also have other winter activities like dog sledding, which I’ve never done. But I do want to do

2 (3m 25s):
That, like be so fun. I

1 (3m 26s):
Think it would be really fun to do that snowshoeing. We were supposed to do that in Breckenridge, but we haven’t been able to, I also think that’d be really fun to do and glacier hikes. And I think that that would be absolutely gorgeous and amazing. So I definitely recommend Shawmanee. We did take a gondola up to the top of Mount Blanca and the elevation there is over 10,000 feet and that was actually the first place I’ve ever felt. Altitude sickness before.

2 (3m 50s):
And it came on like right away. It just hit you.

1 (3m 52s):
It just hit you because you go basically from ground level all the way up, and you just are taking these stairs up and you can just like feel how short of breath you are also. Doesn’t help that as like super cold out. Cause we went for new year’s right around that time. So it was middle of winter. And so you could just feel like a little dizzy, a little bit of difficulty breathing. You could feel all of that, but the views from the top are amazing. 100% gorgeous. You can look out into obviously the French Alps, the Swiss Alps and the Italian Alps.

3 (4m 23s):
The matter of fact, the top of Montblanc is the dividing line between Italy and France. You’re still on the French side. So you’re looking right into Italy and Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain in the Alps period. So you are at the highest level when you are up there on a clear day, you can actually see as far as to the Matterhorn in Switzerland. So really, really amazing views up there from the top. I love it. It’s a quaint European Alpine town and not to be missed one of my favorite locations that we’ve ever been.

1 (4m 52s):
And they definitely know how to do new years, right? Like when we were walking the town the day before, they have a whole bunch of tasting menus and like exclusive menus for new year’s and new year celebrations. And like, it’s a really big thing there. So I highly recommend going in winter and he can make it for new years. You’ll definitely enjoy it.

2 (5m 10s):
When you guys went for new year’s, how many nights did you spend there?

3 (5m 12s):
We spent, what was it? Two or three nights there? Because this was the tail end of our honeymoon trip that we had actually taken. We did the European river cruise down the Danube, since we were there, we were like, well, let’s just go to France and let’s go spend new year’s in the French Alps. So we did that. So it was about two or three days that we spent there, which is enough time to just get a feel of the city and the vibe. But if you are going there to really do winter activities like snowboarding, skiing, et cetera, you may want to spend more time because you could ski from one country into the next. And which is really cool.

1 (5m 44s):
So number two in our list is Boise, Idaho,

2 (5m 47s):
Oh, in the United States. And we love Boise. We’ve talked about Boise before for all of our new listeners. You can go back to episode 38 and hear that one. It’s hoot.

3 (5m 58s):
It’s big hoop. I loved Boise Idaho.

1 (6m 0s):
So the highs and Boise are in the thirties, forties lows are in the twenties. So it’s a very snowy town in the winter. But the best thing that we did in Boise was snow tubing. And if anyone has not been snow tubing definitely recommend you try it. It is so much fun. Like Kim said, it’s a hoot. You know, I, I knew it was going to be fun, but I didn’t realize how fun it was going to be until we actually got onto the slopes. And they give you these really big, like industrial sized inner tubes, and you get inside them and they have this really big hill for you to tube down. And then at the bottom they had conveyor belt that brings you back up. So you could do it all over again.

2 (6m 39s):
And we did, I think it was like a one or two hour reservation for the time slot that we booked. And they were policing the time really well. So we were like timing how long it would take us to go down the hill and conveyor belt backups. So we can see how many more runs we had before our time was up

1 (6m 56s):
At each other down. We like connected to each other and went down as a group. We went down on our stomach, we went down a whole bunch of ways,

2 (7m 2s):
All the ways,

3 (7m 3s):
All the way snow tubing was really fun. So in Boise, right here, they have a road. I think it was called bogus basin road. And that’s actually where we went to go do this no tubing, which is bogus basin. And that road runs you only to this winter resort. So if you don’t want to do snow tubing and you actually want to do skiing or snowboarding, you can at this location, we just opted to do the snow tubing. But other than that, if you’re going for a more mellow winter activity to do in Boise, Boise is known for its plethora of hot Springs that they have. So we went to two locations, specifically ourselves, Kirk them hot Springs, gold pork, hot Springs. So just imagine being out in nature in the winter, surrounded by trees that are dusted with snow, or it even snowing on you and sitting in natural thermal water, relaxing, no better winter vibes than that, quite honestly.

3 (7m 50s):
And you could do that here in Boise.

2 (7m 51s):
Yeah. In fact, the gold Fort hot Springs was a place that we discovered through Instagram and seeing people’s beautiful pictures of them in one of the many steaming pools with snow covered trees all around them. And it was so winter. And so majestic that we booked a trip to Boise for this. It was a little bit of a drive from Boise. Not exactly in the city of Boise, but it’s well worth the drive. You’ll have snow all along the roads as you’re driving there. So make sure to get four wheel drive or something with chains. So you’ll be safe.

3 (8m 24s):
Yeah. That’s a solid squad tip. I’m glad you actually mentioned that. If you’re going to be driving in the snow in these mountain regions, you do want to have yourself a vehicle with four wheel drive.

2 (8m 32s):
We actually saw someone spin out right in front of us. And luckily they were, they were fine, but it was little,

3 (8m 38s):
But they were in a car and not an SUV with four wheel drive.

2 (8m 42s):
It’s true. And we all screamed and Zaina was sleeping and she woke up and like screamed herself

1 (8m 47s):
And they weren’t even going fast. I mean, we were going pretty slow down a road to get to the hot Springs and the car just couldn’t handle it because the were so icy. So they just spun out

3 (8m 57s):
Point being safety first, get that four wheel. Yeah.

2 (8m 60s):
But it’s definitely worth the drive where the bikini with the beanie and the boots cute pigs, right.

3 (9m 5s):
Keeney with the beanie. I like that. I was actually going to say, you get the best of both worlds because you have the winter vibes and you could still be in a bathing suit, summer vibe. So it meshes as one here in Boise. Yeah.

2 (9m 15s):
Yes. It’s awesome. So gold fork has a small fee that you do have to pay to the owners and operators of the property, but Kirkup is fully natural

1 (9m 24s):
In nature. You’re parking on the side of the road. You’re doing a little, not a hike, but like a little track to get to the destination. And they have a whole bunch of these really small, hot spring pools. And they even have like a little waterfall of the hot water coming down the side. And it’s just amazing. Like we got our own little area to ourselves and it’s perfect. And I can’t imagine even going here in summer because the hot water in the summer would be too hot. So you have to have the nice, crisp, cold air wearing that beanie into just like really soak and enjoy

3 (9m 57s):
Being in the bikini.

2 (9m 59s):
I kind of wish that we would’ve stayed in more of a cabin. Like I dunno, hotel or situation just to like, enjoy more of the snow. Cause I feel like those two go hand in hand with each other

3 (10m 10s):
C as you’re talking now, Kim, I can tell deep down you are a snow bunny at heart. So I don’t know why you don’t like the

2 (10m 16s):
Cold. No, I mean cabin firefighters.

3 (10m 19s):
So you want to be inside in the cold is what you’re saying. You want those bags unless you’re in the hot Springs.

2 (10m 24s):
Of course. Yes.

1 (10m 25s):
Yeah. Next time. If we go back, we should do that. We should get a little cabin with a fireplace, maybe a little hot tub on the deck. Drink some hot chocolate. That’d be amazing.

3 (10m 36s):
Well, speaking of cabin vibes, I think that’s the perfect transition to number three on our list, which is close to our hometown. We’ve all been here many, many times. This is Lake Tahoe, California. If you’ve never heard of Lake Tahoe, please Google it. Look at it. One of the prettiest bluest lakes you’ll ever see in your life in a mountain town here in California, straddles the border with Nevada just as well. And this is the perfect place for you to get that Cabot and Kim light that fire stay inside, watch it come down or do winter activities also.

2 (11m 7s):
Well, it’s funny, you said Lake Tahoe, California straddles the border with Nevada, but Lake Tahoe exists in both California and Nevada.

3 (11m 15s):
I’m just repping Cali. Kim.

2 (11m 18s):
It’s a, it’s a really cool place in that. It’s on the state line border. So as soon as you cross the state line, you get all of the Nevada casinos and like fun nightlife that comes with that. You get free drinks while you’re gambling. Hello, but you can do that in summer or winter. We’re talking about winter here right now.

3 (11m 37s):
So realistically, you’re probably not going to go out on the lake during winter itself. It’s going to be really cold unless you are adventurous. So realistically, you’re going to either experience that Nevada nightlife that you talked about. Kim we’re also either going to get a cabin, stay inside, be warm, have a fire, have that hot chocolate, maybe spice it with a little bit of Kalua who knows, but Lake Tahoe, again, famous for its winter sports and activities. There are so many ski and snowboard resorts in the area. One famous spot is going to be heavenly Lake Tahoe. And it straddles again the line between California and Nevada. So you could ski from one state into the next. However, the main entrance to heavenly is in California. They also do have Squaw valley, which hosted the Olympics at one time.

3 (12m 20s):
Believe it or not. So if you want to feel like an Olympian, you can go to the Western side of the lake and go to Squaw valley. And so many other places, I’m not going to mention them all. But if you are big into your winter activities, those are two of the main, main highlights for you

1 (12m 33s):
Fun fact. I actually broke my left arm in Tahoe snowboarding once

2 (12m 38s):
The only time I’ve ever tried snowboarding was in Tahoe. And I never did it again because I didn’t like it, but I have gone snow tubing. And I did love that. Of course,

3 (12m 48s):
One thing I just want to say is if you are not a person who wants to do snowboarding or skiing or even the snow tubing, I still highly recommend at heavenly during winter, you go up in the gondolas. Once you’re high up on the mountain, it gives you an overlook of the lake and just to see the lake, which is already naturally blue, but with the hue of white and snow all around you, it just makes a more majestic vibe that you really can’t get when you see it during the summer. So do check that out. It’s worth paying the gondola fee just to go up, to get that elevated look of the lake during winter. So pristine and clean and beautiful

2 (13m 24s):
Tahoe was also really, really fun for new years. I’ve spent many new years here enjoying the cold. Yes. And the firework shows are beautiful. The casinos are so much fun. It’s a really good time. I would definitely recommend we used to go when we lived in Sacramento, before we even turned 21 and you’re supposed to be 21 in the casinos and we would get in there. And it was just so crazy with so many people in new years that we’d get kicked out of one, walk to the other one. And it was a total shit show, but it really, really fun.

3 (13m 53s):
You know what I used to do before I was 21 and I maybe shouldn’t say this, but I’m going to say it anyway. I had my parents, they would get me an alcoholic beverage. I would hold the beer in my hands. That way it already looked like I had gotten carded. And then I was just free to roam throughout the casino. Didn’t really have any issues. So I’m not advocating doing that. That involves someone who’s 21 and over getting you something. But I kind of experienced that, but I never got kicked out Kim because I had a foolproof plan.

2 (14m 20s):
Well, I just looked so young for my age, you know,

1 (14m 24s):
So useful. So number four on our list is Vienna, Austria, and Jamal. And I actually went on a trip like he mentioned earlier, we took a honeymoon and we went down the Danube. And one of the stops that it made was to Vienna, Austria right off the Daniel river. And it was beautiful. There is definitely a mountain backdrop, definitely really gorgeous, but also one of the big draws to visiting it in winter is the Christmas markets. And I highly recommend one time in your life experiencing a European Christmas market. You see all of their traditional foods, their crafts, their gifts, their drinks, everything just all in a few blocks at a market.

1 (15m 4s):
It’s amazing. Like you can walk down the street with like hot apple cider or hot chocolate or, you know, get some traditional bakery, goods and pastries. And it’s just so homey. So Christmasy and amazing. So,

2 (15m 17s):
So whenever you talk about your favorite destination in the world, Vienna seems to be on that top list. It is what is it about Vienna that makes you place it so high out of all the places that you’ve been to?

1 (15m 29s):
I think it just really has a really nice scenic beauty. And then it has that quaint European feel to it also. So you can get the best of both worlds of the city and the nature vibes

2 (15m 41s):
I have to go. I definitely would love to see this at Christmas time.

3 (15m 44s):
You really do what I really like piggybacking off of what Brittany said is that Vienna is such a modern city, but the architecture of the buildings and everything that they have, there is very classic European. So it’s kind of that mix of modern and old and in winter plus with those Christmas markets, the people, the vibes makes a really, really cool city. Vienna, definitely top of the list,

1 (16m 7s):
Indiana. They also have a Ferris wheel and it’s in the center in Vienna. It’s been in operation for over a hundred years and it’s not a traditional Ferris wheel. We’re

2 (16m 16s):
Like a little sketchy, but

1 (16m 18s):
Not a traditional Ferris wheel would like your legs hanging down or anything like that. You’re actually in what looks like almost like a barn. And you’re in like this, a barn capsule that keeps moving and all of them are like that. You can actually have like wedding proposals there, romantic dinners, special events there. And it was featured on the amazing race as well. And they had this really funny challenge where you had to eat like a whole meal by the time the cart went around. But anyways, it gives the amazing views of the city. And it’s really fun. So while you’re in Vienna also try to ride the Ferris wheel. And Vienna is also known for the coffee houses, plenty of coffee houses to enjoy and just sip some coffee.

1 (16m 58s):
And people watch like people do that. They’re like here, I feel like people always get coffee on the run to go. It’s very hustle bustle. There are people just go to a coffee shop to get a snack, enjoy a drink. And just people watch and just relax.

3 (17m 11s):
We were told that you’re not going to find Starbucks. Like maybe you’ll find one. But you know, whoever goes in there is really like a tourist. So unless you want to be labeled as one, you shouldn’t go in there. You should go to the real coffee houses that they have there. As a matter of fact, we went to the coffee house that Sigmund Freud frequented. And so that’s where he came up with his observations about people, their personalities, et cetera, was just doing that, getting coffee and people watching people. So we went to the coffee house that he frequented, which was really, really cool, but lots of stuff to do in Vienna, highly, highly recommend

1 (17m 42s):
Kim. And you go, I will go back with you.

2 (17m 44s):
Okay. It doesn’t have to be in winter.

1 (17m 46s):
Does it have to be? Cause I love to just

3 (17m 49s):
It’s in the winter section, Kevin, he got a Christmas markets, man.

2 (17m 53s):
Those markets would make me brave the cold,

3 (17m 55s):
Tell you what we’ll do that. And then we’ll go to the Alps outside the city and we’ll get you a cabin to sit on Kimball that sell it for you. All right. Good. So number five, concluding those winter vibe sessions here for you is going to be Japan. Now Japan may not be a place that you really think about when you’re thinking about winter necessarily, but we went in January and let me tell you something, Japan and winter is really, really fun.

1 (18m 18s):
I definitely love Japan and winter. It’s not super cold Heizer in the fifties, a Loeser in the thirties,

2 (18m 24s):
But you would never be able to tell that if you look at their pictures because they’re bundled up with gloves, beanies jackets, like I thought it was like in the twenties over there.

3 (18m 32s):
I mean, you know, that’s the average. I do feel like some days that we were there, it was definitely colder. Cause I don’t wear thermals a lot in a couple of days, I ended up wearing thermal pants under my jeans. So I don’t know if it was abnormally cold when we went or these are like the averages. I mean, these are the averages probably, you know, for the country, but depending on what city you are, especially if you’re going somewhere in the mountains, I mean, we went to Mount Fuji, you go to the top of Mount Fuji, you’re going to be freezing in winter. I mean, my God, it stays snowcap throughout the year, right? So at winter it’s going to be worse, but nonetheless, really, really cool place to go in the winter. Most of all, you’re visiting Japan during off season. So you get a lot of really good rates when you go to a lot of people say they think Japan is a really expensive place.

3 (19m 15s):
Maybe cost of living to live there, especially in Tokyo. It is in terms of a lot of other stuff. I didn’t feel so much, but tourist driven wise, yes, Japan is kind of expensive. So you get that off season with you go during winter.

1 (19m 29s):
Yeah. And in winter you can still see everything that you want to see except for the cherry blossoms. That’s the only downfall, but pretty much everything else that you want to see you can visit in winter. The weather didn’t have any effect on our trip at all. I mean, yes, it was chilly and cold, but there was only one day that it rained on us and it was manageable all the other time that we were there.

2 (19m 50s):
And because it is off season, did you notice anything close or limited?

1 (19m 54s):
No, I didn’t notice anything close or limited.

3 (19m 57s):
Not at all. Actually. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed it so much because it didn’t feel as crowded except for local people really. And so it made it feel in a way that it was almost just for us, which I know kind of sounds silly, but we went to Tokyo, we went to Kyoto Osaka Nara. We went to Tokyo Disney land. And so if you are a Disney fan and want to go, obviously during winter time is a good time to go to a lot of music parks. It’s down season for that too. So this is a really popular park. We didn’t really experience too much of the Disney lines in a way that it can be really bad during peak season. So you have that going for you also, but not at all. I mean, a lot of the things that we did in Kyoto Osaka were go to the traditional markets that they have.

3 (20m 40s):
And those are still up and running during the winter,

1 (20m 43s):
All of the temples and shrines open during the winter. And then we also went to see the shrine, which is on a different island and the ferryboat boat ticket over there was open. Everything seemed to be open like it would be. And it was amazing seeing the deer in Nara park as they’re bowing to you and you come up to them and you could feed them like deer crackers and cookies. Amazing.

3 (21m 5s):
Yeah. And if you really want to get inspired, really do go back and listen to our episodes that we had in Japan. 42 43, really funny ones, highly recommend gets you excited to go. Japan is awesome and really cool in the winter.

2 (21m 17s):
Those were our top five places that we’re recommending you go to in winter. There’s one other place I would love to get to this winter. And that is Breckenridge Colorado, because we tried to go last winter.

1 (21m 28s):
Yeah, we tried so hard. And then, you know, we were going to brave out the sermon that they were going to have Intel, like our flights got canceled.

2 (21m 34s):
Our flights got canceled. Only reason we didn’t go with it was like the worst storm since 1885 or something like that. Of course that would happen to us. And this is probably why I don’t enjoy winter travel as much because there are these random disruptions. We tried to go to big Sur one year in February, I think. And we had one of the craziest rain storms in so many years that shut down power caused us to leave work early, which we didn’t mind, but it also took away a chunk of the highway.

3 (22m 6s):
Landslide ruined the coastal highway one section of it,

2 (22m 10s):
Highway one, the famous highway one that we were planning to drive up to. So that threw a wrench in our plans. So winter travel. Love it. Hate

1 (22m 17s):
It. Yeah. You also went to big bear and how long did it

2 (22m 20s):
Take? Oh my gosh. One time we went to big bear and it was supposed to be just like a two or three-day weekend trip. It’s the three hour drive from San Diego. Normally it took 11 hours because of the out snow storm and closing the mountain and opening the mountain and putting chains on. And it was a total disaster.

1 (22m 37s):
That’s crazy.

2 (22m 38s):
Yup.

1 (22m 39s):
I still love winter so much. I love traveling in winter. I love that it’s off season. I love that. It’s cold. I love that there’s Christmas markets and you know, just so much to do in winter and without the crowd,

2 (22m 50s):
A little bit more planning and a little bit more expecting the worst. But if you come into it with that and you can just sit there with your hot chocolate and your fireplace, then winter travel. That’s what it’s about.

3 (23m 2s):
It doesn’t matter what season it is. There could always be something. But I think Kim’s just hating a little bit on the winter, but perfect transition. Because now we’re getting into your time of the episode to shine Kim summer vibe.

2 (23m 12s):
Yes. Do you know we’re in San Diego? So we don’t get harsh winters by any means, but sometimes it’s cold. Like in January it can be very cold.

3 (23m 19s):
Yeah. It could be 60 days,

2 (23m 21s):
But yeah. And you may want to escape that cold, especially if you live somewhere like the Midwest or the Northeast where you are being pummeled with snow day in and day out. Maybe you want to break from that. So we have five places that are really great to travel to in the winter months to get away from the cold. And the first one on our list, our sixth destination of our total episode here is Thailand. I went here in November one year and that’s just the beginning of the popular travel season for Thailand. And I would recommend going in those early like November or maybe like February, because for Christmas and new year’s, it gets really busy and the prices do go up and the availability goes down, but it’s also a really fun time to be there.

2 (24m 4s):
If you’re taking a holiday trip,

1 (24m 6s):
Why is it so busy during new year’s? Do you know? Do they have like a whole bunch of celebrations?

2 (24m 10s):
Well, I think the weather’s good. It’s not the rainy season. It’s not the cold season. Not that it gets very cold there, but the rainy season is basically wrapped up. And so it is the high time for travel and it’s the holiday. So people like to travel over Christmas or new year’s.

3 (24m 24s):
So when I think of Thailand, it makes me obviously think Southeast Asia humid. Is it humid during that time Kim? Because Brittany and I haven’t been, I know you went to Thailand, one of your favorite places, you really wrap it up as I wrap up Sharmini and Brittany reps up Vienna here. So this is like your version right here on summer vibe. So what’s the weather like out there and I know you’re a beach person. I know you went to the beaches. So tell our listeners a little bit about that.

2 (24m 48s):
The humidity wise, I would say yes, you can expect some humidity. It’s not terrible. And it’s okay. But also I think I can stand humidity more than some other people, particularly Jamal, but no, it’s not that bad really. So I don’t know. I think when I went, I went to Bangkok, of course, Paquette, COPI, Copen, yawn, and Costa Moines. All the CO’s, not all the coast, actually. There’s a lot more coasts if you can believe that. But all of those Southern islands are really, really nice, really fun to hang out in. You can totally get beach vibes. Things are so much cheaper. Like you can get a giant bucket cocktail for $5.

2 (25m 28s):
Crazy. The food is cheap. The food is so good. And I mean, they just have like, daybeds all over the beaches and they’re not like what you’d expect in San Diego where it’s like 20 bucks a day bed. It’s free to sit on these day beds and they’ll take your order, right from your chair there on the beach, we actually went out, got to the beach in and this lady came over and was like, Hey, do you want some beers? And we’re like, we’re about to go in the water. Let us know when we get out, we’re in the water for like an hour. We come out. As soon as we get out, she comes over and is like, are you ready for your beers? Or she may have even had them ice cold beers in the bucket for us.

3 (26m 4s):
How can you say no after that? Like a

2 (26m 6s):
Dollar beer it’s I mean, you’re not going to say no you’re in Thailand. It’s amazing. We actually also have an episode number 37, which my two friends, Chelsea and Chelsea joined me on us all on actually where we talk about the full moon party in Copenhagen, Thailand. And that is amazing. The full moon happens once a month. So during that time of year, there is a wild party on the beaches of coping yawn. It’s so much fun, definitely would recommend it. I’m so glad that I did it in my twenties, not in my thirties, But it’s really, really epic. But even if you don’t go to that, just the beaches and it’s amazing.

1 (26m 45s):
I definitely want to go to Thailand. It’s on my list. And I remember asking you this last year, you know, when’s the best time to go to Thailand and you’re like in the winter months. So that’s why it made it onto this list that we’ve provided here for you. Hey travelers, let’s take a quick detour to talk all about our Travel Itineraries that we’ve created just for you. We now have six different trip itineraries one week in Kauai

2 (27m 7s):
And American Southwest weekend or road trip

3 (27m 10s):
Weekend Yellowstone and grand Teton, national parks

1 (27m 13s):
Road trip adventure featuring all three of Washington. State’s national parks,

3 (27m 18s):
Big island, Hawaii, and an Arizona trip that features all three of Arizona’s national parks.

2 (27m 24s):
We are obsessed with these. These itineraries are 20 to 30 page PDF guides with every detail of the trip laid out. We’re talking where to fly into the exact route to take where to stay park entrance prices, where to eat and driving distance between attractions plus what things to see and do even the hikes we recommend and their mileage and the time to allow for each one and so much more.

1 (27m 45s):
I have story highlights on our Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast, where you can see the full guides. We’ve done all of the research and have taken these exact trips, taking out all of the guesswork from the planning. So all that you have to do is show up and have fun

3 (27m 59s):
And purchase your comprehensive Travel Squad Podcast, itinerary on our website at Travel Squad, Podcast dot com, best of all, they’re on sale right now for $30. So travel on over and get yours today.

1 (28m 11s):
Number seven on our list is the US Virgin Islands, Jamal. And I actually took a trip there this past January. And we were there with our honorary squad members and Ryan, we visited both St. Thomas and St. John. And if you guys miss those episodes, or if you’re new to us, that’s episode 82 and 84, and you’re going to get some of the Caribbean vibes because the us Virgin islands are Southeast of Florida in the Caribbean sea.

3 (28m 37s):
Yeah. And perfect temperatures, you know, from December to March, the temperatures range from the mid seventies to the high eighties, very breezy in the evenings. Yes. We were just talking about humidity. I hate humidity. There’s a little bit of humidity here, but if you are coming from someplace cold to escape the winter, this is a great place for that. It’ll definitely give you those warm Caribbean vibes so that you can get rid of that chill. That’s in your bones.

1 (28m 60s):
And you’re going to want to visit these islands for their white sand beaches, that beach side cocktails, Kim. I know those have your names all over them.

3 (29m 8s):
We had somebody come up to us and try to serve us. They weren’t Thailand prices obviously, but you can have that there too.

2 (29m 14s):
The key word I just heard is try to sell. So I’m guessing you didn’t make the purchase.

3 (29m 20s):
No, because we were just about to leave and go to dinner. They came up to us a little too late was the problem. If it was earlier would have done it.

2 (29m 28s):
The service is lacking in USV vis what you’re telling me.

3 (29m 32s):
I wouldn’t say lacking. They just got to us as we were leaving. It was a timing issue, Kim time initiative.

1 (29m 38s):
Okay. But also known for snorkeling and gorgeous ocean views. We got to swim with so many sea turtles. And if you’ve never swam with a sea turtle so much fun, I mean, you can just flow on the service, look down through your goggles at them. They chomp and all of the seaweed, the grass on the sea floor, then they pop up like right next to you take a breath of air and then they swim back down and it’s so much fun to just like find them and then like watch them and swim with them. Obviously give them their distance and not touch them, but really cool experience to have.

3 (30m 12s):
Yeah. Great place to see CC life snorkel. See the coral, see the reefs encounter turtles. We even saw a big stingray at one point also little baby sharks. So really fun to do. A lot of people don’t know the Virgin islands even has a national park. So we visited the national park while we were there and just really, really great time. So overall, like I said, a really great place to go and escape the winter and get that Caribbean vibe.

1 (30m 39s):
And speaking of the Caribbean in general, the Caribbean is a great place to visit in winter. So if you guys need more ideas, go back to episode 74, it talks about 10 Caribbean islands to love. So go back and listen to that episode, to get more ideas.

3 (30m 52s):
Number eight on our list, still keeping with that tropical vibe. But we’re taking you out of the Caribbean, putting you in the Pacific and we are going to Hawaii.

2 (31m 0s):
I love Hawaii. I cannot wait to go to more islands.

1 (31m 4s):
You’ve been to Kauai. What other islands are on your top?

2 (31m 6s):
I want to go to Maui really bad.

1 (31m 8s):
So we actually just got back from Maui and definitely recommend going to visit yourself. Kim, pick up one of those cheap flights on Southwest.

2 (31m 16s):
I know we’re going to record an episode on that. That’s going to be episode one 20 coming up. I can’t wait to hear about it because yeah, I would love to go to Maui and the jungles, but we went to Kauai as the Travel Squad. And we did an episode on, I was one of our very first ones that ever came out. Number two, it’s so fun there. We spent a week there. We went hiking, snorkeling swimming. We saw sea turtles. We laid on the beach,

1 (31m 42s):
Cruise,

3 (31m 43s):
Sunset, cruise coast. Why is a really, really fun island to go to? It gives you more of that secluded feel. It’s not as crowded popular as a wahoo Maui, even big island. And it’s still more in its natural state. However, big island Hawaii is really awesome too. There’s only really two big cities. You’re really only going to want to go to one, which is Kona, quite honestly, really cool stuff to do there. But the main draw of big island is the national park, Hawaii volcanoes national park, hiking in the middle of a volcanic caldera. Amazing, absolutely amazing. We talked about big island in episode 45

1 (32m 21s):
And also on big island. You can snorkel with a Montereys at night, which is definitely an experience in its own. Like you have to go out pretty late at night. Then they bring out these big rafts that have these lights on them. And the lights attract the manta rays because it lights up what they eat. And so then the Manor, rays swim under you and they start doing like flips and whatnot. So you can definitely experience swimming with the Montereys on big island.

3 (32m 46s):
Yeah. And just so you guys are aware, average daytime temperatures in Hawaii is 78 degrees during the winter months, the water stays above 70 degrees year round. So perfect, perfect place to soak up that warmth also,

1 (33m 0s):
You know, it was just thinking about this. Like, do you think west coast people are Hawaii people and east coast people are Caribbean people.

2 (33m 7s):
I think just by ease of getting there, that could be likely

3 (33m 11s):
I think so. I mean, just think about it from this perspective. It takes us five hours to fly to the east coast right here from California. It’s five hours to get to Hawaii from California. That’s a 10 hour flight. That’s like us flying from here to California, to Europe where somebody on the east coast Glock quicker to get to the Caribbean. So maybe that’s the case, but I think Hawaii probably just has this one draw. That may be the Caribbean. Doesn’t not that the Caribbean is not cool, but there’s, you know, the us Virgin islands, but I think who Y stands out more than that to most people. So I think people make that journey.

1 (33m 45s):
Well, Hawaii has like the Jurassic park feel, you know, with the big mountains and the waterfalls and all of

2 (33m 51s):
That. And very, very nature focused,

1 (33m 53s):
Very, very nature focus. Caribbean is more like just beach life, you know, like island life. So

2 (33m 59s):
It’s funny. They’re both islands, but island life feels more islandy in the Caribbean.

1 (34m 4s):
Yes, definitely. Because Hawaii is, they have a lot of volcanoes that make it more mountainous and rugged and nature-y well, anyways, I was just wondering, would you guys say you’re more Caribbean people or Hawaii people,

2 (34m 17s):
You know, I’ve only been to Hawaii once and I found it to be beautiful and amazing, but expensive. I’ve been to the Caribbean several times and it’s also very beautiful. I love the warm water. And so I think I’m more of a Caribbean person.

1 (34m 32s):
What about you, Jamal?

3 (34m 33s):
I would have to agree with Kim sentiment. I like Hawaii. I think Hawaii is as popular as it is in the United States. Cause a lot of people in the United States are hesitant to really travel a lot of places. So that’s the only place that they could really go. That feels like a foreign country that they’re probably comfortable going. So I think that’s why you always hear people like Hawaii, Hawaii, not to knock on Hawaii, but yeah, it’s expensive. Whereas in the Caribbean you can go to an American territory, you could go to a British territory, you could go to a Dutch territory, you could go to independent countries that aren’t under the territory of anybody for that matter. So you get a lot of different fields in the Caribbean and I like the Caribbean more.

1 (35m 8s):
Yeah. It would have to agree in what really brought me to that conclusion was like, you get a lot of different culture vibes in the Caribbean because there are a lot of different Caribbean islands that are owned by different countries. So that’s why I like the Caribbean more Hawaii. Very, very beautiful. If you’re there for just the nature, I feel like the nature outranks the Caribbean, but in terms of like it’s all inclusivity, I would say the,

3 (35m 31s):
Yeah, not to knock a number eight on our choice. We put Hawaii on here for a reason, for sure. But you know, nature wise, we love nature. So it’s high on the list, but you can get beach vibes and island life vibes and certain places in Hawaii. But you find that more in the Caribbean.

2 (35m 45s):
Yeah. And you just know what you’re getting into with Hawaii, but you can do it more smart because price is a big thing there when you get there. Everything’s expensive. So I know Brittany and Jamal, you guys just got a flight to Maui and based on how you hacked it, you were able to spend something around a hundred bucks, right? Yeah.

3 (36m 3s):
There was a real fucking hard moment, a

2 (36m 4s):
Real fucking hard moment because a hundred bucks for two roundtrip flights. So definitely if you are interested in going to Hawaii and especially in winter, when a lot of people are going plan early, really do your research hack your fucking way to Hawaii,

1 (36m 21s):
Hack it out, baby, hack it out

2 (36m 23s):
And then also skip the luau.

1 (36m 24s):
Yes. Let’s skip the luau and book your rental cars way in advance. Because I really looked to see if we could get any other deals on a rental car and they’ve been sold out for months.

2 (36m 35s):
There you go. Or just plan to hitchhike it. Okay. Moving on to number nine on our list, we have speaking of the Caribbean Quintana, Roo, Mexico, and I put this whole region on here, not just to loom because I wanted to talk about several different places here. So typically you’re going to fly into Ken Kuhn and then it’s a long dry from Cancun to Taloon couple hours. But along that way, you pass several different little towns and cities. One of those is Playa Del Carmen. So all three of these places I would recommend visiting whether you stay in just one or you have a week there and you explore all of them because throughout this whole region of, and this drive, there are cenote days, there are ruins there’s beaches, there’s party, places there’s so much to do.

2 (37m 23s):
And so much like different vibe you can get from all these places. I love it. I would recommend experiencing all of it as much as you can.

3 (37m 29s):
You know, unfortunately yet for Brittany and I, we have not been to Cancun or to loom quite yet. We have been to Cozumel, which is in this region, but it’s an island. And we went there when we were on a cruise and we stopped in Costa Maya, which is, I think in that Playa Del Carmen region, but it was more cruise ship oriented stopped, but we still kind of got those little beachy vibes in the Caribbean Gulf of Mexico area of the Quintana Roo area of New Mexico. So I do really want to go, but I still see your photos all the time of when you were in the cenote days out in that region. See other people, post photos in the cenote there. And I really, really want to get out there. And I think it would be a great winter place to go.

2 (38m 9s):
You may not like this and note days because the water is very cold.

3 (38m 13s):
I don’t like, yeah, well, you know me very welcome. I fucking hate cold water, but I will tell you this for an experience like that, I will have to do it. You know, you just got to commit. It’s like 1, 2, 3 go. But when I don’t have to commit, I like to baby my way into cold water, like a little biatch I won’t lie about that. But for Sonos is dive and read it. Yeah.

2 (38m 31s):
So in the winter it’s still warm. It’s still, but it’s not as bad as it is in the summer. When I did go here, it was in June and it was very hot, very humid and like really uncomfortable, honestly, like forget about doing your hair and makeup. So winter would be better because you’re cold. You want to get away from that. You want some more, if it’s still going to have some of that humidity. And so this is a note. These are still going to feel nice when you jump in, cause it’s still going to be hot. But another thing that’s nice about winter is the algae blooms that happen in this region happened in the summer where the beaches and the ocean fills up with algae and seaweed and it’s smelly and this does not happen in the winter.

3 (39m 14s):
I think they call it Sargassum. Isn’t it? What it is. Yeah. And I’ve heard that it’s treacherous out there. Like if you’re there during that time, it just, the smell from the ocean smells like death. So that’s a good reason not to go in the summer and go in the winter. Also if it doesn’t happen during that time.

2 (39m 28s):
Definitely. And I mean, there’s obviously a lot of places in the world. You could go and winter and escape and be in a whole different place. But this one really is, and it’s close enough to the us that it’s just a quick flight over for us here. We can go into Tijuana and fly over to Cancun, but king Kuhn’s a major airport that tons of places in the U S fly to. So it makes it really easy. And another thing is that it gets so many tourists that they definitely speak English. They cater to tourists. You won’t have any trouble navigating.

3 (39m 58s):
A lot of places. There are all inclusive resorts, are they not? So they cater to specifically Americans who come over there too. So you have that English. You don’t even have to leave the resort, private beaches from your hotel, everything. But yes, obviously do leave, explore the ruins from the Mayans that they have out there too. But one place real quick before we move on to our number 10 and final on our list here, where I want to experience in Quintana Roo a new place I’ve recently discovered called hall Bosch. It’s spelled H O L B O X. So that X is Bosch. So hall Bosch, and it is a eyelid at the very north of Quintana Roo that they don’t even allow cars on. You have to drive like on Moodle, golf carts or mopeds.

3 (40m 40s):
So it’s a really secluded vibe and really nothing built up. So you get that experience of that region, but on a minimal level. And what I mean by that is not commercialized in a way, but you still get the nice resort aspect of things. So I really want to check out holiday.

2 (40m 57s):
I’ve also heard, I love new HEDIS. It’s the island of women, also really beautiful, very few people. And so you can really get more of a secluded, exclusive experience there too. A lot of places still to discover there. I want to go back. I only spent like two days there and it was not enough time This winter. Okay. So we are towards our last place here, but we’re not just going to give you one.

3 (41m 24s):
Yes. This one is an all-inclusive in a way. And something that I was really passionate about putting on here, the next chicken or Caribbean Cruise. Cause we cruising here at the Travel Squad Podcast. So why limit yourself to one place, go on a Mexican or Caribbean Cruise. The weather’s going to be good. You’re going to go to multiple places and you’re going to have the cruise life experience all on top of it.

2 (41m 47s):
I went on a Mexican Revere cruise in February one year and it was raining and cold when we got on the boat in long beach. And as we made it down to Mazatlan and Cabo and Puerto Vallarta, it was warm and sunny. I was tanning. I was drinking margaritas on the beach. It was amazing.

3 (42m 6s):
Yeah. You know, what’s really funny is a lot of the cruises, actually. Not a lot of them, all of the cruises that Brittany and I have done that are ocean line cruises have taken place in the month of January. And you would really think that, oh, you know, that’s a time. Well, during winter people are trying to escape and things are going to be expensive, but cruises as a whole, I don’t think are very expensive. So I mean, it’s a really good deal at that time. Also you’re escaping the winter weather. You go into a warm tropical place. Love, love, love to do cruises during the winter. And I highly recommend it. That’s why we’re saving it. Number 10. I don’t want to say best for last, but one of the best choices in the terms of, you’re not limiting yourself to one place and you’re getting an experience with it.

1 (42m 45s):
Yeah. I’ve been on like eight different cruises, both to Mexico and to the Caribbean and the majority of them have taken place in winter. So I definitely agree that taking a cruise in the winter to Mexico or Caribbean is a must do. You’re going to get great weather. It’s going to be beautiful. You’re an escape, the cold. And you’re going to have a great time. And cruise life is the best life

2 (43m 8s):
Cruise life. I love it. Love it. So I mentioned that Mexico cruise that I did, another route that I took was out of Miami and it was a five day cruise to the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos or the two stops. And if you’re going to take a Caribbean Cruise, I would give you my vouch for that one. It was really fun, really beautiful. And we were just talking about Caribbean life versus Hawaii life. Caribbean life is like reggae music, rum and Cokes

1 (43m 40s):
Chicken. Mm.

3 (43m 42s):
I love how Brittany throws in the church. Chicken

1 (43m 45s):
Conch salads.

3 (43m 46s):
Oh yeah. Conch salads, conch, fritters, conch, everything. I love the Caribbean really fun, really good option to do these cruises.

2 (43m 52s):
All right guys. So get out there, travel this winter, whether that is over the holidays or just a little excursion to escape the cold and let us know where you’re going to, but now we have a very, very important segment to get to. And that is questions of the week

1 (44m 16s):
So our first question is, are there any winter activities that you want to try or recommend? Well, we kind of touched upon this earlier in the episode. And I did mention earlier that I do want to try snowshoeing and I haven’t really done that, but I think it would be really fun. We had kind of an almost opportunity to do it in Lebanon actually, when we going to see the Cedar trees, but we didn’t get to truly do it. But one other thing we want to do is try cross country skiing.

2 (44m 45s):
Oh yeah. You know, fuck the downhill shit. Like I am not skilling.

3 (44m 50s):
Yeah. I love it. But okay, go ahead.

2 (44m 53s):
We’re not doing adrenaline. We’re not doing speed. We’re not going downhill. Like a bunch of psychos trying to break our arms. I want to do cross country just leisurely gliding across the snow in the forest. That sounds nice. I never ever was.

3 (45m 11s):
I know she was never into the downhill. I’m just, I’m just saying this came at 30 at this kind of just like leisure, relaxed.

2 (45m 18s):
Well, I’ll also say I want to do dog sledding, which is not leisurely sound scariest thing.

3 (45m 23s):
I feel like recently I suggested Alaska and that’s an Alaska thing and you’re just like, fuck Alaska. I’ve been to many times. So if we want to do dogs, then we’ve got to go back. And if I’m being honest, I’m thinking Alaska cruise sometime soon couples trip and we could do some dog sledding. That’ll be good.

2 (45m 40s):
But you know where I’d love to go. Dog sledding is in Finland.

1 (45m 43s):
Finland,

3 (45m 44s):
Go to

2 (45m 44s):
Finland in the summer, stay in an igloo, do a little hot cold plunge and go dogs.

3 (45m 51s):
I didn’t even think about that somewhere in Scandinavia. Great option can yes. Great options.

2 (45m 55s):
She is a perfect segue to our second question here, which is what are some things you should pack for winter trips? Because if we’re going to Finland, you know, we’re going to need some massive gear

1 (46m 6s):
Thermals, heavy down coat. Definitely

3 (46m 10s):
Socks, gloves.

2 (46m 12s):
Oh, absolutely. Fleece lined beanies,

1 (46m 15s):
Waterproof shoes.

2 (46m 16s):
Oh, waterproof shoes.

1 (46m 17s):
I mean, we went to Lebanon in January and who was not prepared,

2 (46m 21s):
Brittany.

1 (46m 22s):
No Kim. Yeah.

2 (46m 26s):
And changes of clothes for sure. Waterproof pants would even be good if you’re trekking in the snow

1 (46m 31s):
Umbrella

2 (46m 32s):
Umbrella, which I did bring,

3 (46m 34s):
I feel like this could be a whole episode. What to pack for Winter Destinations. We

2 (46m 37s):
Should do some packing episodes

3 (46m 40s):
For winter. Well,

1 (46m 41s):
You could do it by season.

3 (46m 42s):
Yeah. Well I know, but we’re talking about winter now.

2 (46m 44s):
The first summer it’d be like swimsuit for every day

3 (46m 47s):
Somewhere. You don’t need anything. T-shirt bathing suit. That’s it? Flip-flops maybe a towel.

2 (46m 51s):
So one thing I’ve always thought about packing and I never actually have, and I was thinking about it for Breckenridge before that one got canceled, but they’re like little packages of things that you break and they start heating up for your hand. Yeah. They’re like little warmers.

3 (47m 5s):
You get those like at Walmart or a big five, they’re really supposed to be for hunters who are out there. You put them in your boots are in your gloves and you crack them and they’re supposed to warm up your hands. I know what you’re talking about. I don’t just don’t know the name of them.

2 (47m 16s):
I don’t know the name of me there, but I’m sure you could Google like warmer pouches and find them on Amazon actually. How about this? We’ll find them and we’ll link them on our website, on our travel products for sale page. So easy access for you.

3 (47m 28s):
And that’ll be perfect for our first five places that we listed here to warm you up in the winter.

1 (47m 33s):
So one other thing I have to add on is if you’re going on any Winter Destinations and they’re true, winter vibes invest in a Bolsa de Agua, Kali and bay. Oh,

2 (47m 44s):
We just got back from a trip from Ecuador where they put these in our bed.

3 (47m 48s):
We talked about this in episode 1 0 9. We just released Ecuador. So go back and listen to that. If you haven’t listened to it already, but we talked all about it. We were in some hi Andy and mountain towns and these beautiful, beautiful lodges. And we had service where they came and put these bull says they in our beds, which is basically a balloon of hot water, has a nice little blanket or cover on it. And it just warms your bed. It’s so, so amazing.

2 (48m 13s):
And it’s amazing and does not require electricity. Like a heating pad does

3 (48m 17s):
Link that in the show notes to kill.

2 (48m 19s):
Okay. All right. Yes. I highly recommend buying one of those, even if you’re not going on vacation,

3 (48m 25s):
It’s perfect for the home

2 (48m 26s):
Tearing down your own bed for yourself. All right, everyone. Thank you so much for tuning into this week’s episode. Please keep the adventures going with us by following us on Instagram and YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast and tag us in your adventures.

3 (48m 39s):
If you’ve found the information, this episode be useful, or if you thought we were just playing funny, please be sure to share it with a friend that you know, would enjoy it too. And as always guys, please subscribe, rate, and review our podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes,

1 (48m 53s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you.

3 (48m 58s):
Bye

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