Hot Places to Go When It's Cold Outside

Warm-weather vacations to shake off winter's chill

Four Seasons Langkawi aerial
••• This Malaysian resort is as postcard-perfect in real life – if not more so. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons.

When waves of below-zero winter temperatures chill northern portions of the United States and Canada, the impulse is to get warm...really warm. And when weather forecasters predict it's going to stay frigid for a while, you can get quick relief from Arctic winds by booking a flight, packing your bag, and traveling to a warm-weather getaway without delay.

Temperatures Rising

Where can you find hot, hot days and balmy nights?

Head south. In the United States, southern Florida, southern Arizona, and southern California are best bets for quelling the shivers. Not only do those areas consistently register 80+ degree winter temps but they also contain many excellent resorts where you can frolic in the sun, play golf and tennis, and soak up warm rays on the sand.

Leave the Country

Winter is prime vacation time in the Caribbean and Mexico, so rates are traditionally at their peak. But with the travel market soft, chances are you can still find great deals from an online or offline travel agent. Also consider vacations in South America, Asia, Africa, and countries of the Pacific, where the seasons are reversed and you can literally fly right into summer.

The following recommended vacation destinations can help you to unthaw; all of them currently boast daytime temperatures in the 80s.

Caribbean

Not only is the air warm; the Caribbean Sea remains soothing as well, making it ideal for swimming, scuba, snorkeling and other water sports.

Antigua - This West Indies island boasts 365 beaches, one for each day of the year. 
Barbados - An independent British Commonwealth in the Eastern Caribbean, Barbados attracts many couples from England as well as the U.S. and Canada.
Bonaire - A laid-back island, where much of the action takes place undersea.


Grenada - 500 miles off the coast of Venezuela, Grenada stays steamy.
Guadeloupe - French-accented Guadeloupe has affordable but not necessarily updated accommodations.
Jamaica - Six all-inclusive Sandals resorts to choose from, and you can access all of them.
St. Kitts/Nevis - Pristine beauty and extraordinary resorts to choose from.
St. Lucia - Iconic mountains, azure sea, and couples-friendly resorts.

Mexico

Coastal areas lure couples in search of sun and fun.
Cancun - Mexico's most popular tourist destination.
Cabo San Lucas - Scenic destination at the tip of baja California.
Puerto Vallarta - Experience the charm of old Mexico by the Sea.

Central America

Linking Mexico with South America, these small countries are attracting lots of compliments from travelers.
Belize - Get in the swim! This country's barrier reef is the world's second-largest coral reef system.
Costa Rica - Diverse terrain includes rain forests, active volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls, and lagoons.

Pacific

Exotic islands lure lovers to worlds of beauty and seclusion.
Fiji - Warm and wonderful, lush and plush.
Tahiti/Papeete - Where paradisiacal islands await lovers.

Asia

This entire continent has many countries where the weather is hot year round.

Hong Kong - Expect toasty weather in this sophisticated international city, but ample air conditioning chills its spectacular hotels and shops.
India - Southern India swelters (so all yoga there is, in effect, hot yoga).
Singapore - A sparkling skyline, multicultural mix, open-air markets, white-sand beaches, and repressive regime.
Malaysia - It's hot and dry along the west coast all winter.

Hot Tips

Before you go where it's hot in winter, be sure to protect yourselves from the heat and pack:

  • Strong sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellant
  • Deodorant
  • Frizz-defying hair products
  • Bathing suits and cover ups
  • Flip-flops to protect you from the hot sand
  • Refillable water bottles
  • Sweater, shawl, or hoodie for restaurants and other places with strong air-conditioning
  • And don't forget to bring your passport!