Before You Plan Your Winter Getaways

winter couple mountains
••• Arise! High-altitude air is invigorating. valentinrussanov/getty

Winter is a special time for getaways, and it's never too early to start planning yours. Longer nights, cooler weather, places where a layer of snow coats the landscape like a soft white blanket all make travels at this time appear more romantic — and some might say, more necessary. Whether you take multiple winter getaways every year or this is your first experience planning one, you can find suggestions here for places where couples can have a hot time this season.

Know Where to Go for Winter Getaways

First check out the best places for winter getaways and what type of weather to expect.

Winter Getaways in the Warm Sun

When the weather turns cool, snowbirds aren't the only ones who head south. Popular destinations in the U.S. that guarantee warm weather in winter months include southern Florida and all of Hawaii.

Chill Out at a Winter Resort

If a romantic winter getaway with your significant other requires ski time and you can take or leave the slopes, choose a place offering more than just snowy terrain. These getaways provide peak experiences for couples who want to live and love well.

    Extremely Cool Places for Winter Getaways

    If you don't mind cold weather — and days that shine just a few hours of sunlight — you can experience amazing winter getaways up north. Quebec City has an extraordinary annual Winter Festival (we love it even when there's no festival). Iceland's Blue Lagoon, with its soothing 100-degree mineral waters, warms visitors even in the coldest months.

    And Estonia's Old Town in Tallinn, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the perfect place to buy hand-made gloves, scarves, and hats in the outdoor market from the hardy ladies who knit them.

    If This is Your First Winter Getaway...

    It's not difficult to arrange your first winter getaway. It just takes a little time to do some research. First, decide on whether you want a warm or cold weather getaway. Then think about whether you want to fly or drive, and how much time and money you want to spend on transportation. After that, begin to research hotels and resorts. Then use the tips below to identify places likely to please the two of you.

    Make Winter Getaways Special Occasions

    Winter romantic getaways are special occasions in and of themselves. And if you're the kind of couple who likes your sundaes with whipped cream, nuts, and an extra cherry on top, you can enhance the experience by visiting an iconic place on a romantic trip, e.g. NYC on New Year's, or a place that once hosted the Winter Olympics, or a Valentine's Day package designed just for couples in love.

    Packing Tips for Winter Getaways

    Once you're ready to stop daydreaming about winter getaways and start preparing, take some packing tips. Learn what kind of luggage will work best for you, check what you need to take against my A-Z winter getaways packing list, and decide if my recommendations for hot lingerie can take the chill off a winter night.

    When Cost is a Factor

    Although winter is prime time for expensive holidays, you can still find places and properties that won't break the bank.