If you live in a region famed for its harsh winters, you might have wondered why this article isn’t titled “Seven Reasons for a Winter Getaway: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.” But frigid weather isn’t the only reason why you should book your escape during the winter months. Even the most die-hard snow bunny could benefit from a change of scene once the calendar flips over to the new year.
1. Beating the post-holiday blues. Let’s face it, January is probably the most depressing month of the year. As if the letdown after the warm hubbub of the holiday season weren’t enough, the gray skies and frigid temperatures are enough to keep anyone’s spirits low. There’s even a specific term for this malaise: SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (see the Wikipedia page for more details). Planning a quick weekend jaunt ahead of time, even if it’s just to a local art festival or indoor water park, will give you something to look forward to once the festive tableware is put back into storage.
2. Lower crowd levels. All right, so this doesn’t really apply to places like Cozumel or Fort Lauderdale, which are inundated with snowbirds who’ve flown south for the winter. But New England, for example, is chock-full of charming towns that are all but deserted from November through April. As a bonus, the hotel rates have significantly dropped, as well. Look for online deals in seaside hamlets such as Camden, Maine or Manchester, New Hampshire.
3. Ski season. Feel free to skip to the next item if the idea of strapping narrow sticks to your feet and sliding down a mountain doesn’t appeal to you. Or not — there’s lots to do at a ski resort, even if you don’t indulge in the sport. Most have tubing hills or skating ponds, as well as lively pubs for refueling. Bring that book you’ve been meaning to read and cozy up by a wood fire with a hot toddy — or better yet, splurge for a posh hotel with a day spa and spend the weekend pampering yourself. See the Forbes list for ideas.
4. The Caribbean. Here’s a region that may have been put on Earth for the sole purpose of getting the snow-weary through the months containing the letter “r.” If you’ve never been, you don’t need any further excuse.
5. Recharge, refresh, rejuvenate. As the winter progresses, nature is readying itself for the bounty of the coming spring. You should do the same for yourself. No matter what form of getaway you choose, ensure that it will leave you refreshed and prepared to see the rest of the winter through with good humor.