January and February are the coldest months in many locations. Fortunately, you're going to be on a hot honeymoon or romantic escape when much of the northern hemisphere is shivering — and you've got some delightful choices to make before you pack your bags.
The most popular winter vacation choices are a) heading south to warmer climes (it's high season in the Caribbean and summer south of the Equator) or b) reveling in the cold at ski towns, ice hotels, and places that make a mean cup of hot chocolate.
Definitely discuss beforehand whether a beach scenario is your idea of heaven — or an active vacation in the snow gives you a rush. (Unless you have unlimited time or funds, you'll have to choose one or the other.)
Romantic couples planning to travel in February are particularly in luck because hotels create special Valentine's Day romance packages every year that roll out the red carpet for lovers.
Imagine champagne, strawberries dipped in chocolate, and a bed of roses awaiting your arrival. Some hotels and resorts offer couples a special dinner (candlelight preferred). Even having a goody like late checkout can enhance a brief overnight vacation.
Some romance packages are available exclusively for Valentine's weekend; others are good throughout February; and still others remain available for a few months. Check dates before you book and confirm the benefits the package provides.
NB: Keep in mind that the President's Day/school's out/winter break holiday usually falls around Valentine's Day. So if you'd rather not spend your romantic holiday around a bunch of kids, book a hotel that either caters to adults, has a separate wing or swimming pool for grownups, or just check the dates before you commit.
Making a Quick Getaway
If you don't find a romance package on my recommended list that works for you and still want to get away briefly in winter, choose the hotel or resort you want to visit and navigate to the spot on their website that describes their packages.
Even hotels that don't offer a dedicated honeymoon or romance package often have a bed-and-breakfast deal or something similar on weekends. (Tip: You can often get a surprisingly good weekend rate by staying at a city-center hotel that typically caters to business travelers by booking a Friday-through-Sunday-morning stay.)
Some of the best places for January and February trips follow. The weather is ideal, businesses are staffed up, and they're putting on their best face for customers. Do keep in mind that because these places become so popular in winter, you can expect to pay top dollar unless you are good at finding bargains or agree that a vacation is no time to scrimp.
- Year-round, the weather's just about perfect in Hawaii.
- Somewhere around the world, every month of the year, a cruise ship is sailing some place wonderful.