It is the time of year when many retirees especially, but other winter escape artists as well are getting ready to leave for the kind of long stay holidays we all yearn for.
Long stay holidays don’t have a specific time framework but at this time of year they tend to be from one month to five months at a destination as far from winter as possible.
Those who have not yet booked and are considering where to spend their long stay vacation.
There are dozens of great places but the following four are really worth considering.
Spain or Portugal.
Both countries have become havens for people from the northern United States and Canada wanting unique places to spend winters.
If you are looking for comfortable day and evening temperatures they may be your ideal choice. But during January and February, neither Spain nor Portugal is particularly hot.
Along Spain’s Mediterranean coast, day temperatures tend to average around the 15-16 degree mark going down to 9 degrees at night.
The Algarve region, which is an extremely popular area for Canadians, offers very much the same winter climate.
But prices are very attractive in both countries. And if you are not insistent on a beach property, which shouldn’t necessarily be a mandate during those months, you can stay in a condo or home very inexpensively.
Dining-out costs are also reasonable.
The attractive thing about going to either of these countries is the ability to use your accommodation as a central point in visiting the rest of the country or other parts of Europe.
shopping in the big outdoor markets and local stores can be fun and economical.
Mexico is also for long stays.
There are long-stay options in most areas of Mexico, especially once you move past the most popular brand-name destinations like Puerto Vallarta or Cancun.
One of the most desirable is only about 35 minutes from Puerto Vallarta, but often described as a half a century away.
The multitude of mega resorts are just reaching there, but it has become somewhat of an artists/hippy commune. Sayulita is both beautiful and welcoming to visitors.
Situated along the Pacific coast of Nayarit, Mexico, its cobblestone streets and rustic nature have found appeal in many who are looking for a relaxed vacation without breaking the bank.
Accommodations may vary in price and quality. It has become a very popular destination so the nicer homes and condos have shot up in price quite a bit. But here you are clearly paying for the weather and the experience.
South Florida even with the lower Canadian dollar has what it takes.
Florida has it all. Depending upon where you choose to locate yourself prices can vary dramatically.
I have always preferred the gulf coast.
While not inexpensive, the prices seem to be more reasonable and to some degree the region does not appear to be as crowded.
You should know that Florida weather in January can also be quite different from year to year. There have been years when the oranges have frozen in the groves.
On one January vacation a few years ago we were forced into buying heavier clothes, thinking we would not need to bring any cold weather garments with us as we left.
For the most part snowbirds, as they are called, speak highly of Florida long-stays.
Regardless of how civilized other countries may be, because the service imperative in the United States tends to be better than most nations in the world, it continues to attract.
Because so many others also choose the state for regular short stay visits, the dining and entertainment options seem endless.
Choosing a location is really a matter of balance. Balanced budgets, premium quality versus more rustic accommodations, and climate expectations for most of the period you choose to be away.
For those who love golf, Florida is an exceptional destination.