It’s that time of year again: everyone is gearing up to go on Christmas vacation. Whether you just have the day before and after Christmas off or you happen to get two weeks of paid vacation, either way, you’re going to be in a merrier mood. I happened to get lucky this year – I’m off to Hawaii for the holidays and I couldn’t be happier. Although I do have one confession: I was a bit shocked at the cost of tickets. Back in the day when I used to go back and forth between California and Hawaii, tickets were only $350. Now they’re over a grand. I do realize that the holiday season is a more popular time to fly out to the islands, hence the price increase, not to mention that it just seems like things in general are gradually getting more expensive as each year goes by. I found myself wondering: there had to be some affordable destination that a native Angeleno could head to without breaking the bank. And after doing some research, I discovered that it’s not too late to buy a cheap ticket to paradise. You just might have to redefine what your definition of ‘paradise’ actually means.
Mexico: If you’re craving sun, salsa and sombreros, tickets to Mexico will cost you under $700 for a flight to Cabo San Lucas. With the gorgeous beach weather and summery music by the pool, you can easily leave behind your winter woes as you embark on a south of the border-style holiday vacation.
Florida: If you’re able to scrounge up $600-700 for a plane ticket, you could be living it up in Miami a lot sooner than you think. Watch beautiful people go by all day long on South Beach, take in the art and architecture in the happening Art Deco District, and let loose in Little Havana for a night of food and fun.
Colorado: Even though you couldn’t go skiing in Switzerland this year, you’ve found the next best place: Boulder, Colorado. The quintessential party town for ski pros and snow bunnies alike, a plane ticket costs just over $500. A lot of the kids I went to high school with who didn’t end up going to Arizona State or San Diego State ended up at Boulder State…and they’re still living there to this day. A small town feel with a big party atmosphere, this is the perfect place to cozy up in a cabin or lodge rental after a long day out on the slopes, getting buzzed and merry with friends and strangers alike.
Palm Springs: Just an hour-and-a-half drive from Los Angeles or a thirty-minute flight (plane tickets start in the $300 range), Palm Springs is the ideal desert getaway, perfect for families, couples or even a group of single young friends. Spend your days by the pool, at the spa or shopping, then spend your evenings partying at one of the clubs in downtown Palm Springs or at one of the hip hotspots like the Ace Hotel or the Hard Rock.