Traveling in winter holds a special allure – it can be fun to get away from home if you live in a cold weather climate and enjoy sunnier days. Or even if you don’t want to go to the beach, traveling in winter can also be an ideal opportunity to explore new cities or enjoy some “indoor sights,” whether that means restaurants, cinema, museums, concerts or nightlife.

Here are a few ideas for how women over 60 can enjoy winter holidays – maximizing your travel fun while minimizing the cost:

Stay Close to Home

One of the best ways to enjoy a winter holiday is to explore your own city or town by having a “staycation.” There are often so many wonderful attractions close to our own homes that we might never have seen. How long has it been since you went to a matinee movie or took in the latest exhibit at the art museum? If you were hosting a friend from out of town or outside the country, where would you take them to get a sense for the sights and experiences of your own home city?

Consider making a “travel itinerary” to explore your own city – including some of the best restaurants, cultural sites, and live music venues that you haven’t yet enjoyed. You can save money on travel costs while also discovering a new side of your city.

Consider a Home Exchange

Another way to enjoy cheap winter holidays is to do a home exchange, where you offer up the use of your own home in exchange for free lodging in someone else’s home. If you can find a good match in a destination city that you want to visit, home exchanges might be an ideal way to save money on hotels while also making new friends from around the world. This site, HomeExchange50Plus.com, has information on how to sign up for home exchanges with other like-minded people over the age of 50.

Connect with Low-Cost Lodging Online

Another good way to do a home exchange or get free accommodation is to join an organization such as Women Welcome Women, which connects women with free accommodation around the world. Airbnb.com is another great online service to connect people with willing home hosts in order to save money on travel – this is an online service that really works (that I have personally used) to connect with reputable, friendly people who will let you stay in their home for a low price.

Do a Friend a Favor

Housesitting is another good option to get places to stay for cheap winter holidays – if you have friends who live in a great city that you would love to visit, ask them if you could look after their house while they’re away in the winter – and make their home your holiday “home away from home.”

Travel Light, Sleep Outdoors

Winter holiday ideas don’t always have to include warm weather and a beach. You can often save a lot of money by avoiding airfares and hotels, and taking a road trip or going camping. If you live in a mild climate where people can go camping year-round, it might be fun to sleep out in a tent at a campground on your winter holiday.

National parks often offer campsites and cabins for rent – and prices are often cheaper during the winter holiday season. You might find a whole new unexpected experience from visiting and camping at a national park. This site has information about camping in national parks in the UK, and this site offers outdoor recreation and camping information for U.S. national parks.

Look for Deals

Even if you want to have a deluxe winter holiday trip, with airfare and a hotel and nice restaurants, there has never been a better time to get winter holiday deals. Start by signing up for Groupon.com, LivingSocial.com, or other discount travel offer sites. You can often get significant discounts on travel packages, restaurant meals, hotels, airfare, and everything you need to have a lavish winter holiday at a much lower price.

What is the best and most affordable winter holiday you’ve ever experienced? What did you think of the winter holiday ideas in this article? Please join the discussion.

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