Between school vacations and office closings, it’s no surprise that December getaways are really, really expensive.

But you deserve a vacation dammit! Here: eight trip ideas that won’t burn a hole in your wallet.

Key West, Florida

Escape the cold by flying into Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, then rent a car and cruise down to the Keys, which offer a funky, laid-back vibe. While you’re there, make sure to visit Ernest Hemingway’s house and snorkel in the only living coral reef in North America--located just off the island.

Berlin, Germany

Believe it or not, you can travel to Eastern Europe for roughly the same cost of getting to the Caribbean. (A round-trip ticket usually costs less than $1,000 from most major cities.) Worried it’ll be cold? That glass of glühwein will warm you up stat.


New Orleans, Louisiana

Mardi Gras…Jazz Fest…NOLA is at its tourism peak in spring, which makes December and January the cheapest time of year to visit. With temps in the '60s, the holiday spirit still runs rampant. (Christmas decorations, hello.) There are just also po’boys, gumbo and beignets.

Quebec City, Canada

Can’t afford Paris? Head to much cheaper doppelgänger city Quebec, where you can take advantage of awesome restaurants, first-class ski resorts, winter carnivals and 400 different types of cheese. (See, we told you it was like France.)

Tulum, Mexico

Fly into Cancun, but stay in the less touristy and far more bohemian neighboring city of Tulum. Stylish yet laid-back, this southernmost point of the Riviera Maya is a total time warp: think rustic cabanas, seafood shacks, beach bums, yogis and the like.

Asheville, North Carolina

Fall is the busiest time of year for this artsy mountain town. But, come winter, tourism dies down and lodging is less pricey. In addition to fantastic restaurants (Curate is possibly the coolest tapas spot in the country), Asheville boasts a burgeoning new wine scene, and you'll find Chardonnays and Cabernet Francs for far cheaper than their California counterparts.

Dublin, Ireland

From most spots in the U.S., a December round-trip ticket costs less than $800, making this one of the most affordable European Christmas destinations. Expect cold, snowy temps and festive, boozy nights. (Joyceans, rejoice.)

Nashville, Tennessee

This southern spot is always bustling with shopping, eating, drinking and music, but the holiday season is actually one of the quietest times of year. The best part? You can find a round-trip ticket to Music City from most U.S. cities for about $300.

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