Family Travel Posts

Spring Break Essentials for Keeping Kids Occupied During Travel

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With Spring Break just around the corner, the time has come to pre-plan your trip. If you’re traveling with kids, especially multiple age groups, planning how to keep them entertained on spring break is as important as deciding where to go. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of tips on traveling for spring break with kids, to help guide you through the chaos that it can bring!

Pre-Flight Essentials

Pack Smart:

Good quality luggage is an investment for your kids and can help to make preparing for travel fun, especially with the selection of branded options available on the market. Colorful rolling suitcases such as the Samsonite Disney range or Trunki are a great way to involve kids in the preparation process.

Personalizing luggage is another way to get kids excited for a spring break adventure; make an activity out of getting them to decorate their luggage using stickers or funky travel tags.

If you’re feeling especially brave, you can even ask your kids to pack their own case – with supervision of course! If the whole case is too much, then get them to choose a favourite cuddly toy, item of clothing, or book to bring. Involving kids in this process will give them a great activity to participate in and a sense of ownership.

Snacks Galore: 

It’s essential to pre-pack some delicious and filling snacks to keep little tummies happy. Trail mix, fruit pouches, cheese sticks, and crackers are great options to have on hand. A refillable water bottle is also recommended to keep everyone hydrated, especially when dealing with plane air-conditioning. Involve your kids in the planning!

Entertainment on Demand: 

Movies and entertainment are key to keeping the kids occupied when it comes to traveling for Spring Break. Shorter flights often don’t provide in-flight entertainment, so it’s a good idea to invest in electronics where you can download movies, games, and audiobooks. Specialized children’s tablets are available on the market, or if you’re feeling old school, why not dig out a portable DVD player with car chargers as optional activities for kids?

Activity Kits: 

Travel-sized versions of popular board and card games are also great for keeping the kids entertained when you travel. Think etch-a-sketch, travel bingo, or jigsaw puzzles (though try to avoid anything with small pieces, as they’re likely to get lost along the way). Why not pick up a few activity books with stickers, as these are usually a hit with little ones. You could even treat them to their choice of new book or magazine.

Make Pit Stops Count:

Driving to the airport can become long and tedious, especially if you’re traveling from afar to your nearest airport. Choose a scenic spot on your journey for a small picnic to break up the journey. You could even book one of our ParkSleepFly hotel & parking lot packages so you can all get a much-needed night’s rest before your morning flight to your spring break vacation spot.

Take-off to Touchdown

Embrace the Window Seat: 

Try to snag a window seat on the plane and let your kids enjoy “cloud spotting” or watching the sky for other planes. Packing binoculars can encourage some excitement for your spring break trip, keeping the kids awe-inspired during the flight while giving them a tech break too.

Get Creative with Travel Games: 

“I Spy” is another popular in-cabin game you can participate in, especially when surrounded by travel-themed clues. Other fun travel games include tic-tac-toe and hangman.

Destination Adventures

Plan Age-Appropriate Activities: 

Make sure you do lots of research when planning aspects of your trip that can cater to children’s interests. Museums and zoos are popular for springtime, offering an indoor/outdoor adventure and giving you a break from spring showers or the sun. Check reviews before you visit so you’re armed with information on queuing times and facilities, and make sure the attraction is open on the day you plan to visit to avoid disappointment.

Get Crafty: 

Art activities for kids are also ideal when it comes to planning your spring break vacation. Travel-sized craft kits and art supplies can go alongside a stroll and picnic, keeping them entertained between taking in the sights. Crafting souvenirs of the places you’ve visited gives kids a fun souvenir to take home too! For older kids, why not encourage them to write a holiday diary or create a scrap book with tickets and mementoes from the holiday?

Embrace Downtime: 

Downtime can also help with relaxation and winding down amped-up little ones. Make sure to pack books, coloring books, and other mentally stimulating activities that will help everyone get a good night’s rest throughout the trip.

Worried about parking hassles for your spring break trip? Pre-booking your ParkSleepFly hotel and parking package can ensure a good night’s rest before you travel. Sleep soundly, fly out, and spring into adventure!

And if you’re traveling through this period take a look at our Spring Break airport hotel deals & coupons to see if you can save yourself some money.

The Best Spring Break Alternatives

San Francisco Mission Dolores Park

Now that the excitement and sparkle of the holiday season has worn away and the white, fluffy snow has melted, it’s time to start planning your alternative spring break escape. What is an alternative spring break?

Your common spring break locations include Miami, San Diego and South Padre Island which are known for their hot weather and beach parties. Alternative spring breaks see travelers visit more uncommon locations or hidden gems if you will.

Top 10 Alternative Family-Friendly Spring Break Ideas

Most spring break destinations cater to college students during their spring semester, but what family vacations are available at this time of year?

Fear not! Here are 10 best alternative family-friendly spring break destinations to escape to and enjoy with the family.

  1. Sedona, Arizona
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. Napa Valley, California
  4. Denver, Colorado
  5. Nashville, Tennessee
  6. Austin, Texas
  7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  8. Boston, Massachusetts
  9. New Orleans, Louisiana
  10. Atlanta, Georgia

Before you jet off, make sure to get your airport hotel & parking secured in advanced for the best rates.

Sedona, Arizona

A great option for families that want to get away from partying college students, the striking Sedona red rock park landscapes offer the perfect place to enjoy family hiking trips and desert view picnic areas and provide a great alternative spring break trip.

Sedona’s art galleries showcase a diverse range of artistic expressions against the red rock landscapes. Renowned for its thriving art community, Sedona boasts galleries that feature a rich blend of Southwestern, contemporary, and Native American art. Visitors can explore these creative havens.

Amidst the awe-inspiring red rock state park scenery, Sedona’s spa resorts offer a place of relaxation providing a blend of indulgence and natural beauty. The spa resorts are renowned for their rejuvenating treatments, from therapeutic massages to holistic wellness experiences. On a Sedona spa day, guests can immerse themselves in luxurious amenities, surrounded by the serene ambiance.

If you are looking to explore unique trinket shops, we recommend the short drive into Scottsdale just south of Sedona, where you can buy your own mini-Cactus!

San Francisco, California

San Francisco - Chinatown
Dragon Gate, Photo by Daniel Zimmerman / CC BY-SA

Heading over to California for your alternative spring break trip is also a great option for students, couples, and family vacations.

Whether you are getting away with a loved one, taking the family to see the Sea Lions at Pier 39, or are a college student wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the beach, San Francisco is the place for you. Pier 39 offers the most trinket and attraction shops, as well as independent eateries, whilst Pier 33 gets you on to the Alcatraz boat tour and prison exploration.

The iconic Golden Gate Park unfolds as a sprawling green paradise in San Francisco, offering a myriad of attractions and recreational opportunities. Boasting over 1,000 acres, the park encompasses gardens, lakes, and cultural centers.

Visitors can wander around the Japanese Tea Garden, paddle across Stow Lake, or revel in the blooming flora of the Conservatory of Flowers, making Golden Gate State Park a diverse and enchanting escape within the heart of the city.

Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley
Napa Valley, Photo by SD Dirk / CC BY

Napa Valley, synonymous with world-class vineyards and picturesque landscapes, is a premier wine region in Northern California. This one has something for everyone and is especially geared towards couples looking for an alternative spring break. If you’re feeling more sophisticated, hop in the car for a day trip to the world-famous wine region.

Renowned for its rolling vine-covered hills, Napa Valley is the place for wine enthusiasts, offering exquisite Napa Valley wine-tasting experiences and guided tours through its lush wineries.

Things to do beside wine? Beyond the Napa Valley wine tours and vineyards, charming towns, Michelin-starred restaurants, and hot air balloon rides contribute to the region’s allure, making it a destination that seamlessly blends culinary delights with breathtaking scenery.

Interested in a more international experience? Head on down to Chinatown for a delightfully authentic tea ceremony. End your day by stretching your legs (and glutes!) and take a stroll in the surrounding hills.

Denver, Colorado

Denver Skyline
Denver, Photo by Sheila Sund / CC BY

The beautiful capital of Colorado, Denver is a fantastic option if you are wanting a more adventurous spring break trip this year.

At the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a gateway to unparalleled natural beauty, offering opportunities for hiking, skiing, and exploring the nearby Red Rocks Amphitheatre, it is known for its jumping-off point for Denver ski resorts, so perfect for the adrenaline junkie wanting to avoid busy beaches.

This city is well known for its historical ties to the Titanic too, wherein the famed survivor, Molly Brown resided in her mansion. After exploring the ski slopes, why not head into town to view the ultramodern Denver Art Museum for a slower-paced afternoon?

The city’s cultural scene thrives with world-class museums, thriving neighborhoods, and a rich history, making spring break in Denver an enticing destination for those seeking a dynamic mix of urban exploration and outdoor escapades.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville - Broadway
Broadway, Photo by Mark Stephenson / CC BY-ND

If you’re more of a music buff who prefers cowboy boots, head on down to “Music City,” Nashville, Tennessee for your alternative spring break this year! Explore the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, where country legends have performed for decades.

Beyond its musical allure, the city offers a diverse culinary scene. So, after dancing the night away, make sure to get a great big southern sized helping of local favorites like fried chicken and biscuits at Loveless, or fried green tomatoes and banana pudding at Arnold’s Country Kitchen. Most importantly, end your night at any one of Nashville’s scores of music venues for the best live music experience in the South any night of the week.

Whilst you’re in Nashville, be sure to check out The Parthenon, located in Centennial Park in Nashville; it stands as a remarkable replica of the ancient Greek temple in Athens.

Now, if you’re a Swifty, Nashville is home to the super star songstress, Taylor Swift so you can find some of her most cherished spots such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, her favourite coffee shop, Fido and the place where she was discovered, the Bluebird Café, at 14 years old. The perfect Spring Break for Swifties.

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas, emerges as an ideal alternative Spring Break destination, offering a dynamic blend of live music, outdoor activities. Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin welcomes visitors with its eclectic music festivals, diverse venues, and a buzzing nightlife on Sixth Street.

The city’s lush green spaces, including Zilker Park and Lady Bird Lake, provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation. Austin’s food scene, featuring renowned barbecue joints and innovative cuisine, adds a flavorful dimension to the Spring Break experience.

Beyond its musical and culinary allure, Austin boasts a vibrant arts scene, with street art adorning city walls and the contemporary galleries of the East Austin Studio Tour. Visitors can also embrace the city’s weird and wonderful spirit at iconic spots like the Cathedral of Junk or by taking a dip in the natural spring-fed Barton Springs Pool.

Austin’s warm weather during Spring Break complements its diverse offerings, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a blend of creativity, outdoor adventure, and a uniquely Texan experience.

With its laid-back atmosphere, quirky charm, and a mix of cultural attractions, Austin promises a memorable and unconventional Spring Break.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is steeped in American history, offering Spring Break visitors the chance to explore iconic landmarks such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The diverse neighborhoods, like Old City and Fishtown, provide unique cultural experiences, with street art, extensive boutiques, and thriving food joints.

Philadelphia’s museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation, cater to art enthusiasts. Additionally, the city hosts a variety of festivals and events during the spring, adding a lively and celebratory atmosphere to the visit.

Outdoor spaces like Fairmount Park, Boathouse Row, and the Schuylkill River Trail offer opportunities for scenic walks, bike rides, and picnics. With its rich history, cultural offerings, and diverse activities, Philadelphia provides a well-rounded and engaging destination for an alternative spring break experience.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, with its blend of history, culture, and lively city, makes for an excellent alternative Spring Break destination. The city’s historical significance is evident in landmarks such as the Freedom Trail, where visitors can explore key sites like the Massachusetts State House and Paul Revere’s House. The Boston Common and Public Garden offer picturesque green spaces for leisurely strolls and picnics.

Boston’s diverse neighborhoods, from the historic North End to the trendy South End, provide unique cultural experiences, diverse dining options, and boutique shopping. The city’s world-class museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, cater to art and history enthusiasts.

Boston spring break brings a burst of color with blooming flowers and the Boston Marathon, creating an energetic and festive atmosphere. The city’s proximity to the coast allows for scenic harbor walks, ferry rides to nearby islands, and fresh seafood experiences.

Whether enjoying the academic atmosphere around Harvard Square, attending a performance in the Theater District, or exploring the innovative exhibits at the Boston Museum of Science, Boston offers a diverse range of activities, making it an appealing destination for an alternative and enriching spring break vacation.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, with its unique culture, history, and lively atmosphere, is an exciting choice for an alternative Spring Break destination. Known for its iconic French Quarter, visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s rich musical heritage by exploring jazz clubs, street performances, and festivals.

The diverse and delicious Creole cuisine is a highlight, with iconic dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets awaiting adventurous foodies. The French Market and Magazine Street offer a variety of shops and art galleries for a memorable shopping experience.

New Orleans’ historic Spanish and French Creole architecture, including the St. Louis Cathedral and charming shotgun houses, provides a picturesque backdrop for exploration. Take a leisurely stroll along the Mississippi Riverfront or hop on a streetcar to soak in the city’s ambiance.

Spring in New Orleans is marked by pleasant weather, making outdoor activities enjoyable. City parks like Audubon Park and City Park provide green spaces for picnics and bike rides. Additionally, the city’s lively street life and vibrant nightlife, including the famous Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter, ensure an entertaining and spirited New Orleans Spring Break experience.

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia, offers an experience rich in modern history, making it an enticing alternative Spring Break destination. The city is a cultural center with a rich history, modern attractions, and Southern charm.

History enthusiasts can explore the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, including the King Center and Ebenezer Baptist Church, to gain insights into the Civil Rights Movement. The Atlanta History Center and the Swan House provide additional glimpses into the city’s past.

Atlanta’s dynamic neighborhoods, such as Midtown and Buckhead, offer a mix of trendy shops and diverse dining options. The BeltLine, a former railway corridor turned multi-use trail, provides a scenic route for walking, biking, and exploring public art installations.

Families can enjoy the perfect Atlanta spring break attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and the interactive exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. The city’s diverse culinary scene, ranging from traditional Southern cuisine to innovative dining experiences, adds a flavorful dimension to the trip.

With its mild spring weather, Atlanta encourages outdoor activities in Piedmont Park or the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The city’s cultural events, including festivals and concerts, contribute to a lively atmosphere during spring break, making Atlanta an engaging and well-rounded spot.

Where are you going for your alternative Spring Break?

Beyond the familiar choices lie hidden gems and unique experiences waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re drawn to the historic charm of Philadelphia, the culture of New Orleans, the beauty of Atlanta or the music of Nashville, each destination offers its own blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural enrichment.

If you’re traveling through this period take a look at our Spring Break airport hotel and parking deals to see if you can save yourself some money.

Embrace the opportunity to break away from the ordinary and create lasting memories in these diverse and captivating regions. Whatever your preferred escape, may your alternative Spring Break be filled with new discoveries and unforgettable moments. Safe travels!

The US Ski Index

US Ski Index Blog Header

Where are the best ski destinations in the US?

There’s so much to see and do across the US throughout all seasons of the year, but during the winter months nothing beats the thrill of skiing, and you may be surprised to hear that there are more than 500 ski resorts in the US.

Whether you are traveling from Los Angeles International (LAX) or Boston Logan (BOS), the US is home to some of the best ski resorts in the world, so you are sure to find the perfect one for you.

No matter your abilities, whether you’re a pro on the slopes or a complete novice, this report reveals the best ski resorts across the US, analyzing factors such as annual snowfall, customer reviews, and the cost of a ski pass.

The Best Ski Resorts in the US for 2023/2024

Breckenridge, Colorado – Overall Ski Index Score 8.81

In the top spot is the historic mining town of Breckenridge, Colorado. In the summertime, this resort is alive with plenty of family-friendly activities, and during Fall Oktoberfest is often enjoyed. However, it is during the winter months that the resort transforms into a seasonal wonderland.

Scoring 8.81, this resort has a lot to offer with a total slope length of 153km and 284” of snowfall 2020/2021 season. The resort is also popular on Instagram with over 930,000 mentions, making it easy for you to identify grid-worthy parts of the resort before you go.

Vail, Colorado – Overall Ski Index Score 8.22

Out of the top three resorts shown, Vail has the longest length of slope at 234km and adult season passes start at the same price as those for Breckenridge at $859. Vail also saw 218” of snowfall during the 2020/2021 season. On social media, Vail isn’t as popular as the other top two resorts, however, it is still well known with 228,281 mentions on Instagram.

Park City, Utah – Overall Ski Index Score 8.16

In third place is Park City, in Utah, the only resort in the top five from outside of Colorado.

Park City is one of the country’s major destinations for skiers and has hosted the U.S. Ski Team for training camps. It is also the most Instagrammable resort on this list (1.3 million posts), and the joint biggest in terms of the length of its slopes (250km).

US Ski Index Table

The Longest Ski Slopes

US Ski Index Longest Ski Slopes

Park City, Utah & Big Sky, Montana – Length of Slope 250km

When it comes to sheer scale, two resorts are tied in first place, each with a total slope length of around 250km.

The first is Park City, Utah, which is the largest lift-served ski resort in the country, after being combined with the neighboring Canyons Resort via a gondola.

The other is Big Sky in Montana, which is also the second-largest ski resort in the US by acreage, with more than 5,800 acres of coverage.

The Ski Resorts with the Cheapest Season Passes

US Ski Index Cheapest Season Passes

Arapahoe Basin – Adult Ski Pass From $599

The cheapest resort for an unlimited season pass for adults is the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, with a price of $599.

A-Basin is an alpine resort in the Rocky Mountains and is of great value as it has a longer season than most, staying open until early June or sometimes, July.

The Ski Resorts with the Most Snowfall

US Ski Index Most Snowfall

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Average snowfall 437”

With 437” of snow in the 2020/2021 season, Jackson Hole resort tops the list as the snowiest resort. Plenty of snow makes the destination perfect for a ski trip, or for a magical winter experience. The views of the mountains and snow-filled wonderland are perfect for the grid and according to our research, the place is pretty picture-perfect with 973,997 mentions on Instagram.

The Most Insta-Worthy Ski Resort

US Ski Index Insta Worthy

Park City, Utah – 1,313,970 Instagram Hashtags

When looking at popularity on Instagram we discovered that the most mentioned resort was Park City in Utah, with over 1,000,000 hashtags! This resort offers amazing landscape views of the surrounding resorts of Deer Valley and Utah Olympic Park, which held the 2002 Winter Olympics. The scenery makes for awesome pictures so it’s no surprise that Park City made the first position.

The Most In-Demand Ski Resorts

US Ski Index Most in Demand

Heavenly, California – 823,000 Avg. Monthly Searches

Heavenly Ski Resort in California takes the top spot when it comes to average monthly Google searches, with a total of 823,000. 246,000 of these searches come from the US alone and perhaps it’s no wonder; with breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe, it is an incredible place to ski and simply take in the scenery.

Now you have all of the details you need to choose the best ski experience for you and your family to enjoy, we hope you have an awesome time on the slopes.


In total 523 ski resorts in the US were refined down to 50 based on those with the highest review scores as of October 17th, 2022, according to

Each ski resort was ranked on the following factors and was given a normalized score out of 10 before creating an average overall score.

  • Length of Slopes was sourced from
  • The number of Ski Lifts was sourced from
  • Adult Ski Pass Price was sourced from On the Snow. Where resort details were unavailable prices were retrieved directly from the resort website.
  • Instagram Hashtags were sourced from Instagram and are based on the number of posts mentioning the resort. Instagram research was undertaken between 16/09/2022 to 19/09/2022. The mentions of resorts with generic names included more specific phrases e.g. ‘heavenlyskiresort’.
  • Snowfall was sourced from On the Snow and the total snowfall for the 20/21 ski season was analyzed.

The Winter Sun Index

Winter Sun Index Blog Header

The best destinations in the US and around the world to enjoy some winter sunshine

As the colder months are starting to settle in, you may find yourself dreaming of a sunny escape. Whether you are longing for a January holiday in Dubai or a sun-kissed Christmas vacation in Thailand, there are a variety of winter sun destinations to choose from.

Destinations across the US, from Los Angeles to Orlando, alongside worldwide seasonal vacation favorites, have been analyzed on their winter temperatures, precipitation rates, sunshine hours, and average hotel prices to reveal the best US and global locations for a winter sun vacation.

This report also reveals the best winter sun destinations in terms of hotel affordability, so that you can top up your vitamin D without breaking the bank!

The best winter sun vacation destinations in the US

Winter Sun Index US Top 3

1. Phoenix, Arizona – 7.88/10

Ranking as the best destination in the US for a winter sun vacation is Phoenix, Arizona. On average, vacationers in Phoenix can lounge in 8.66 hours of daily sunshine through the winter months. Phoenix is known for its stunning year-round sun and warm average temperatures, owing to its nickname the Valley of the Sun.

Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona and is well known for being home to high-end spa resorts, golf courses, and nightclubs. Phoenix also shows off some truly incredible landscapes surrounding the city with beautiful hiking trails to explore.

2. Miami, Florida – 7.54/10

Miami is the second-best winter destination for sun worshippers in the US. Enjoy a pleasant 7 hours of sun per day in Miami during the winter months, and a tropical average temperature of 70.34 °F. Miami likewise ranks as the most popular US winter destination on Instagram, having seen over 84 million hashtags on the social media platform.

On top of this, Miami is home to many high-end hotels and a truly mind-blowing skyline. Party-goers and sun worshippers flock to Miami year-round to enjoy its pristine beaches and non-stop nightlife under the sun.

3. Orlando, Florida – 6.95/10

Ranking as the third best US destination for winter sun is Orlando, Florida. Orlando offers mild weather conditions during the winter months, with average temperatures hitting 61.70°F and an average of 6.68 hours of sunlight each day. Furthermore, Orlando offers some of the cheapest hotels on this list at just $87 per night!

Orlando is a great winter sun vacation for thrill-seekers and movie-buffs alike. Home to over a dozen theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando.

Winter Sun Index US Table

The best winter sun vacation destinations across the world

Winter Sun Index Global Top 3

1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 8.38/10

Dubai ranks as the best destination in the world for a winter sun vacation. Visitors to Dubai can expect to bask in 8.82 hours of sunlight each day during the winter months, with average temperatures reaching a comfortable 68.84 °F. Dubai is by far the most popular winter sun destination of those studied, seeing over 111 million Instagram hashtags and the most winter-related Google searches for things to do, reaching over 55,000.

Dubai is probably best known for its ultramodern architecture, including The Burj Khalifa. Dubai’s most iconic building stands at 830m tall, making it the tallest building in the world.

2. Bangkok, Thailand – 8.11

The runner-up for the best winter sun vacation city in the world is Bangkok. Bangkok offers an average of 9.06 hours of sunlight each day in winter. With average temperatures reaching a friendly 63.80 °F Bangkok is ideal for warm and sunny winter escapes. Bangkok is also ideal for those on a budget, with average hotel stays costing around $68 per night.

Bangkok is unique in the way its impressive Buddhist temples contrast with its vibrant nightlife scenes. Bangkok is a hub of cultural and exciting activity from the Grand Palace to Khaosan Road. Sweltering hot all year round, Bangkok is a great city to visit during the winter months when the weather is cooler but still pleasant.

3. Cape Town, South Africa – 7.72

Ranking in third place is Cape Town. For those looking to vacation in Cape Town, sunlight hours average 10.22 each day, from December through to February. Despite these extended sunny days, average temperatures reach 67.46 °F and Cape Town sees a low average of 0.70” of rainfall over winter. Lying beneath the impressive Table Mountain, Cape Town is most known for its bustling harbor and warm weather.

Winter Sun Index Global Table

Winter destinations with the cheapest hotels per night in the US

Winter Sun Index Cheapest Hotels Top 3

1. Orlando, Florida – $87

Not only does Orlando rank as the third-best US destination for a winter sun vacation but it also ranks as the cheapest when looking at average hotel costs. Orlando will see you spend an average of $87 per night on your hotel stay during the months of December through to February.

2. Phoenix, Arizona – $106

Phoenix ranks as the best winter sun destination in the US, and for good reason, with an abundance of sunshine throughout the winter months. Phoenix also ranks as the second most affordable destination in terms of hotel prices, which average $106 per night.

3. Lafayette, Louisiana – $107

The US winter vacation destination that sees the third cheapest hotel prices is Lafayette; here prices average $107 per night. In Lafayette, you can enjoy over 6 hours of sun per day, making it an ideal destination for some winter sun.

Winter destinations with the most expensive hotels per night in the US

Winter Sun Index Most Expensive Hotels Top 3

1. Palm Beach, Florida – $919

At the other end of the scale is Palm Beach. Despite offering an excellent 6.66 hours of sunlight per day at a toasty 68.24 °F, the destination is met with significant hotel costs, averaging $919 per night between December and February.

2. Miami, Florida – $523

Ranking as the second most expensive winter sun destination in terms of hotel prices is Miami. For a price tag of $523 per night, Miami offers some serious winter heat of 70.34 °F alongside a total of 7 hours of sunlight every day.

3. Kailua, Hawaii – $339

Kailua, Hawaii is hotter than Miami, where average temperatures hit around 72.92 °F during the winter months. However, those that desire to soak up these temperatures should expect to pay $339 for a hotel per night.

Winter destinations with the cheapest hotels per night outside the US

Winter Sun Index Cheapest Hotels Global Top 3

1. Murcia, Spain – $56

Murcia, Spain, offers the cheapest average nightly hotel rate from December through to February. Here stays during the festive period average $56 per night. Paired with 7.35 hours of daily sunlight, this destination is perfect for a winter sun getaway.

2. Palma de Mallorca, Spain – $64

In Palma de Mallorca during the winter you can laze in 6.64 hours of sunlight each day for a nightly price of $64. At a cooler 52.40 °F during the winter, Palma de Mallorca is a popular winter vacation.

3. Palermo, Italy – $66

The capital of the popular Italian island of Sicily, Palermo, ranks as the third cheapest location to chase the winter sun, coming in at just $66 per night. For this price, you get 5.37 hours of sun each day.

Winter destinations with the most expensive hotels per night outside the US

Winter Sun Index Most Expensive Hotels Global Top 3

1. Saint John’s, Antigua and Barbuda – $574

Saint John’s is the capital city of Antigua and attracts visitors from around the globe. Saint John’s tropical temperatures of 77.42 °F and 8.21 hours of sun come at a significant price tag of $574 per night during winter, the most expensive hotel price on this list.

2. Nassau, Bahamas – $457

Nassau is a popular cruise ship stop with clean beaches and attractive offshore coral reefs. However, the dreamy 73.04 °F heat during winter in Nassau will set visitors back $457 per night on average.

3. Saint George’s, Grenada – $377

At Saint George’s, Granada, you can enjoy warm temperatures of 78.68 °F for an average of 8.57 hours of sun each day from December to February. However, such weather offerings come at a price, with hotels costing around $377 per night.


A seed list of 60 global and US cities was created from northern-hemisphere winter vacation listicles including trip, dottedglobe, sunshine, and holidu.

Average winter temperatures (°F), average winter precipitation (inches) rates, and average daily winter sunshine hours were retrieved from, calculated to give data for the winter months of December, January, and February.

“City Winter” annual searches and “City Things to Do” during winter were taken from Google Keywords. “City Winter” annual searches were recorded as annual results for each keyword. “City things to do” were taken as winter searches (from December, January, and February) for each keyword.

Average nightly hotel costs were taken from Kayak by calculating the average costs of hotels from December, January, and February. All currency conversions were made on the 28th of October 2022.

The ‘Winter Holiday Score’ was created by giving each factor a normalized rank and then combining these scores. US cities were included in the global ranking. A separate ranking was also created for US cities in isolation.

The Best US Festivals to Visit this Fall

Fall is fast approaching; the summer sun is winding down. and the latter end of the year is gearing up for the next few months of festive cheer. From Halloween thrills to Thanksgiving spreads, there’s something special about Fall in the US. Looking for your next adventure for the last half of the year? Here are some of the top fall festivals to add to your next trip.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

For 9 whole days, from October 7 – 15, Albuquerque puts on a spectacular display for the International Balloon Fiesta. This 60+ acre area launches over 500 hot air balloons into the sky in a mass ascension. Known for being one of the most photographed events in the world, it’s surely not to be missed this year. This event is perfect for those with children, as there is a myriad of activities to participate in as well as watching the balloons ascend into the sky.

Getting to and from

For ease of access in and out of the balloon park, the event provides park & ride services, meaning you can park at a partnered location and hop on the shuttle to take you to the festival park. Make sure to check the schedule for the day you intend to attend and remember that tickets cannot be purchased at the remote lots, so pre-booking is essential!


Other activities include the opening ceremony, drone light shows, firework displays and chainsaw carving. Displays run from as early as 5:45am up until 8:00pm at the latest. The balloon fiesta also plays host to the music fiesta, with headline artists providing a truly amazing atmosphere whilst watching the balloons fill the skyline.

Local and national performers also attend the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, including a military brass band, and differing genres of music. Main Street is home to strolling performers, with Native American dancers celebrating the New Mexico culture. Look out for the Mariachi troupes and Flamenco dancers too!


For a truly first-class experience of the balloon fiesta, why not upgrade to the Gondola Club VIP experience? You can benefit from A gourmet buffet, shuttle service to and from the park, souvenir gifts and the best views of the launch field. Other hospitality choices include the Chaser Club or glamping/camping. If you want a true camping experience, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta also allows visitors to bring in their own food and drink in soft-sided coolers. The only prohibited items include alcohol and glass.

Cincinnati Oktoberfest (Zinzinnati)

Fancy a long weekend-style trip to Cincinnati this year? Look no further than the Zinzinnati Oktoberfest from September 14-17. Taking place at 5th Street Downtown, this change of location brings even more fun to the festival this year as it gets bigger and better for 2023.

Food & Drink

Southwest Ohio celebrates its deep-rooted German culture with this 4-day weekend extravaganza, making it the perfect weekend to take a trip to this busy city. Expect a range of food and drinks, including Metts, Sauerkraut balls, bratwurst, pretzels, and strudel. Not to mention, all the German beers you can think of are included in this free city event!

Getting to and from

There aren’t any official parking partners with this event, however, it is advised to pre-book parking in the city centre ahead of the event. If you are traveling from out of the city, there are also many transport links within Cincinnati to get you to and from the event, especially if you want to enjoy the local brews and beers the event has to offer!


As well as the overwhelming choice of food and drink (you will never go hungry), there is a range of activities that are family-friendly at this city event. The famous ‘Running of the Wieners’ is expected to kick off this year’s event, much like in past years. This race is specific to our four-legged wiener friends, all of whom are usually dressed in hot dog costumes! Last year’s winner was Maple, a 1-year-old miniature dachshund that took home a Petsmart gift card worth $75. This one is especially good for the children to watch!

To get a head start on the Oktoberfest celebrations, the pre-event the week prior is the Gemütlichkeit Games (goodwill). Located at Fountain Square, you can watch this fantastic community celebration where contestants are challenged to participate in the Dachshund derby, beer barrel rolling, beer sein racing, log sawing races and nail hammering races.

Other fun activities include the World’s Largest Chicken Dance and the Sam Adams Stein Hoist competition.

Columbus Oktoberfest

If you want to make your time in Ohio worth the trip, you can also travel to Columbus for their Oktoberfest before attending the Cincinnati festival! Both festivals are only 1 hour 30 minutes from each other, and follow consecutively, starting with the Columbus celebrations. Taking place from September 8 – 10, this event takes a more traditional route for its German festivities.

Getting to and from

The city of Columbus once again offers a wide range of parking options which we highly recommend pre-booking before you visit. If you would prefer to really indulge in the event, the local city transport links are always a good idea when it comes to pre-planning your trip, meaning you can take full advantage and really soak up the culture of this yearly event.


This family-friendly event features a myriad of things to do, including the kick-off party at Hofbräuhaus Columbus, where you can enjoy food and traditional German beers whilst listening to live music. There is also the Oktoberfest Meiler Vier, a four-mile foot race that envelopes the fairgrounds, it is limited to 500 participants however, so get yourself signed up ASAP!

The main event of this Oktoberfest takes place at the Ohio Expo Center, housing traditional German beers, music, bands, and polka dancing. Strap on your finest Lederhosen and join in with the celebrations! There is also crafts and vendors for the kids, so you know you will never go hungry at this event, with plenty of things to keep the kids occupied too, including bouncy castles and face-painting.

Enjoy a bratwurst or two, frankfurters, German potato salad, Cream puffs, and German Sauerkraut. The best thing about Schmidt’s Columbus Oktoberfest is that admission is free, but parking is $10 per vehicle, so great if you are on a budget this year!

Duluth Fall Festival

Named one of the top 24 fall festivals in the US, the Duluth festival is another great activity to look at for something to do from September through to October. Comprising an opening parade, food, drink, trinket booths and a 5k road race, this festival is sure to get you in those fall feelings this year.

Getting to and from

Duluth is a reasonably small town to get around, and luckily a shuttle service is set up every year, meaning you can park and ride the event if you so wish! This means you aren’t sat in lengthy queues, potentially missing out on the opening ceremony. Parking near the festival site is extremely limited, so this is often the best way to get to and from the event. If wanting to watch the opening parade, it is recommended you arrive at the shuttle lot by 9am as the surrounding streets are closed for the parade.


Duluth fall festival has plenty to eat, drink, see and do for 2023. From cheerleader marching bands to electric jazz bands playing unique original songs, it’s the true culture of the Southwest injected into fall time – including traditional blues rock!

There’s no limit on food and drinks at this festival either, Duluth goes all out with 25-30 vendors expected to take part in this year’s event. Offerings include breakfast, lunch and dinner favourites, coffee, lemonade, breakfast biscuits, kettle corn, hamburgers and much more to suit all palates.

If you want to take home a special trinket from this fall-themed event, don’t forget to peruse the arts and crafts vendors, often selling homemade jewelry and trinkets that are sure to catch your eye! Knowing that all products have to be handmade makes this a truly awe-inspiring event, knowing you will take something home that is truly unique.

New York City Wine and Food Festival

New York is once again host to a spectacular wine and food festival this fall. From October 12 – 15, the big apple is THE place to be to try the latest in food and drink trends. This event is catered to adults, however, so we recommend this trip as an adult-only party and is ideal for friend groups and couples.

Getting to and from

NYC is a city that never sleeps, so you are guaranteed a great night with a lot of transport links to get to and from the New York City wine and food festival. With a subway system that never closes, you don’t have to worry about getting back to your hotel after a night of enjoying good wine and good food.


The NYC wine and food festival promises a plethora of activities to participate in, from Cocktail making master classes to a dinner hosted by your favourite chefs, you really don’t want to miss out on this one!

This fall festival promises a mix of signature events, walk-around tastings, demos and dining, and even master classes, allowing you to really get involved. CapitalOne also has exclusive cardholder access events, including a grand tasting package and a blue moon burger bash.

Pennsylvania’s National Apple Harvest Festival

Split over two separate weekends, October 7 & 8 and October 14 & 15, the Pennsylvania National Apple Harvest Festival is the perfect setting to get into the fall spirit. Arendtsville, PA is the heart of apple country and promises a wide range of tasting to be had.

Getting to and from

Much like the other festivals recommended in our guide, the National Apple Harvest Festival offers outlying parking fields with a shuttle bus service provided to get you to the festival grounds. This parking is included in your admission fee, so definitely worth parking and riding to the event! This festival is within driving distance from Washington D.C, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.


This is the perfect fall festival for those with young families and adults alike, with a myriad of activities to participate in, including over 300 arts and crafts vendors, a huge selection of apple-themed food and drinks, hayrides, pony rides and even a petting zoo! The list is endless, so you and the kids are guaranteed to have a jam-packed weekend.

Alongside the many vendors and attractions to enjoy, you can try a variety of different foods and drinks local to the area, including Ribeye steak sandwiches, a full pork barbeque and vintage sodas, all whilst enjoying the live entertainment. The festival is open both weekends from 8am until 6pm and is held outdoors. Make sure to try all the apple-themed foods at this fall festival, and don’t forget a truly one-of-a-kind trinket from your favourite stalls!

Portland’s Harvest on the Harbor

Another great location to enjoy a fall festival this year is Portland’s Harvest on the Harbor. This annual food and spirits festival offers a diverse selection of food and drinks to try, perfect for the foodie in your life! This is an adult-only event, so best to leave the kids at home for this one.

Getting to and from

Occurring late October, from the 26 to the 28, the Harbor of Portland becomes a gateway to a spectacular offering of a variety of food and drinks to warm you up at the cool coastal town. Due to this being an event in the city, we recommend parking in the city and hopping on local transport to get to and from this event.


This fall festival is purely centred around food and drink and features live entertainment from local performers. Showing the culture of Maine, this is one for the food eccentrics and showcases the diversity of food and drink in Portland.

Starting with TOAST! This event allows you to meet top cocktail and spirit makers in Maine, followed by a Gourmet graze the next day. Featuring coffee, chocolate, and wine, you can also book an intimate cheese and chocolate tasting! This fall festival is rounded off by an OysterFest session, allowing you to truly indulge in what Portland City Harbor has to offer.

Flying into your fall festival?

Are you traveling in from further afield for a fall festival this year? Don’t forget to pre-book your airport parking with ParkSleepFly! We compare hundreds of airport parking lots across the US and can get you the best deal and dollars off your next reservation. Check out our offers before you fly out for your fall festival this year!