Right now, your reality probably includes hot chocolate, bulky winter coats and scraping ice from your car before heading to work. But what if it included a margarita, waterfalls and dancing all night under the stars? It can!
If you’re feeling the winter blues and missing the warm summer nights, it might be time to start planning your winter getaway. Not just any run-of-the-mill beach vacay will take you out your winter funk. You want something a little more secluded, more interesting and maybe a little more adventurous.
Splender has a few favorite ‘off the beaten path’ beach vacations that could be the perfect antidote to your holiday hangover. And you’ll feel even better when you check out the cash back you can get with Splender’s double cash back campaign until January 31st.
A Land Under the Sea
At first glance, Malapascua just appears to be a tiny little island with white sand beaches. Sure, you can find that closer to home. But take a closer look, and you’ll see why Malapascua is the perfect way to leave behind the winter blues.
If you’re a diver or interested in exploring the ocean, then this destination is perfect for you. The island is located off the northern tip of Cebu, and it’s a world-class diving destination where you can swim with thresher sharks, giant manta rays, seahorses, octopus, sea stars and other reef fish.
You can also explore Japanese shipwrecks just a few yards off shore, visit the local lighthouse or take a day trip to nearby islands to see rice terraces, volcanoes, hot springs and waterfalls. Sprinkled with local fishermen and quaint beach bungalows, Malapascua will make you feel like you have really left the hustle and bustle – and winter weather – of the western world behind.
If you’re ready for your under the sea adventure, dive right in with 2% cash back when you book with Expedia.com through Splender.
R&R = Rest and… Rock Climbing
Railay Beach, Thailand
If you’re looking for a place with great food, incredible beaches and towering rock cliffs, then Thailand is the place for you. Known for its perfect weather year round, Railay Beach makes a great winter vacation destination. This tropical paradise on the southern coast of Thailand provides amazing nature adventures like snorkeling, sea kayaking, jungle treks, rock climbing and elephant riding.
Vacationing in Thailand has grown in popularity, but you can still find some hidden gems like Railay. It combines the best of both worlds – relaxing and adventurous activities, making it perfect for a winter getaway. Known by rock-climbing enthusiasts for its limestone cliffs, you can also walk through hidden caves and lagoons or catch some rays at its palm-lined beaches. Groupon Getaways often has amazing deals for trips to Thailand, and if you happen to come across one before January 31, you can earn 7% cash back through Splender.
Birds of a Feather
Muriwai, New Zealand
With the Northern hemisphere stuck in colder weather, seek out your winter getaway in the southern hemisphere on the rugged west coast of Auckland, New Zealand. The Muriwai beach features black volcanic sands and pounding waves that draw surfers from all over the world. You can also take a walk along the windswept bush and pine boardwalk or ride a mountain bike along the coastline trails.
But if an exotic beach isn’t enough for you, check out the large Gannet bird colony that inhabits its shoreline. Stretched out between the bay and the beach, you can catch about 1,200 pairs of these birds and their young from the beach’s viewing platforms. The area is also home to white-fronted terns, blue penguins and fur seals.
Break out your binoculars and catch the birds and the surfers in Muriwai. Book now on Booking.com though Splender and you can also get 4% cash back.
Off the coast of Zanzibar, Chumbe Island is dedicated to preserving one of the last pristine coral islands on the east coast of Africa. A private nature reserve, the island is the perfect destination for the eco-traveler who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Snorkel along its coral reef sanctuary or take a walk through a forest reserve full of extremely rare and endangered animals. Be very quiet and you might even catch a glimpse of the very shy and almost extinct Ader’s Duikers, the rarest antelope in the world.
While getting to the island may be a little difficult, eco-friendly travelers will appreciate this island’s pristine beaches, nature trails and untouched scenery. You can also climb the 131 steps to the top of the Chumbe Lighthouse, where you can enjoy spectacular sunsets and breathtaking view of the turquoise seas between mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.
You can stay at one of only seven bungalows along the beach, which collect rainfall for everyday use to prevent the contamination of the marine habitat. Plus, all the proceeds from tourism go back into preserving this eco-sanctuary.
Planning on just visiting the island for a day trip? Book your hotel in Zanzibar on Hotels.com and get 7% cash back when you shop through Splender.
The Ancient, Modern Marvel
It’s hard to pick the best beach to visit in Greece, with its endless miles of seaside resorts, coastal towns and volcanic sands of many colors. That’s why the best way to experience the most out of the country’s beaches is to book a Mediterranean cruise. In fact, you can visit all three seas that surround Greece – the Aegean, Ionian and Mediterranean – in just one winter getaway trip.
One island not to miss is Mykonos. Made up of several beaches with a vibrant atmosphere, beautiful golden sands and crystal clear water, Mykonos is known for a great nightlife on the southern tip and quiet relaxation on the northern end. Although the quiet shores of the north are great for R&R, be aware some beachgoers might choose to do their relaxing in the nude (hey, when in Greece…). If you don’t dare to bare, make sure you research individual beach rules before you start sunbathing.
Whether you head inland to submerge yourself in historical wonders or you set off to choose a beach that tickles your fancy, Greece is sure to cure any winter blues. To help you cast away in style, pair the perfect outfit with your perfect winter cruise. Find your style-spiration in our recent post “Hit the Seas in Style This Winter: Your Guide to Cruise Fashion.”
When you book your cruise through Splender, you can earn 3% cash back on Orbitz.com.
Fly, trek or sail away to a tropical paradise before the next snowstorm hits. Don’t forget our members can take advantage of our double cash back offer when they shop for their perfect winter getaway via Splender. Click here to become a member today!