Looking to get out of Toronto on the cheap this winter? Here’s where to go
While it may not feel like it, the last day of the semester is rapidly approaching and exam season is just around the corner. Whether you’re out of school on Dec. 2 or have your last exam scheduled — tragically — for Dec. 14, all Ryerson students are guaranteed at least a few weeks off this winter before school resumes in January.
With snow, wind and sunsets by 4:30 p.m., winter can drag on in Toronto. So, if you’re looking to travel this winter break, the Ryersonian has compiled this definitive guide to five great winter destinations that won’t break the bank.
While Orlando may be world famous for its Disneyworld theme parks, they are not the most budget-friendly entertainment Florida has to offer — a one-day, one-park ticket averages around $175 over Ryerson’s winter break. However, this city in the heart of Florida has far more to offer than Mickey Mouse.
With a range of other attractions, from Gatorland to Lake Eola Park, Orlando is a warm weather getaway with more than a dozen daily flights to and from Toronto. And if amusement parks aren’t your scene, it’s just a short drive from Orlando to either of Florida’s picturesque coasts.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
If you live in Mississauga, Oakville or Burlington, you’re going to want to take advantage of this deal. Over Ryerson’s winter break, you can fly non-stop between Hamilton International Airport and Puerto Vallarta with low-cost airline Swoop for less than $250 round trip.
Located on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is one of the country’s most prominent tropical beach destinations, with a year-round average temperature of about 30 degrees. With all-inclusive resorts, beachfront bungalows and vibrant youth hostels, this coastal city has options for every budget — and a world-class culinary scene to match.
Las Vegas, Nev.
Surprisingly, winter is Las Vegas’ low season (it gets chillier than you might think), but this lack of visitors can lead to some great deals for students.
With cheap, non-stop flights available from both Toronto and Hamilton, Las Vegas is a no-brainer — especially when premium rooms at top-name Strip hotels including the Excalibur, Treasure Island and the Mirage are going for as little as $30 per night. Vegas itself needs no introduction, but if you’re looking for things to do off the Strip, the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon are just a day trip away.
One note: in the U.S., the legal age to drink, gamble and rent hotel rooms is 21, so a winter getaway to Vegas might be best left to upper-year students.
Cuba has long been a favourite destination for Canadian snowbirds. All-inclusive package deals to the coastal resort city of Varadero have now dropped to less than $700 for a week-long trip over Ryerson’s winter break. Just check out this $628 deal from Sunwing Vacations.
Varadero is built on a narrow 10-kilometre sand spit dotted with resorts of every size — each one featuring beachfront property. Located outside the bustling capital of Havana, Varadero has countless options for things to do both in and out of your resort.
Maybe you don’t have a passport, or maybe you just can’t get enough of that brisk winter weather. Whatever the case may be, if you’re looking for a close-to-home winter break vacation that won’t break the bank, look no further than Quebec’s largest city and cultural capital.
Montreal comes alive in the winter. In addition to the city’s staple attractions, the coldest time of the year brings with it outdoor skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and the Montreal en Lumière Festival. From Union Station, students under 26 years old can travel to Montreal round trip with Via Rail for around $100 this winter break (or even less if tickets are booked during the company’s Discount Tuesdays).