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Great travel deals to Florida this winter

floridaI went to Florida for 9 winters in a row when I was young. This wasn’t because my family wanted to go on a whole bunch of Disney World Vacations or stay in as many of the hotels at Disney World as possible like you may be thinking, but rather because my snowbird grandparents traveled there for several months every winter and would pay for our tickets to come visit them.

While Florida was certainly not a destination my adventure traveling loving mother or mountain man father would have picked on our own, our many trips to Florida did give us an appreciation for the state and all of the great things it has to offer. And, while there be a million and one reasons not to LIVE in Florida, there an equally large number of reasons to visit Florida.

Since Disney was never really our thing (though we did make a trip up to Disney World on one of the 9 trips), we usually spent almost all of our time at the beach. Growing up in Colorado not only did not provide any coastlines or beach opportunities, but it also meant winters were cold and snowy. Florida would always give us a reprieve from the winter, an opportunity to wear shorts in January and some much needed time hanging out by the ocean.

Though we did get to ride the infamous Space Mountain on our single trip to Disney, my family usually opted for side trips to the Florida Keys for snorkeling or Miami rather than theme parks near Orlando. We also spent a whole lot of those two week vacations simply camped out at the beach for most of the day—relaxing, reading, swimming and picnicking.

While I have not been back to Florida since 2004, I still thinking fondly of the state and would recommend it to other travelers. Not only is it a fairly cheap beach destination with warm temperatures year round, but you also don’t need a passport to travel there, nor do you have to worry about not being able to communicate with the locals.

With my grandmother going back to Florida again this winter, I have also been considering making a return to the Sunshine state. While the trip is certainly not short from my home in Portland, Oregon, being able to spend a few days enjoying sun, sand and surf this winter with my grandmother may be just the perfect little getaway.

The recession has also meant for a buyer’s market in the travel industry—which has translated to cheap airline tickets and discounts at many hotels. In an effort to lure more travelers, airlines, resorts, hotels, tour operators and other folks in the travel industry have been forced to offer up some pretty great promotions and sales to entice more people to travel this year.

With so many sites out there that can also help you find the best airfares, there is also a good chance you’ll be able to find a cheap flight to Florida this winter. Priceline air tickets tend to have some of the better prices out there, though I always recommend shopping around at least a few different sites and places before committing to a purchase.