It's the dead of winter and summer seems very, very far away. Some folks are lucky enough to be escaping the cold (like my manager who wisely booked a trip to Florida). Then you have people like me who used their vacation time to escape a cold and rainy city (New York) to travel to a cold and rainy city (Dublin). I don't regret the decision—I was visiting a friend—but now that we're solidly in February and I haven't been anywhere warm in months I'm starting to long for a reason to break out my swimsuit.
I shared my longing with a friend who looked at me, raised an eyebrow, and said "you're a travel editor, shouldn't you be able to figure out a way to get a warm weather fix in February?"
Oh yeah. Right.
I tossed around the idea of taking a 3-day weekend somewhere warm—maybe Florida, or the Caribbean. There are certainly plenty of deals out there, but I want to save my vacation days for a big trip this summer. Then I happened upon an article we did last year—a round up of the ten best indoor water parks. The first line grabbed me: "no matter how cold it gets outside, you'll always find temperatures in the 80s in these indoor water parks." That's it! Visions of lazy rivers, waterslides and wave pools filled my head.
As it turns out, those aren't the only places that give you an outlet to splash around when the mercury is close to zero. We also have a list of the top hotel water parks in the U.S. (Of course, come summer there are even more options—check out our favorite 15 water parks nationwide.)
Upon closer investigation, however, I discovered that none of these places are within driving distance from where I live. Fortunately, a quick Internet search revealed an indoor water park much closer to me—Greek Peak in upstate New York—and, yes, I'll be going there next weekend.
Out of curiosity, a question for my fellow travelers in colder climes—how far will you go to escape the chill? Do you plan your winter retreats far in advance like my colleague? Or are you more inclined to play things by ear? Vote in our poll or share your thoughts below.
SEE MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL: