17 Cheap destinations for 2015 with great weather in February

Phuket Beach TreesThose with time for a holiday in February are very much in luck if they are looking for affordable destinations. This is the warm and dry season in most of the world’s cheapest tropical hot spots, and also toward the end of the busy season so prices are already starting to come down after the holidays and finding bargains is simple for those who book in advance.

The one complication for many people is that the flight itself might be quite long and fairly expensive to get to Southeast Asia or Latin America, but you’ll see fare sales and low prices popping up in December and January so don’t give up if they look too expensive at first glance.

Prices listed for each city are from our Backpacker Index for 2014, which compares cities around the world for the same common budget travel expenses.

Looking for tropical beaches? Check our cheapest Caribbean islands list for the best-value destinations, including at least a few that are surprisingly cheap even in high season.

The Americas

With the United States and Canada either being frozen or expensive (south Florida) this time of year, you’ll want to head to Latin America or the Caribbean for the best bargains with sunny and warm weather.

The Caribbean

Negril JamaicaWhile the Caribbean in February is cheaper and less crowded than January, it’s still the high season so the posh and exclusive islands will be charging a fortune at even their average resorts. However, with so many new hotels competing for your business, there are bargains to be found pretty much all year except for the Christmas weeks.

If your main goal is to relax in the warm weather instead of exploring the cultural destinations such as those mentioned below, then your best budget bet will be in Mexico, Dominican Republic, or Jamaica. If you like to indulge yourself with unbridled quantities of food and drink on your vacation then an all-inclusive resort will by far be the best deal. If you don’t drink and are a light eater then you’ll spend less at a normal resort.


Cartagena, Colombia

  • February avg high: 85F/29C
  • February avg low: 76F/24C
  • February avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

In most of the tropics you can have rain on almost any day even during the dry season, but in Cartagena you might go the entire month of February without feeling a drop. This is only one reason why it’s the perfect time to visit, with many great beach options plus a colonial Old Town that is quite worthwhile as a cultural destination.

It’s true that February is still during the high season along Colombia’s beaches, but it’s still very cheap here compared to nearly any other Caribbean destination. There are larger luxurious hotels where the best deals are booked early, but also cheaper guesthouses where you can still find something at the last minute if you aren’t too picky.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$37.22

>>>Cartagena prices


Mexico City, Mexico

  • February avg high: 73F/23C
  • February avg low: 45F/7C
  • February avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

Mexico City itself is only warm during February (rather than hot) and that’s only during the afternoons, but it’s still a perfect time to go. There’s virtually no rain at all so you can visit all the outdoor ruins and monuments in the area without worry.

Some choose to stop in Mexico City on the way to or from Cancun, as domestic flights are frequent and cheap, and it’s a nice contrast to add some big-city culture to a beach vacation as well. February is still high season for hotels in Mexico City, but there are still great bargains to be found compared to the crowded beaches.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$32.73

>>>Mexico City prices


Lima, Peru

  • February avg high: 80F/27C
  • February avg low: 69F/21C
  • February avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

Lima is popular this time of year among middle-class and upper-class South Americans so it does get a bit crowded, but at least it won’t feel overwhelmingly touristy. The beaches here are good, but not great, yet the sunny and dry climate with warm days and mild nights still feels fantastic this time of year.

Hotels in Lima are near their peak prices for the year in February, but still quite good bargains by international standards. By the way, the rainy season in Cusco goes on in February, so the trails can sometimes be cut off, although many people go anyway.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$31.30

>>>Lima prices


San Jose, Costa Rica

  • February avg high: 75F/24C
  • February avg low: 57F/14C
  • February avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

Costa Rica’s capital is not actually terribly worthwhile on its own, and its elevation keeps it a bit mild even in February, so on this list it represents the entire country of Costa Rica. February sees great weather on both coasts and through most of the interior of the country so it’s all fair game (as well as high season).

This country has become incredibly popular because it’s better developed than its neighbors while being more environmentally conscious at the same time. There are national parks galore, in addition to posh beach resorts and surfer villages and the Arenal Volcano and canopy tours, just to name a few of the highlights.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$31.93

>>>San Jose prices


Santiago, Chile

  • February avg high: 84F/29C
  • February avg low: 54F/12C
  • February avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

With warm days that are bone-dry for the entire late summer (in the Southern Hemisphere), Santiago is an ideal stop on any tour of South America or even one just concentrating on Chile itself. This is a very large city with more than a bit of everything, including culture and beaches not too far away, but other parts of the country are even more tempting this time of the year.

February is part of the high season for hotels in Santiago, but things are still quite reasonable by international standards so it remains a great bargain. Even a backpacker can live quite well in Chile on limited funds, but those willing to splash around a bit more cash can find the best of everything here.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$36.77

>>>Santiago prices


Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • February avg high: 84F/29C
  • February avg low: 67F/19C
  • February avg precip: 4.6″/11.5cm

While Buenos Aires actually gets quite hot and wet during the peak of summer, by the time February rolls in it cools off a bit so it’s quite pleasant pretty much around the clock. It still may rain a few times per week, but BA is actually more of an indoor city so any rain is unlikely to take much of a toll.

February is near the end of the high season in Buenos Aires, and hotel prices can still be relatively high toward the beginning of the month, with better deals appearing as March nears. All of Argentina remains in the budget category by international standards since the currency keeps slipping as inflation pushes prices up for locals.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$45.29

>>>Buenos Aires prices


Ambergris Caye, Belize

  • February avg high: 76F/24C
  • February avg low: 71F/22C
  • February avg precip: 2.6″/6.5cm

With a rainy season that lasts through part of January, Belize has a relatively late season of ideal weather, and February marks its first month. San Pedro is actually the only city in Belize that we cover, and it’s the most expensive resort area, so those looking for better prices should look at nearby Caye Caulker island.

Belize is definitely one of the cheapest Caribbean destinations, and the offshore islands actually do have quite a Caribbean feel in spite of being surrounded by Latin America. There are wonderful resorts here for those willing to spend more, but even the cheaper hotels are decent, and very good bargains even in high season.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$49.79

>>>Ambergris Caye prices


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • February avg high: 91F/33C
  • February avg low: 73F/23C
  • February avg precip: 4.7″/11.8cm

The first two weeks of February are still good bargains in Rio de Janeiro, but since Carnival starts on February 17 in 2012 you are going to want to have left, or be prepared to pay triple the price you were paying earlier. The weather is warm all day and all night, and you’ll get some rain in February as well, but usually only in short tropical downpours.

It can’t be stressed enough that Carnival is by far the most expensive week of the year in Rio de Janeiro, and as great of a spectacle as it can be, it’s better to avoid it unless you are dead-set in attending the 4-nights’ worth of festivities in the city center.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$54.04

>>>Rio de Janeiro prices


Cancun, Mexico

  • February avg high: 84F/29C
  • February avg low: 69F/21C
  • February avg precip: 1.8″/4.5cm

Cancun tends to be busiest during Christmas and also the Spring Break weeks, so February is an ideal time for a winter holiday since it falls nicely between those two. This is also the first very dry month in this part of the Caribbean so the chances of even a short downpour are much lowered as well.

Hotel prices in Cancun can actually be quite high during the peak weeks, but lately there have been some very good bargains in the 3-star category for much of the high season. It’s harder to find cheap meals and drinks here, but it’s still a bargain destination compared to elsewhere in the Caribbean.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$43.23

>>>Cancun prices


Europe

From November through February there are literally no European cities that could qualify as having “great weather.” So during the winter Europe is all about cultural tourism, and lower hotel prices make it especially appealing for those who like to stretch their travel budgets and avoid crowds at the same time.

If you are thinking about a city break instead you should check out our recommended cheap London hotels, our recommended cheap Paris hotels, and our recommended cheap Amsterdam hotels, recommended cheap Rome hotels, recommended cheap Prague hotels, and recommended cheap Berlin hotels.

Africa

It’s too cool in northern Africa to qualify as “great weather” during February, but it’s not a bad time to visit Cairo for smaller crowds and reasonable temperatures. Otherwise you’ll have to head to the south for a proper sunshine holiday in Africa this month.

Cape Town, South Africa

  • February avg high: 80F/27C
  • February avg low: 60F/16C
  • February avg precip: 0.7″/1.8cm

The high season for hotels is still in effect in Cape Town in February, but especially as the month goes on you are likely to find good bargains mixed in. The weather doesn’t really get any better than February in Cape Town, with pleasant and warm sunny days with mild nights.

It’s a long way to travel for most people to just come to sit on the beach so many people combine a trip to Cape Town with a safari or some other adventure, and this is the ideal season for pretty much anything in the country.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$48.46

>>>Cape Town prices


Asia

The peak season for all of Southeast Asia starts around Christmas and goes through February, so you won’t be alone and prices are at their yearly peak. The good news is that things are still far cheaper than pretty much anywhere else in the world.

Goa, India

  • February avg high: 89F/32C
  • February avg low: 69F/21C
  • February avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

As long as you are willing to put up with the hassles that go along with any visit to India, you won’t find a cheaper or more pleasant beach resort area in February anywhere in the world than in Goa. This is actually a small state with dozens of small beach towns up and down its coast, so choosing the one that fits you best is at least half the battle.

More package tourists pour in every year and more hotels for them are built, but there are still many backpacker-style guesthouses around, including some very cheap ones right on the beach if you know where to look. In Calungute and Baga it might feel like prices are only a bit cheaper than in, say, Spain, but if you go to Anjuna or Vagator and find a family-run hotel and eat in local restaurants you’ll be spending a fraction of that. If you are in the mood to tour around, Mumbai has great weather during February, and Delhi has warm days but cool evenings this time of year.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$18.25

>>>Goa prices


Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • February avg high: 91F/33C
  • February avg low: 73F/23C
  • February avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

Saigon (as it’s locally known) isn’t a beach city, but there are some very nice (and cheap) beaches not far away so it works well on a tour of Southeast Asia in general. It’s starting to get quite hot in February, especially toward the end of the month, so it’s probably not ideal to plan more than a few days in this huge and sprawling city.

This is part of the high season for hotels, but it’s still extremely cheap by international standards, although it’s the most expensive part of Vietnam at the same time. If you are in the area it’s a must to stop off here for at least a few days, so it’s good to know that at least this is the driest time of year.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$18.27

>>>Ho Chi Minh City prices


Chiang Mai, Thailand

  • February avg high: 90F/32C
  • February avg low: 59F/15C
  • February avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

February is also the driest month of the year in Chiang Mai, which comes in especially handy since the best things to do in this part of Thailand tend to include trekking and other outdoor activities. The days will be warm, but at least the nights are wonderfully cool so the steamy part of the day only lasts a few hours, unlike in Bangkok when it goes on all night as well.

Chiang Mai is among the world’s best travel bargains, even during high season. Hotels here are amazingly cheap in all categories so it’s a fantastic place to just relax for awhile as part of a tour of Southeast Asia in general. The food and drinks here are cheaper than in Bangkok as well.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$17.66

>>>Chiang Mai prices


Luang Prabang, Laos

  • February avg high: 88F/31C
  • February avg low: 59F/15C
  • February avg precip: 0.6″/1.5cm

The end of February does start to get quite warm in Luang Prabang, but at least it remains dry and it still cools off at night. This Colonial city continues to get more popular every year as new tourists hear about its charms. This contributes to Luang Prabang being relatively expensive for Laos, though it’s still a great bargain by international standards.

During February it would be wise to reserve a hotel in advance since the better places will all be booked solid by the time you arrive, and the next tier of hotels with empty rooms will be outside the charming little tourist district along the river. Food and drinks are great bargains here all year round as long as you look around a bit and avoid the expensive hotel restaurants and bars.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$21.71

>>>Luang Prabang prices


Bangkok, Thailand

  • February avg high: 91F/33C
  • February avg low: 74F/23C
  • February avg precip: 1.2″/3.0cm

By the time February rolls in the large winter crowds are fading a bit, so it’s still a very good time to visit as long as you are okay with hot and humid days and nights that are still very warm and humid as well. Bangkok is a huge favorite among anyone exploring Southeast Asia, in spite of its recent political and flooding problems, so it’s wise to book in advance if you can.

This huge city has several different tourist districts that are relatively far apart, so choosing the best one for you is important. The Sukhumvit area is where you’ll find the best retail shopping and many fancy hotels, while the Khaosan Road area is close to the main tourist sites and it’s filled with cheap backpacker guesthouses and budget hotels.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$21.78

>>>Bangkok prices


Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • February avg high: 92F/33C
  • February avg low: 69F/21C
  • February avg precip: 0.1″/0.3cm

The best months to visit Siem Reap are November through February, so needless to say this is your last best chance until late in the year. Of course you’ll be visiting the Angkor Wat temples just north of Siem Reap itself, and February is still very dry and not yet insanely hot, so a long day outdoors will be pleasant rather than a drain on your soul.

Even though this is part of the high season it’s the late part so you can find good deals here at hotels if you look around and book early. There are plenty of cheap guesthouses for the backpacker crowd, even if you arrive without a reservation, but all the best places are booked up well in advance this time of year. Food and drinks are very cheap here all times of year as long as you avoid the hotels and shop along Pub Street instead.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$26.62

>>>Siem Reap prices


Phuket, Thailand

  • February avg high: 91F/33C
  • February avg low: 75F/24C
  • February avg precip: 0.8″/2.0cm

February is still quite crowded in Phuket, as it’s a longtime favorite sunshine destination for northern Europeans among others. It’s also the most expensive part of Thailand, but still quite a bargain by international standards. In case you haven’t researched it yet, you should know that Phuket is a large island with about 10 different major beach towns, each with its own vibe and price range.

Those looking for a package hotel where you don’t have to leave the complex for an entire week will find plenty of those, and there is also Patong Beach, which is loaded with bars and nightclubs that go on into the morning. There are also family areas and some where all the resorts are very pricey, so do your research and pick a place to fit your style.

2014 Backpackers Index: US$26.09

>>>Phuket prices


Middle East

February is cool and even a bit rainy in most of the Middle East. An exception is Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which both have perfect sunny weather. However, they don’t make this list because they aren’t really cheap enough for the cut.



2 Responses to “17 Cheap destinations for 2015 with great weather in February”

Ioana says:

In Europe – a vacation in Tenerife is the best in february!

 
Nicole says:

I stayed in dubai and abu dhabi in feb 2012 and stayed in really nice and new hotels for average $75 per night.

 

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