Julie Epstein: It may be time for the winter parka, but don't put away your swimsuit just yet. You can join the snowbirds flying south for the winter because we've searched far and wide to uncover this year's most affordable beach destinations.
Of course Florida is a top destination for winter travelers and for a good reason, the daytime temperatures can stay in the seventies and there is plenty of shoreline to spread out. The Gulfside St Petersburg lures visitors and dolphins with warm waters and low prices.
With lots of trendy new eateries and hangouts St. Petersburg is especially appealing to younger travelers looking to get more for their money. If you're looking for maximum savings, consider the Florida Keys where numerous campgrounds make beachfront accommodations affordable for everyone.
If you can swing the airfare, Puerto Rico offers incredible beaches with reasonably priced resorts and with temperatures in the eighties winter has never felt so good. For the best package deals you may need to book your accommodations 2-3 months in advance and don't overlook Mexico's Pacific Coast where Puerto Escondido gets our vote for affordability that's here, best known for its incredible surf conditions, this overlooked city both gorgeous beaches and inexpensive room rates. For more ideas on affordable destinations, check out our US News, Best Hotels Rankings Online.